Academic Solutions · Article

Partners in Implementation & Communication

January 31, 2024

Barnes & Noble College has implemented more equitable access programs than any other provider, currently serving 160 campuses and 800,000+ students. Dedicated and highly experienced implementation teams work with all stakeholders on campus, including faculty, IT, finance, student government, marketing, and others to ensure seamless implementation and ongoing execution. From helping to secure student and faculty buy-in, IT integration, and effective communication our implementation team, along with a proven implementation blueprint can help guide even the most customized program launch.  

Three university leaders sat down to discuss their First Day® Complete equitable access programs and how they worked across departments and teams to inform all stakeholders about the benefits of the program and how it works. Watch the full conversation here and read the highlights below.

Communicating with Students about the Value of First Day Complete Is Imperative

“We had a town hall at the invitation of our Student Government Association. And we went in there expecting contentious conversation. The students asked questions, we explained, and they shrugged their shoulders. They’re like, “Okay, we understand now.” And that was really, I think a key thing we can now refer to. We made ourselves available, we answered the questions, we faced anyone… It was open to all the student body, anyone could come. It was really not a bad event at all, and I think that really… store management went out and met with individual groups as well. It really was I think a partnership.”
– Jeff Sickman, Controller, Assistant Treasurer, University of Southern Indiana

Communicating with Faculty and all Departments Helps Ensure Success for Students

“I think that the biggest component was just working really closely with the store to make sure that we understood how to communicate some of the information. And with Barnes & Noble College from a technical perspective, making sure that I’m crafting answers to things in a way that is both correct and also user-friendly and easy to understand. Working with Barnes & Noble College is definitely a huge component of that. And then again, working with offices to ensure that they are then also sharing correct information with their students.”
-Monika Skuriat Fritz, MBA, Director, Business Partnerships & Marketing, Auxiliary Services, Lehigh University

“We have offices like the Academic Support offices we worked really closely with. So we wanted to frame our program really as an academic resource, an academic support resource. And so in addition to the FAQs, we were able to add some information about any academic resource information to that page. So that’s almost a one-stop shop for all of your larger academic questions or needs, has academic calendar on there, just links to things to make it a little bit more convenient for students. We worked with a lot of departments to be able to pull that all together.”
-Monika Skuriat Fritz, MBA, Director, Business Partnerships & Marketing, Auxiliary Services, Lehigh University

“I’d like to echo what Monika said, the biggest, not ‘obstacle’ but what I had to do was the faculty training and the campus training, all around the campus. And it got to a point where I had to explain what not to do, not so much what to do here. And then all my PowerPoint presentations, for instance, altogether are now uploaded and they’re accessible through our university website. So again, the training aspect of it was very important.”
-Shahrooz Moosavizedeh, Ph. D., Professor of Mathematics, Director of SAIL program, Norfolk State University

“We met with Faculty Senate Department, Department Chair and Department Deans, as well as our Student Senate. And we had actually a very similar experience. We went into it thinking with the students that there’s going to be a lot more pushback or some questions voiced that were more negative and really there wasn’t. So, we had a really similar experience. It was a very positive meeting.”
-Monika Skuriat Fritz, MBA, Director, Business Partnerships & Marketing, Auxiliary Services, Lehigh University

Working with Barnes & Noble College Will Set You Up For Success

“And I like to add that Barnes & Noble College was a huge help. This plan, this program is well organized. And I mentioned about PowerPoints, I mentioned about QA, and I mentioned about training. All those PowerPoint slides, QAs, if you will, they were all provided by Barnes & Noble College. We met regularly for a few months, actually weekly meetings that we had. So as far as what to do, how to market, how to train your faculty, who to approach and things of that nature, Barnes & Noble College is well-prepared to steer your way for a successful campaign.”
-Shahrooz Moosavizedeh, Ph. D., Professor of Mathematics, Director of SAIL program, Norfolk State University

To learn more about First Day® Complete from the student perspective, watch our video – and to learn more about how BNC can support the academic journey on your campus, contact us.

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