“Navigator” Services at URock Help Adult Students Navigate the University System

By University College at Rockland | Jul 06, 2017
Photo by: University College at Rockland Professional staff at URock help students navigate the University System

University College at Rockland is an off-campus center of the University of Maine System and its enrollment is almost the size of a small campus. URock's small staff is cross trained to efficiently help students navigate admissions, registration, financial aid, student accounts, academic advising and more.

"We know that adult students have very little patience for getting lost in a bureaucratic process or for being shuffled around from office to office," said URock's Director Deborah Meehan. "Through comprehensive services UC Rockland offers a one-stop experience."

Many of the students that URock serves may have prior college credits from a number of different institutions and these students had difficulty in the past getting clear answers.

"Combined with some anxiety about returning to college, these barriers can prevent adults from ever returning to college," added Meehan. "Some 200,000 Mainers have some college but no degree and this is a definite drag on our state's economy."

According to statistics from the US Department of Education those with some college but no degree comprise over 20% of the nation's adult population of 25 years and older.

"Our solution to better serve students at critical times is to mimic what the tourism industry does when assisting guests to locate whatever it is they need," suggests Meehan. Although Rockland staff is not always able to solve every issue they do guide students to the appropriate offices, advocate for students' needs, and eliminate unnecessary barriers to enrollment.

"And we do not quit until issues are resolved," Meehan noted. Reachable by email, phone or in-person visits, URock staff are easily accessed.

"We are not just available for students during recruitment and admissions. We are here for them throughout the whole college experience," noted Meehan.

"What we hear from students is that they fear being lost when coming to the University. However, we work hard to build a strong support network that helps them navigate the process from start to finish," said Meehan.

"Adult students are vulnerable when starting or returning to college. Most of those who previously left college did so because life events got in the way," noted Meehan. "They can easily give up or turn away. We are here to help students succeed and efficiently deal with challenges they face along the way to success."

The next semester at University College at Rockland starts August 28 and new students are still welcome. For more information contact URock at 596-6906 or visit the website at www.learn.maine.edu/rockland.

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