Desoto County News

NWCC One Stop Student Center ribbon cutting

Photo: The One Stop Student Center Ribbon Cutting at Yalobusha Hall on April 11. (Photo by Carly Fox)

by Sarah Smith

Northwest Mississippi Community College held a ribbon cutting for their One Stop Student Center, located at Yalobusha Hall, on April 11 at 1 p.m.

Board of Trustees Chairman Cory Uselton welcomed everyone and introduced Northwest President, Dr. Michael Heindl, who thanked everyone who came out, all those who worked on this project, especially Physical Plant Director Mary Ayers and the maintenance team, who led the way on this project to the final version.

This building serves as a one-stop shop for all students to cover their needs from housing, admissions, financial aid, advising and retention. Students can come to a centralized location for all of their needs.

“Being new at the institution, I have not experienced a facility and concept such as the One Stop Shop at Northwest,” said Isaac Lias, Jr., Director of Housing and Residence Life. “The One Stop offers students the ability to easily navigate the critical resources needed to begin and continue the journey to student success.”

The Advising and Retention Center (ARC) is located on the first floor and helps advise students in all the classes they will need during their time at Northwest. The Financial Aid Department is right across from the ARC and works closely with students and administration to help students succeed.

Director of Financial Aid, Candace Umberger, said that this building and centralized location is a huge time saver for students.

“They no longer have to trek all over campus trying to handle their business,” said Umberger. “They start with our One Stop Enrollment Specialist, Abigail Casey, who provides a high-level overview of a student’s account with all our departments in this building. This could save the student from visiting all offices when they may only need one.”

Dr. Emily Davis, director of the ARC, said that the goal of the One Stop Center is to remove barriers that could prevent student success.

“Many things students can take care of in the One Stop lobby without even stepping foot into an office,” Dr. Davis said. “The One Stop is removing barriers by not sending students away and across campus. Oftentimes students get overwhelmed and discouraged if they can’t take care of things all at once, and unfortunately that may lead to the student not following through with enrollment. The One Stop experience is allowing us to engage with students and move them all the way through the enrollment process in one location and at one time.”

This sentiment is echoed by Director of Admissions and Registrar Angela Dortch, as she said this opportunity provides such advantages for students.

“The implementation of this service will streamline our enrollment process while strengthening the convenience for our students, who are our top priority,” said Dortch.

Dr. Tonyalle Rush, associate vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management, said this is an amazing opportunity that wouldn’t be possible without the amazing team of individuals behind this project both in its construction and now in its operation.

“It’s exciting to have a space dedicated for students to take care of their business,” said Dr. Rush.