TRAINING MANUAL 1Running Head: CITY STATE TRAINING MANUAL City State Vocational Institution and Employment Agency Training Manual Tiffany A. Simmons Strayer University
TRAINING MANUAL 2 Table of ContentsAbstract………………………………………………………………………………3Training Manual Description…………………………………………………………4-8Developing Training for City State…………………………………………………..8-12Training Needs Analysis……………………………………………………………..12-17Training Methods…………………………………………………………………….17-21Training Plan and Exercises………………………………………………………….22-26Evaluation The Evaluation Process……………………………………………………….26-29 Post-Training Evaluation……………………………………………………..29-30Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….30References…………………………………………………………………………….31Appendix A…………………………………………………………………………...32Appendix B…………………………………………………………………………....33Appendix C……………………………………………………………………………34Appendix D……………………………………………………………………………35
TRAINING MANUAL 3 AbstractCompanies today utilize training manuals to instruct its workforce on current job practices andworkplace etiquette. The manual presented therein purposes to do the same. Although thismanual focuses on one particular job title and its duties and responsibilities, one can substituteanother job title and its duties and responsibilities while keeping the intent of the manual intact.It is hoped that this manual offers the user opportunity to increase his or her knowledge, whileserving the mission and purpose of City State.
TRAINING MANUAL 4 Training Manual Description City State Vocational Institution and Employment Agency (hereinafter referred to as CityState) is situated within a low-income neighborhood, with approximately 250 students enrolledin its training programs. The agency provides training in five content areas: administrativeassistant, building and maintenance technician, food and hospitality management, retail storemanagement, and medical assisting. The agency’s focus is to provide training for gainfulemployment in public or private organizations. Its mission is to help program trainees build theself-sufficiency needed to obtain gainful employment and be contributing members of theircommunities. The agency employs staff members in the admissions, registrar, financial aid,academic advising, and job counseling departments to assist trainees in successfully completingprogram requirements. Additionally, the agency employs instructors in the five content areas tofacilitate learning opportunities. Finally, the institution employs a director that oversees alleducational and enrollment activities and an admissions director that manages all admissionsdepartment activities. Unlike the colleges and universities in the area, the agency offers trainingprograms that take less than one year to complete and prepares graduates for immediate entryinto the workplace. The opportunity to enter the workplace in less time than it takes to completecollege or university is an attractive option for those who cannot or will not wait two to fouryears. City State espouses its commitment to helping its trainees achieve self-sufficiencythrough gainful employment; however, it acknowledges that its line, staff, and faculty do notpossess all the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to make it possible for students to achieve thatideal. It understands that the gap between espoused theory and theory-in-use will render itineffective in accomplishing its mission. To that end, City State strives to create the learning
TRAINING MANUAL 5organization, “a place where people continually expand their capacity to create the results theytruly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collectiveaspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to act together” (Merriam,Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). Learning, according to Blanchard and Thacker (2010), is a“permanent change in cognition that results from experience and directly influences behavior.”It is the company’s sincere wish that the trainings produce such an effect in its employees. CityState will implement a series of trainings that each line, staff, and faculty member will attend inorder to align its campus operations with its mission. The training programs are for new andcurrently employed line, staff, and faculty members, who may or may not have experienceworking with low-income, high-need populations but have the appropriate professionalbackground. Any man or woman hired as a member of line, staff, or faculty is required toundergo training in order to be part of the organization and to serve students. Line membersmust possess a Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, five to seven years ofexperience in campus or department operations, intermediate to advanced proficiency in MSWord, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and CampusVue or similar student information systemssoftware (e.g. Banner or SIS Plus). Staff members must possess a Bachelor’s degree from aregionally accredited institution, two to four years of sales or customer service experience,intermediate proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and CampusVue or similarstudent information systems software. New line, staff, and faculty members will attend new employee orientation to obtaininformation on organization policies and procedures, to meet and network with other newemployees, and to learn performance expectations, obtain a copy of job descriptions, and anexplanation of company benefits and compensation. The training content for new and current
TRAINING MANUAL 6staff will focus on customer service, student enrollment procedures, registration procedures,attendance monitoring, financial aid processing, advising procedures, retention strategies,building employer relations, and software training on the appropriate modules for his or her jobduties and responsibilities. It should be noted that not all staff members will need all thetrainings. For instance, the admissions staff will not be required to attend trainings on financialaid or registrar functions, while financial aid staff will not be required to attend trainings onadvising or enrollment procedures. In addition to in-house trainings, each staff member willattend outside conferences appropriate to his or her position with the company. For example, thefinancial aid officer will be required to attend financial aid conferences with both the third-partyprocessor and the US Department of Education to ensure compliance with regulations, inaddition to attending web-based trainings offered by the state association for its members.Admissions, registrar, advising, and job counseling staffs will also be required to attendconferences, both classroom and online-based, to build and maintain the competencies needed toperform duties and responsibilities effectively. The organization will assume all costs forattending these trainings, since it believes that well-trained professionals enhance the missionand values of the organization. For faculty, the training modules will consist of andragogical theory, culturally-responsive instructional strategies, curriculum planning, assessment procedures, classroommanagement, and use of the institution software to input grades, complete progress reports, andrecord anecdotal information. Like staff members, faculty will be required to attend outsideconferences, in addition to in-house trainings, in order to build and maintain professionalcompetency. These trainings will be both classroom and online-based, and the organization willcover all costs.
TRAINING MANUAL 7 For the line employees (e.g. department directors and campus president), the trainingcontent will consist of employee evaluations, budget planning, student discipline, instructorquality, and overall department or institution management. All staff and faculty will be trainedon how to use the organization’s software to execute his or her job duties and responsibilities.Line employees will also be given the opportunity to attend outside conferences, both classroomand online-based. The trainings and the content will be covered, as appropriate, for each type ofemployee to assure smooth operations of the organization’s training programs. In the recent past, no manuals existed to instruct organization members on what companyexpectations are and how to manage them. Additionally, nothing in organizational literatureaddressed student activities. That in mind, the organization needs concrete information on howto manage educational activity and maintain professional standards that enhance theenvironment. The purpose of this training manual is to offer the structure needed to managecampus operations while staying true to the organizational mission. Because many employeescome through the organization with limited knowledge of higher education in general and theirown positions in particular, it is necessary to provide a guide to instruct on best practices. Sincethe organization is committed to self-sufficiency, it is necessary to build such traits in theorganization’s members-ones who work firsthand with populations who are struggling with whatit means to be self-sufficient and how it can come about in their own lives. However, studentsare not the organization’s only means of operation. This training manual also provides guidanceon how to handle interpersonal relations, manage work/life balance, and what is acceptablegeneral conduct in the workplace. It is expected that, from time to time, this manual is updatedto coincide with newer information and practices that will enhance the effectiveness of all staffand faculty members.
TRAINING MANUAL 8 Within this training manual are the tools necessary to instruct every member of theorganization on how to be an effective, contributing team member. The employee is given thismanual for three reasons: one, to orient him or her to the duties and responsibilities of his or herjob and the relevance of his or her job to organizational objectives; two, to introduce theorganizational culture; and three, to serve as a reference guide. In addition to the manual, eachemployee will be given a copy of his or her job description, per company requirements, to haveon hand should any conflicts arise. The ultimate goal is to promote competency on the job andenhance the mission of the organization. Developing Training for City State City State Vocational Institution and Employment Agency is committed to providing ahigh-quality environment in which its employees are encouraged to use their knowledge, skills,and attitudes. It is those knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will distinguish City State fromcompetitors. Employees on all levels are encouraged to take advantage of any opportunity toincrease their knowledge and grow their skills so that they too will remain competitive withpeers in other institutions. Training is an ongoing activity with City State, as laws andregulations change, positions undergo turnover, and new positions are created to accommodateindustry demand. In order for training to be effective, the following conditions must be met: a purpose forthe training, identification of employees who will need the training, identification of deficiencesin knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs), availability of appropriate materials and resources,location and time of training to be agreed upon, subject matter experts (managers, directors,instructors, etc.) secured for training, and an agenda. A purpose is perhaps the most importantpart of the training itself because it will aid in development and implementation. Identifying
TRAINING MANUAL 9employees for whom the training will take place will also be important because no training takesplace without people to train, and it will also reduce redundancy. KSA deficiencies establish areason for the training; appropriate materials and resources will enhance retention of importantconcepts and underscore the objectives of the training; location and time will promoteorganization and ensure maximum participation; subject matter experts’ participation increasescredibility among trainees; and an agenda keeps everyone focused. While these conditionspromote a smooth flow to training activities, trainers must take care to include things that willmake the training a positive experience and exclude things that detract. For example, employees should know about general company etiquette, company missionand values and how the employee’s position relates to them, and information about companybenefits and compensation. Additionally, employees should be trained in areas relevant to his orher position-areas like customer service, student enrollment procedures, and computer softwareas it relates to job responsibilities. These are all relevant to those employees working in StudentServices and should be part of the training modules. It is highly encouraged for new hires tonetwork with one another and other employees in order to feel part of the company. Doing sohelps new hires feel like they are part of the team and will encourage greater effort from them.However, office gossip should not be part of any professional training because it destroyscredibility and promotes animosity and distrust among employees. Besides, such activitydetracts from the company’s mission and values. Further, lectures often bore participants and donot promote retention of important information. Instead, trainers should consider slide shows orhands-on demonstrations to reinforce the concepts. Finally, a message to managers anddirectors: guiding employees, rather than micromanaging, helps them produce their best effort.New hires already are challenged and overwhelmed by their new responsibilities with the
TRAINING MANUAL 10company; they do not need to be constantly monitored to see if they are working. The bestpractice is to check in with the employee weekly to discuss any concerns or challenges andsuggest ways they can work through or people whom they can seek out for help. This approachbuilds confidence and promotes better performance. In developing the training, the company wishes to stress a widespread problem withmastering the computer software. It has come to the attention of the training and developmentdepartment that company employees are challenged with using the software effectively toconduct student transactions and make sound decisions based on system output. In short, muchof what they are presented looks foreign to them, and they are not able to make sense of it for thestudent. These deficiencies will be addressed in a training entitled “Knowing Your Software.”In this module, the trainers will secure a training room large enough for the number ofparticipants in the training, along with sufficient computers with the company software alreadyloaded. PowerPoint slides to demonstrate how the software modules are supposed to workshould be available in both slide show form and handout form. Folders with extra paper, pensand pencils, and a step-by-step manual for the software components for training. should be onhand for participants to record important information and lend an overall professional look to thetraining. The conference room itself should have adequate lighting and temperature control tomaximize attention to the training; the technology used (projectors, laptops, etc.) should be ingood working order; and, most importantly, everyone must be well-rested to ensure maximumattention to the training. The best instructional method for the training would be thus: pre-orientation for theemployees selected to attend the training. In this case, it would be current and new studentservices staff. They will be instructed as to what time and location the training will be held, what
TRAINING MANUAL 11to bring, as well as the contents of the agenda. Additionally, they will be asked to confirm theirparticipation with a pass code provided by the trainer. Orientation will consist of introductions,purpose of the training, the agenda, the explanation of the ideas and concepts as presented in thematerials and resources, and the objectives that will be met at the close of the training. Duringthe training, hands-on learning activities, slide show presentations, and discussion of the ideasand concepts will take place. Additionally, any questions and concerns may be addressed tomaximize retention of the material. At the end, participants will be asked to evaluate thetraining, providing feedback for the trainer and the training staff for further review.Additionally, each participant will be monitored by his or her director or manager to ensure thattransfer of training actually happens. In fact, the transference of learning will be noted onperformance evaluation to determine if the training benefited the employee or if any othertraining needs arise. The initial training analysis will find the trainers analyzing the KSA deficiencies,reviewing the software, speaking with the software vendor, and, if time permits, attending atraining conference/seminar on the computer software themselves to understand the capabilitiesof the system. Once those tasks are completed, the trainers can design a training module. Thedesign will include “identifying a time and location, establishing learning objectives, facilitatinglearning, and ensuring transfer” (Blanchard & Thacker, 2010). One worthy learning objectiveof this training would be employees will be able to use the computer to research and resolvestudent issues. Once the learning objective is identified, the training staff can then develop thetraining, creating appropriate instructional materials, identifying and securing technologicalresources to enhance the training, and finalizing time and location for the training. Theimplementation phase requires that any potential blind spots for training be addressed and fixed.
TRAINING MANUAL 12That is where a control group can participate in a simulation of the training. The simulation is a“dry run” (Blanchard & Thacker, 2010) that enables trainers to fine-tune their presentations.Finally, the evaluation stage will be an opportunity for trainers to collect and review feedback onthe training and to follow up with the participants to determine if transference of newly-learnedskills is taking place. Perhaps the easiest way to determine this is to design the performanceevaluation to include this information, allowing managers and directors to make comments andrecommendations as appropriate. The feedback from the evaluation stage will determine if thetraining was successful, whether other KSA deficiencies were detected and need to be addressedin a training, or whether the training itself needs to be modified to include more components. City State is committed to developing its employees to their fullest potential. Thatincludes training them adequately in areas that the company feels is important to their success.However, training does not happen if the need for it does not exist. When it does happen, it is notin isolation. Everything that the employee learns is meant to have practical application ineveryday work situations, and it is expected that employees integrate their new knowledge. Aslong as City State remains competitive in its industry, it will continue to offer high-qualitytraining to its employees at low cost and minimal time taken away from daily tasks. Training Needs Analysis The previous section of the training manual for City State focused on developing atraining program for employees. Developing a training program requires preliminary steps, suchas identifying a purpose and a goal for the training, selecting trainees, and securing location,materials, and resources. In order to develop the training further, and prepare for the designphase, the organization must determine its needs. A Training Needs Analysis (TNA, as it will bereferred to from this point forward) helps the organization focus its training on a specific area or
TRAINING MANUAL 13specific areas of operation in order to align it/them to established objectives. Upon examinationof City State’s mission, it was discovered that a gap existed between actual performance andexpected performance. City State needed to align its job descriptions and specifications withcompany mission and goals. City State expects all employees to develop students into self-sufficient citizens who aregainfully employed in the fields of their choice; however, the system is not producing self-sufficient students. Instead, the system is scattered and disorganized in its attempt to provide theneeded services, and the employees of the organization are currently beset with leadershipproblems. To that end, an organizational analysis must be performed to determine underlyingcauses. This organizational analysis “looks at the internal environment of the organization….todetermine its fit with organizational goals and objectives” (Blanchard & Thacker, 2010). Thefollowing data will be examined to determine where the gaps are and what to do next: thefinancial statements, budgets, student enrollment and retention numbers, attendance records,graduation rates, job placement rates, and loan default rates. The questions to be asked in theanalysis are the following: what are the organization’s goals for employees? What are expectedperformance standards for employees? How will they be measured? Are the expectations forperformance consistent with company mission and goals? Are the employees aware of theimportance of their role? Is the compensation structure supportive of the goals? What are someconstraints that could potentially compete with the established goals and render them ineffective? An operational analysis should accompany the organizational analysis to uncover anyproblems inherent in the organizational system that would hinder the development of anappropriate training module. An operational analysis will require that job descriptions andspecifications and performance data be examined to determine overall compatibility of positions
TRAINING MANUAL 14and people with organizational objectives. To that end, the following questions for operationalanalysis should be asked: what jobs are critical to the mission and goals? What performancetargets must those who occupy critical positions meet? Who will be responsible for follow-up ofperformance goals and expectations? As the financial aid office is considered the linchpin operation of the enrollment process,the task-oriented job analysis will highlight the duties, tasks, and knowledge, skills, and attitudesrequired of the person who will fill the position. Additionally, any deficiencies in knowledge,skills, and attitudes and current trainings and resources will be mentioned, along with any furtherrecommendations for professional development. In an indirect way, the financial aid officer’sduties and responsibilities contribute to some of the enrollment and retention problems, as theexpectation is that the person performing the job will be able to provide financial aid to thestudent while keeping the organization profitable. On a daily basis, the financial aid officerinterviews prospective students and their parents to determine financial need, discuss the variousaid packages available, and assist with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). Additionally, this same person verifies tax forms and verification worksheets toconfirm eligibility and processes award packages according to federal, state, and institutionalguidelines. Finally, the financial aid officer forwards funds requests to the third-party servicer,monitors receipt of all financial aid funds, reconciles program funds on a regular basis, monitorsloan default rates, completes required reports for the United States Department of Education, andparticipates in the yearly audit with the third-party servicer and the company’s auditing firm. In order to perform these duties and responsibilities successfully, this person must haveexcellent customer service skills, basic accounting knowledge, a minimum of an Associate
TRAINING MANUAL 15degree from a regionally accredited institution, knowledge of financial aid regulations, computerexperience, and an administrative background. Although it is expected that those who desire towork in the financial aid office have the previously mentioned knowledge, skills, and attitudes,the following deficiencies could potentially hinder the financial aid officer’s efforts: lack ofunderstanding of complex regulations and laws governing financial aid, performing verificationsand awarding processes incorrectly, lack of computer skills, poor customer service skills, if theemployee in the position is disinterested in the job or its requirements, and unavailability of thefinancial aid officer to answer questions or provide assistance. These deficiencies, if notaddressed and corrected, will lead to aid officers misinterpreting regulations, potentially leadingto a costly program review and possible sanctions by the United States Department of Educationfor non-compliance, in addition to administering incorrect financial aid amounts to students. Thelatter, while not exactly fatal, can place the student in a position of owing the institution and thefederal government money for funds for which they were not eligible. As City State enrollsstudents who are financially disadvantaged, this would not be an ideal situation in which to placethe student. So that financial aid officers remain up-to-date on the latest training and resources, theorganization should plan to send them to annual or semi-annual state and national conferences toreceive the most current information on best practices. Furthermore, management shouldencourage them to pursue web-based trainings outside of work to keep enhancing their skills andincreasing their value to the company. Finally, receiving training through the third-party servicerwill help the officer complete paperwork and other processes correctly and in a timely mannerand help build mutually beneficial relationships. In office, there should always be an updatedregulation manual and consumer guide for students. All of these resources will strengthen the
TRAINING MANUAL 16financial aid officer’s knowledge base and help him or her be more effective for students and theorganization. Aside from trainings, financial aid officers should cross-train with other enrollmentofficers in order to gain a full understanding of enrollment procedures, participate in cross-functional teams within the organization (i.e. enrollment management, default management,student discipline), and promote student financial aid awareness through workshops andseminars. Networking with other financial aid officers in other institutions is anotherrecommended practice, as doing so will help build relationships, allow for the sharing of tips onperforming the job well, and even promote the profession among those in their communities. As much as the organization depends on the financial aid office to process student aid,and subsequently receive revenues, it does not offer any sort of feedback to the officer onperformance and expectations. If there are goals that the company plans to meet, the financialaid officer must be apprised of them and be ready to adjust their priorities accordingly. It doesno good to confer high importance to the financial aid office, and then accord that person lowimportance when it comes to resources and materials to perform the job well. As muchresponsibility that is heaped upon this person to keep the institution solvent, the compensationstructure must be looked at as well to determine if he or she is being compensated in a way thatemphasizes value as well as knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Currently, the main problem with the performance gap that exists is with the inadequatefeedback. Every organization member knows his or her job; however, he or she does not knowhow he or she is doing. There are no performance measurements to assess progress and anyneeded improvements in the way jobs are done. Furthermore, the exit surveys that students aregiven when they graduate or withdraw are not shared with staff and faculty; therefore, they are
TRAINING MANUAL 17not aware of what students are saying and what needs to be changed so that the studentexperience can be improved. As it regards the financial aid officer, he or she is aware of his orher position within the company as “the money person,” but what feedback is he or she receivingon performance? What should happen that is not happening? And how can the performance gaps(real or perceived) be closed? As training is developed further, those answers will come to light. Training Methods The financial aid office has been targeted for training by City State, as this office iscrucial to the successful operation of the institution. As previously noted, the institution has highexpectations of the financial aid office yet does not provide the proper infrastructure to ensure itssuccess. Therefore, training is needed to communicate expectations and strengthen the officer’sknowledge, skills, and attitudes to align with them. The success of the training will depend onthe design of clear learning objectives, the selection of effective training methods, and theconversion of the training to an e-learning format. The financial aid officer is responsible for evaluating student eligibility for financial aidand processing aid packages according to federal, state, and institutional guidelines. His or herduties include interviewing prospective students (and parents, if needed) to determine financialneed and potential eligibility for aid programs, assist with the completion of the Free Applicationfor Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), verify information reported on the FAFSA and resolvediscrepancies, build student aid packages, communicate award packages to students (and parents,if needed), report aid types and amounts to the United States Department of Education, monitorreceipt of funds, and reconcile all programs on a regular basis. In addition to this, the financialaid officer monitors loan default rates and facilitates the student refund process. Due to thescope and depth of the officer’s duties and responsibilities, he or she must possess a college
TRAINING MANUAL 18degree. A minimum of an Associate degree is desirable, with a Bachelor degree preferred, twoto five years of customer service experience, basic accounting knowledge, proficiency in MSWord and Excel, and administrative capability. The work is generally performed in an officeenvironment. The officer is frequently on the telephone or working on the computer to completehis or her job duties and responsibilities. Little to no physical lifting is required. Sinceregulatory practices change frequently, financial aid officers need training often to keep up. Tothat end, it is recommended that the training address appropriate learning objectives thatmaximize effectiveness and minimize errors and delays in processing. Upon completion of the training, the trainee will be able to calculate Expected FamilyContribution (known as the EFC by financial aid professionals) using the calculation worksheetprovided in the training materials with no more than two errors, be able to identify with 100%accuracy three items that are required to perform and complete a verification, and be able tobuild a financial aid award package using the EFC after verification. Package must include allaward types and amounts for which the applicant is eligible. To make those objectivesattainable, the training agenda will include the following: calculating an EFC, the verificationprocess, and packaging student aid, in that exact order because each module builds off the other.Five hours have been allocated to complete all agenda items, including post-training evaluations. Each module has specific goals that are to be met. The goal of the EFC module is toempower each financial aid officer to manually calculate an EFC without a computer, should onenot be available due to software problems. The verification module is meant to teach officershow to perform a correct verification to determine a student’s final eligibility for aid. This stepis important in that the types and amount of aid can change after the verification process, and ifthis is done incorrectly, it can affect the student’s eligibility and cause him or her to owe the
TRAINING MANUAL 19institution money. Finally, the packaging comes after EFC and verification are confirmed. Thegoal of the packaging module is to have officers learn how to award financial aid, with correctaward types and amounts listed. The overall goal is to have trainees complete the financial aidprocess for a sample applicant. The sample agenda will begin promptly at 9am on the day of training. The agenda willbe as follows: 9am to 9:05am: Welcome 9:05am-9:25am: Icebreakers and Introductions 9:25am-9:30am: Overview of Training 9:30am-10:30am: Calculating EFC 10:30am-10:45am: Break 10:45am-11:45am: Completing the Verification Process 11:45am-12:30pm: Lunch/Announcements 12:30pm-1:30pm: Awarding Financial Aid 1:30pm-1:45pm: Review 1:45pm-2:00pm: Post-Training Reflections/Evaluations The above posted agenda will be included in the materials provided in the training. Aswith any training, there will be some variations to the schedule. Those will be announced, asappropriate, so the training can proceed in an orderly manner. Participants are expected to be ontime to the training, be back from breaks and lunches on time, and fully participate in allmodules. Finally, an evaluation will be given to assure that all training objectives are met, andall participants received the expected benefits from it.
TRAINING MANUAL 20 In order to meet the goals and objectives of the training, the following training methodswill be used: lecture/discussion, case studies, and exercises/worksheets. The lecture willintroduce basic terms and concepts of the profession to new officers and act as a refresher formore seasoned officers; the case studies are designed to give officers examples to demonstrateunderstanding of terms and concepts and build a working knowledge of process and procedure;and the exercises and worksheets will enable the officers to calculate an EFC, perform averification, and process awards. The advantages of using these training methods are thus: theyare familiar methods to trainees, making it easy to follow and understand, and the trainingmethods encourage interaction with the material, enhancing retention. The disadvantages arepotential to create boredom because the training methods are familiar, and some participants mayhave a hard time applying all the concepts, making the transfer back to the job more difficult.The challenge is how to overcome the disadvantages while retaining the integrity of the trainingprocess. To aid in that process, it is recommended that the trainings be available through e-learning methods. As with the on-ground training modules, the e-learning modules will also beinterconnected. Trainees must be able to complete one module successfully before going to thenext. The training will be blended with an interactive system that feature case studies and afeedback system that assists the trainee in learning the concepts. The interactive system will offertrainees the opportunity to practice and learn while receiving continuous feedback and improvetheir skills on an ongoing basis. Trainees who are more comfortable using a computer will havethis option, and those who are not as comfortable will have the benefit of face-to-faceinteraction.
TRAINING MANUAL 21 For the training, City State has chosen to deliver the interactive multimedia trainingthrough the Internet. The advantages of using this method are the “learning is chunked”(Blanchard & Thacker, 2010); trainees receive immediate feedback; and “trainee is highlyinvolved in the situation” (Blanchard & Thacker, 2010). Delivering the training through theInternet as opposed to a LAN enables trainees to access the modules in the privacy of their ownhome or at the local library-anywhere an Internet connection is available. They do not have to beat their work site or training site to receive the benefits of the training method, as would be thecase with a LAN. The advantages of the training method assume that the trainee has a highdegree of computer savvy. What about those who do not? Obviously, the lack of computersavvy is one disadvantage of using the interactive multimedia training method. Otherdisadvantages include lack of access to a computer, and for those who need more careful andthorough instruction, information overload. Overall, the availability of an e-learning option fortraining will appeal to those workers who are pressed for time and cannot always leave work toattend an on-ground training. As was stated before, training must have a purpose, as reflected in the learningobjectives, and a method for delivery. In this section, there were two-the traditional on-groundand the e-learning option. The flexibility of the e-learning option will make it a more popularchoice for trainees and trainers alike, although the on-ground approach will always be around.No matter which option is utilized, the goal is to strengthen the trainees’ knowledge, skills, andattitudes in administering financial aid programs. City State would do well to commit itself tothe professional development of the person occupying this position and ensure that the propertraining happens.
TRAINING MANUAL 22 Training Plan and Exercises In order to execute an effective training program, there must be a plan in place. This planwill include number of people to be trained, materials, resources, technology, and location of thetraining for maximum results. Following is a detailed plan of what will be expected in thistraining. For the financial aid officer training, there will be three trainees representing theorganization in this session. In total, there will be around forty trainees from differentinstitutions around the state. These trainees will possess varying levels of proficiency atfinancial aid delivery-from novice to proficient. Why are proficient learners included? Becauseregulations change each year, and each financial aid officer has the responsibility of keepingabreast of those changes. For that reason, all financial aid officers will be required to attend thistraining. This training will include information on how to calculate Expected Family Contribution(EFC), how to correctly verify a student, and how to package and award student aid. In learninghow to calculate EFC, trainees will know what it is, how it is used to determine eligibility, andthe methodology used to calculate it. Included is a worksheet that will give an idea of how this isdone. The financial aid officer will assist the student applicant in completing the FAFSA, withthe information provided. Since this is done online, the officer must wait until the federalprocessor processes the application before a result is given. One of two events occur: thestudent will be selected for a process called verification, in which additional information isneeded, such as a tax return and a complete verification worksheet, to process student aid. Theother possibility is that the student is not selected and can be awarded financial aid immediately.For the purpose of the training, trainees will learn how to perform and complete a verificationprocess. In this particular training module, the trainee will learn how to perform and complete a
TRAINING MANUAL 23verification process with 100% accuracy. Once the verification is complete, the trainee willaward the student. In awarding the student, the trainee will learn what the student will beeligible for and what amounts. To complete the entire award process, the trainee will work acase study of a student who is enrolling at a mock institution and needs financial aid in order toattend. This case study will follow the student from the beginning of the financial aid process,an interview to determine initial eligibility to the final awarding process. Along the way, thetrainee will learn concepts like needs analysis, cost of attendance, and unmet need, in addition toEFC, grants, scholarships, and loans. The methods used to deliver this training will be acombination of slide show presentation, practice exercises, and case studies to enforce theconcepts. Therefore, the trainer will need a room with Smart Technology complete withcomputer hookups, an overhead projector, a laptop with MS Office products loaded, extra lightbulbs for the projector, and an audiovisual cart to hold all the technology. These are needed torun the slide shows, show transparencies to demonstrate ideas and concepts, and post a copy ofthe case studies and practice exercises to keep everyone on task. In addition, training manualsand practice worksheets will be included and are to be available at each place setting. The training will be held on a university campus, where there is adequate parking andlarge conference rooms to accommodate training for forty people. The conference room selectedmust be already technology-ready, as stated before, and allow trainees to be far enough awayfrom administrative offices to not be disturbed by students and other staff. The room itself willneed adequate lighting, with plenty of space for trainees to move freely and be accessible tothose with disabilities. The room must also be arranged with round tables, four to a table, so thateveryone can interact with one another while engaging in the session. The trainer should be atthe head of the room lecturing at one point, then moving around the room as groups work on the
TRAINING MANUAL 24case studies offering feedback. Additionally, the trainer should be adequately trained infinancial aid concepts in order to communicate them in a confident way to trainees, possessexcellent written and verbal communication skills, and be able to answer trainees’ question witha high degree of professionalism and proficiency. However, this trainer must be someone who isnot employed in a financial aid office; rather, it should be someone serving in an advisory orconsultative role. The trainer should be able to communicate the learning objectives in a clear and thoroughway that trainees can understand and readily apply. In addition, he or she should communicatethe overall training objective to remind trainees why they are there and what will beaccomplished. For the purposes of the training, the overall objective is to improve the efficiencyof financial aid officers in processing student aid. To begin the training, the trainer canwelcome everyone, conduct icebreakers and introductions, and begin by asking what aninefficient financial aid office looks like and what an efficient one looks like. What should afinancial aid officer know how to do? Why is that important? Asking those questions will leadto an overview of the training and to the training itself. The three modules covered in thetraining will provide ample opportunity for learning the materials and methodology forperforming the financial aid cycle. The first module, Calculating EFC, will see participants collecting information about theapplicant. At this point, everything is projected, not actual. To facilitate this process, the aidofficer will need to calculate a projected EFC (see appendix A) to determine what the applicantcould potentially eligible to receive. To do that, the aid officer will require the following: acopy of the applicant’s income tax return or W-2 if the applicant did not file and number inhousehold (including number of household members in college). After the EFC is calculated, the
TRAINING MANUAL 25information is then transferred to a needs analysis worksheet, in which financial aid projectionsare calculated. The purpose of the needs analysis is to project financial need for the student andto use as a guide to finalizing aid packages. This worksheet is placed in the student’s financialaid file until verification (if required) is complete. The EFC calculation is just but one part of thefinancial aid cycle. The next module will cover verification. Verification is not always required,but it helps for aid officers to know how to perform one, if needed, so that student aid packagescan be finalized accurately with minimal delay. The next module, Completing the Verification Process, instructs aid officers oncompleting a verification process accurately and completely. Verification is the process ofreviewing student FAFSA information against tax return and verification worksheet documentsin order to assure accuracy and to resolve any discrepancies in reporting. Aid officers are tocollect tax returns (signed by the tax filer or preparer), a signed verification worksheet, and anyother information that will assist in the verification process. For example, a student may reportthat he/she received child support in the last year. Documentation of child support payments, onofficial letterhead, will be sufficient for this need. The required documentation, along with theFAFSA, comprises the student’s financial aid file. It will be attached to the verificationcorrection sheet (see appendix B) as evidence that the review took place and its results, andplaced in the student’s financial aid file. Applicants (and parents, if parents are required tosubmit information for the FAFSA) may wonder why their application was selected forverification. Sometimes, it is easy to spot the reasons for selection, such as missing taxinformation or dependency status. At other times, the selection may be totally at random. In anycase, the application is required to be verified before aid can be processed. Once the verification
TRAINING MANUAL 26process is complete, applicants can be awarded financial aid in the amounts that their final EFCdictates. The final module will cover how to award financial aid. Awarding Financial Aid demonstrates to the financial aid officer how to package andaward financial aid to the applicant. Included in the training will be a checklist of items (seeappendix C) that the aid officer will utilize in order to assure that all steps are followed inawarding aid. In this way, if the file is audited, it can be clearly demonstrated that the officercompleted his/her due diligence in the awarding process. Finally, the officer will create a ledgercard for the student to document aid awarded (see appendix D). The ledger card, along with theneeds analysis worksheet, the verification documentation, and the financial aid checklist, willcomplete the student file. At the end of training, trainees should be given ample time to ask questions and get themanswered, network with other participants, and seek out additional resources for learning.Trainers should be sensitive to the speed at which trainees learn and not speed ahead of thelesson until everyone has understanding. Additionally, trainers should work to pair moreexperienced financial aid professionals with new ones (ideally not ones from the same school) sothat learning can be facilitated and feedback can be immediately given and have a richer context.Finally, the trainee should have time to reflect on the training and offer his or her thoughts on anevaluation. This evaluation will help the trainee determine if learning objectives wereaccomplished and what other areas of training he or she will need in order to be more successful. Evaluation ToolThe Evaluation Process City State has identified and chosen its instructional methods for the training, selected thetrainees who will attend, and secured a trainer who will implement the training modules. In
TRAINING MANUAL 27order to determine if training has met the needs of the trainee and of the organization, aneffective evaluation tool has to be devised. This evaluation tool will address learning outcomesand whether trainees have achieved them (or not). Additionally, this evaluation tool will assessthe overall learning atmosphere, whether it was conducive to the learning process. In designingthe evaluation tool, City State plans to identify data that has to be collected, the level ofevaluation to be conducted, the items to be evaluated, and the learning outcomes that will bemeasured. Finally, an evaluation instrument will be designed incorporating all those elements. The following data sets will be collected for City State: process data and outcome data.The process data will determine whether learning objectives were achieved. Before the trainingoccurs, the objectives will be evaluated. The questions to be asked at this point in the trainingprocess are these: Do the objectives correspond with training needs? Are the learning objectivesclearly explained? Are they achievable? At this stage, any gaps between the learning objectivesand the method to teach them should be resolved before going further. Once the pre-trainingissues have been resolved, further evaluation occurs at the implementation level. At this stage, amonitor will sit in on the training, evaluating whether the training was implemented as designedand whether the learning objectives were achieved. The process data will be the domain of atraining monitor. The outcome data, however, will be received from the trainees. Outcome data“determines how well the training met or is meeting its goals” (Blanchard & Thacker, 2010).The trainees’ reactions to the training are vitally important for the evaluation. Their perceptionsof the training affect what they learn and whether they retain what is learned. Therefore, theevaluation will measure those reactions and determine the effectiveness of the training. Learningoutcomes will determine if the stated learning objectives have been met by the trainees. Jobbehavior outcomes measure the transfer of learning to the actual job. Finally, organizational
TRAINING MANUAL 28results reflect the effectiveness of the training through its bottom line and the improvement ofprocesses related to the job. To capture the data needed, the trainees will complete a questionnaire at the close of thetraining and submit to a proctor. Meanwhile, the assigned monitor will evaluate the training as itis going on to assess trainer quality and instruction quality. Finally, the trainees’ supervisors willevaluate them at the next scheduled performance review period in order to determine if thetraining transferred to the job. Several items will be evaluated on each. On the trainees’questionnaire, their reactions to the training will be evaluated, along with any comments aboutthe general environment of the training. The monitor will evaluate the general conditions:whether the environment was arranged appropriately for the training, whether the instruction wasdelivered as designed, whether the technology was appropriate (and functioning) for the training,and whether trainees are engaged in the learning. Finally, the supervisor will perform a jobperformance review to measure the transfer of training to the job. The purpose of eachevaluation is to capture trainees’ perspectives, along with the perspectives of a monitor and thatof a supervisor. This layered approach will offer a full picture of the effectiveness of the trainingand whether improvements need to be made. The most important item to be evaluated in the training will be the learning objectivesand the overall training objective. The training objectives address performance gaps, while thelearning objectives address deficiencies in knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Taken together, theyseek to improve the efficiency of the trainees on their jobs and the organization in their everydaybusiness. Training objectives must be clearly communicated so that the trainees can establish aconnection between the jobs they perform and what they are expected to learn as part of theirjobs. An evaluation will assess whether the objectives are known and met by the trainees.
TRAINING MANUAL 29 For the financial aid officer training, the following objectives are to be met: the traineewill be able to manually calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using the calculationworksheet with no more than two errors; be able to identify with 100% accuracy the itemsneeded to perform and complete a verification; complete a verification with 100% accuracy; andbe able to build a student package using the EFC after verification, including the correct awardtypes and amounts. These objectives will be clearly communicated in the materials presented,and the trainer will also state them at the beginning and end of each training module. This givesthe trainee a sense of direction and understanding about what is being discussed and learned.Following is a sample evaluation that will be used with trainees at the close of the training:Post-Training Evaluation Below is a sample evaluation form that will be administered to participants at the close ofthe training. The purpose of this evaluation is to get feedback on what worked, what did not,how effective training was from the trainee’s perspective. Once completed, they will becollected, analyzed, and the results shared with organization executives. It will then bedetermined what next steps should be taken to ensure that all training programs align withorganization strategy and trainees’ needs. Please comment below on the following questions: 1. The two things I learned in this training were: 2. The two things I need additional help with are: 3. The best part of this training was:
TRAINING MANUAL 30 4. What should have been included was: Answer yes or no to the following: 5. The trainer explained clearly and thoroughly the concepts trainees were to learn. 6. The trainer treated each trainee with respect and dignity. 7. The trainer was knowledgeable about what he/she taught. 8. I would recommend this trainer to others. 9. Other comments: This evaluation is a means to capture the training session in a nutshell. Gatheringinformation about the quality of training, as well as what was learned, and how it was learned,provides valuable information on what trainees need in the future as well as what theorganization will need. Training is not to be designed or delivered haphazardly, and evaluationscan identify the usefulness of the training, as well as the intention. It is hoped that City Statewill continue to commit to employee quality through training and development. Conclusion City State is committed to the training and development of its staff and faculty. To thatend, it seeks out the highest quality in training resources, materials, and instructors to meet thatgoal. This manual is meant to be an instructional piece to offer financial aid officers and thosewhose jobs are impacted by what they do and to help the learners they reach to realize theirgoals of obtaining post-secondary education. When those goals are met, City State wins. Theoverall goal is to have everyone win. This manual’s ultimate goal is create a winning staff andfaculty and a winning training program that assures high quality and lasting results.
TRAINING MANUAL 31 ReferencesBlanchard, N.E. & Thacker, J. (2010). Effective training: Systems, strategies & practice: 2010 custom edition (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.Merriam, S. B., Baumgartner, L. M., & Caffarella, R. S. (2007). Learning in adulthood: a comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Wiley.
TRAINING MANUAL 32 Appendix A Needs Analysis Worksheet Cost of Attendance EFC Remaining Need 0 Pell Grant State Grant Scholarship Subsidized Loan Unsubsidized Loan PLUS Loan Private Loan Third-Party Payment Cash Payment Total Aid 0 Unmet Need 0*Attention Financial Aid Officers: this is not an award letter. The numbers above are projections only and areused to approximate student’s eligibility. Award letters are finalized once verification is complete.
TRAINING MANUAL 33 Appendix B Verification CorrectionStudent Name:__________________________________________Social Security #:________________________________________Dependency Status: ___ FAFSA Correction Difference Student Section Adjusted Gross Income 0 Tax 0 Number in Household 0 Number in College 0 Worksheet A 0 Worksheet B 0 Worksheet C 0 Total 0 Parent Section Adjusted Gross Income 0 Tax 0 Number in Household 0 Number in College 0 Worksheet A 0 Worksheet B 0 Worksheet C 0 Total 0 Total for all sections 0*dependency status must be D (for dependent) or I (for independent).** If difference is +/- 400, the aid officer is not required to send the FAFSA back to the processor fora re-process. If the difference is greater than 400 (again, + or -), then a re-process is required. Ifnumber in household, dependency status, and/or adjusted gross income is updated, a re-process isautomatically required regardless of the 400 differential.
TRAINING MANUAL 34 Appendix C Financial Aid ChecklistFinancial Aid Officer: please confirm receipt by noting the date received in the appropriate blank.Use only for applicants selected by the federal processor for verification.Needs Analysis Worksheet ___________FAFSA ___________Verification Documents Verification Worksheet-student (signed and completed) ___________ Verification Worksheet-parent (if required) ___________ Student Tax Return (signed and completed) ___________ Parent Tax Return (signed and completed) ___________ Student W-2 (if worked but did not file) ___________ Parent W-2 (if worked but did not file) ___________ Other: ___________________________ ___________Verification Correction Sheet ___________Ledger Card ___________**Note: Do not award aid if any verification documents are missing.Student
TRAINING MANUAL 35 Appendix D Ledger CardStudent Name: __________________Student ID:_____________________Program Enrolled:________________Start Date:____________Scheduled Graduation Date:____________Cost of ProgramAid Awarded Pell Grant State Grant Scholarship Subsidized Loan PLUS loan Unsubsidized Loan Private Loan Third-Party Payment Cash Total Aid 0RemainingAmount 0* if Total Aid exceeds Cost of Program, the amount remaining is a refund.**if Cost of Program exceeds Total Aid, the amount remaining is an account balance.Account balances must be resolved within 15 days of beginning of classes;otherwise student is dropped for non-payment.***Note about refunds: student refunds are handled through the Student Accounts office.Students should contact this office for more information about refunds.