The transfer center in Building B on Bellevue College’s main campus will be getting a makeover this year, adding four new cubicles to the center allowing for more privacy for students and advisers meeting to discuss continuing education. The center will also be undergoing changes to meet ADA regulations and standards by improving space for wheelchair access and ease for height challenges. The transfer program intends to go paperless by the end of 2017 and continues to seek access to students through alternative methods such as social media for notifications and reports for transfer students.
Along with a new look, the transfer center is also getting a new face as Cesar Rangel takes on the role of academic adviser and transfer program coordinator. A former Bellevue College student and adviser at Highline College in Des Moines, Rangel has experience working with universities to meet with future students seeking to further their education.
Rangel said the decision for the updates to the center “came down from above” and the need for more space and access to privacy was one made ultimately by the higher-ups at Bellevue College. Input from the student body also came as inspiration for the changes as some students felt that the center could be doing more. “The feedback has been that we need to market it better,” Rangel clarified. “We are wanting to ask students what they want out of the transfer center. I think the students’ voice is most important.”
Rangel was hired on March 21 in place of Johnny Diehl who maintained the position of transfer program coordinator for a year and now continues advising in the science center. “It was less of a stepping down and more of a stepping over,” said Diehl.
Diehl took over the position of science adviser in Oct. 2016 and said the load of being both science adviser and transfer adviser was a one that he did not expect. “It is way too much to do for one person,” he explained.
Emily Kolby, director of academic advising at BC, said the cubicles are meant to be a relief for the staff who meet with a large amount of students daily. “There aren’t enough offices right now,” Kolby shared, saying that the number of offices for students to meet with advisors do not balance out to the number of students needing to meet with advisers and university officials. “It’s a 50 year old building and it shows […] the program center is outgrowing the student affairs area and leaks and floods here and there are still an issue.” According to Kolby, the changes that are made are geared towards the betterment of the public that it serves. “Any change we make we just want to make sure we are student focused.”
While there is no official date of completion, Kolby and the academic advising staff are certain it’s happening soon. Rangel invites students to give feedback on improvements and conditions to the center and what can be done differently.