‘What Scholarship Office?’

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Ariel Messman-Rucker

DVC’s scholarship office, and you’re likely to get a blank look.

At present, it is housed inside the DVC Foundation Office, on the first floor of the Administration building, which is located up two flights of stairs from the main Quad.

It is not a trek students usually make.

At a Faculty Senate meeting last month, the scholarship committee complained that the scholarship office is in a location not easily accessible to students in general and to disabled students in particular.

More students would apply and more applications would be successfully completed, if the scholarship office was located in the Student Services area adjacent to the Main Quad,said English instructor Patrick Leong, according to minutes of that meeting.

Foundation director Cindy Goga agreed:It is difficult for students with special needs to reach us.

As a result, the scholarship coordinator must schedule special hours at Disabled Student Services in order to provide necessary outreach to disabled students, Goga said.

The Scholarship Office is intended as a place for students to receive guidance and support throughout what can be a confusing scholarship application process.

Last year, the office received more than 300 scholarship applications, a little over half of the total number of students who applied, said scholarship committee chair Rick Risbrough.

We have wanted to move it for a long time, Risbrough said.We have a new administration and we thought it would be easier to get it done now.

Since that Faculty Senate meeting, about 10 faculty members have conducted informal surveys in their classes to get a better sense of how many students know where the Scholarship Office located, Goga said.

They asked students three questions: 1) Are you aware DVC has a scholarship program? 2) Do you know where the Scholarship Office is located? and 3) Where do you think the office should be located?

John Freytag, a member of the Faculty Senate, asked approximately 150 of his students these three questions and discovered that fewer than 10 percent knew the location of the scholarship office.

Students responded to the last question by saying that the office should be moved near Financial Aid or Admissions and Records, both of which are located in the Students Services building, Freytag said.

Which seems, on the surface, an easy and obvious solution,he added.

But John Baker, interim vice president of student services, said the problem is not location – it’s a matter of poor signage.

They are able to serve the students with the information,Baker said in a telephone interview with The Inquirer. I think the issue is signage, and it’s beyond the scholarship office. It’s other services too.

But Faculty Senate President Laurie Lema disagrees,It’s an ease-of-access issue,she said.

While there are plans to build a new Student Services Building, Lema said there are no reasons why the scholarship office couldn’t be moved right now.

We’re just starting discussions, and people seem to be very receptive,Lema said.