Support from your First Phone Call to Starting your Career: Part Two - Program Manager & Student Financial Services Advisor

Program Manager

program2They’re often the first voice you hear and sometimes the last. At Rasmussen College, program managers are with a student from enrollment to graduation, and they often become a good friend.

“Last year, eight of my students had babies,” said Lushanda Johnson, Rasmussen College Admissions Manager at the Mokena/Tinley Park campus. “I met all eight babies and played with them. One of them even sent me pictures from the hospital.”

Lushanda Johnson has been with Rasmussen College for almost three years. She started as a Sr. Program Manager before transitioning into the Admissions Manager role where she oversees the program managers at the Mokena/Tinley Park campus.

“I’ve been in the industry for eight years,” said Johnson. “Previously, I worked in an online school, so I never got to meet my students face-to-face. That’s why I love working at Rasmussen College because I get to personally know our students.”

A program manager helps his or students with everything they need to start their degree. They assist students in the enrollment process, answering questions about college preparation and scheduling financial aid appointments. If a student has previous credits they’d like to transfer, their program manager will put them in contact with a registrar who will evaluate all transcripts and record credentials as the student achieves them.

“The first thing a program manager does is get to know the student and make sure we have a degree program that fits his or her prior experience and interests,” said Johnson. “Then, we break down everything Rasmussen College has to offer and answer their questions.”

A student’s program manager stays with them throughout their entire college experience. They become their liaison to every department at Rasmussen College, as well as their tool to what’s going on around campus.

“We follow up with our students to make sure they’re on the path to success,” said Johnson. “If they make the Dean’s List, we call and congratulate them. We keep them engaged and let them know support is available.”

Johnson says she loves seeing her students reach their goals, especially those who never thought they would graduate from college.

“To see a student go from point A to point B is what’s exciting for me,” said Johnson. “I see in their faces how thankful they are to have someone to confide in and who believes in them. We don’t treat you like a number or a dollar sign. We will know your name and support you in every way possible.”

Student Financial Services Advisor

program1It’s not always easy talking about money – especially when it comes to a decision as big as going to college. That’s why every student at Rasmussen College is given a student financial services advisor to help make the financial aid process as seamless as possible.

“It’s usually a topic that causes frustration and apprehension,” said Kelly Kern, Rasmussen College Student Financial Services Advisor at the Eagan campus. “When the student understands the process and has confidence in the work we do, it allows them to concentrate on their school work leading to greater success.”

Kelly Kern is a very detail-oriented person, so she says her role as a student financial services advisor is the perfect fit. She’s been at the Eagan campus for nearly a year.

“On any given day, I prepare for, conduct and process financial aid information for new students either starting or re-entering their educational careers with Rasmussen College,” said Kern. “Since we are located on campus, we also take walk-in appointments and phone calls from our current students with questions regarding their school funding.”

A student financial services advisor also helps answer questions about award letters and the GI Bill, as well as discusses scholarship, loan and grant opportunities available to students. From there, students are assigned a student account manager who helps them process student loans and make tuition payments.

“I love the fact I’m able to teach students how to understand the financial side of their college career,” said Kern.

Kern remembers helping one of her students who had accrued a large amount of debt after attending several schools. She says she shared a website with him where he can monitor all of his student loans in one place.

“Then, I talked him through his options for going back to school,” said Kern. “The student told me he had never had financial aid explained in such a concise and understandable way.”

Kern went on to say that student still checks in with her from time to time, just to say hello.

“I am overjoyed when I’m able to create a sense of calm and confidence for my students,” said Kern.

A student’s support network at Rasmussen College grows even bigger once they enroll. Up next in our five-part series on student support, you’ll hear from a student advisor and technical support specialist on how they work to ensure every student reaches their goals. 

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Molly Andersen is the Senior Public Relations Manager at Collegis Education. She is a passionate storyteller and believes in the power of education. She is responsible for creating content that educates, engages and inspires current, past and future students at Rasmussen College. Connect with Molly through social media.

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