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Lumbee Hall Renovations Improve Student Usability

UNCP built a new area called Brave Central in Lumbee Hall’s first floor because they wanted better customer service for students. Faculty and staff noticed the students were having issues going back and forth from one room to the next when getting their financial aid, admissions, registration and student accounts done. They teamed up with other members on campus and decided to remodel the right side of the first floor. Lois Hicks Williams, associate vice chancellor for enrollment, helped pull a group of 20 or more people to help with the building and process of Brave Central. “It was really neat to help come up with the idea,” Williams said. The group first discussed the blueprints of the area then the pros and cons of Lumbee Hall’s system. The original idea of the blueprints was to have a more open space but the cost was going over the budget. It was redesigned and people from across campus who has something to do with student interaction came to help. The faculty and staff broke up into teams and started the process. The facilities on campus came together and tore the wall down to make more space. They painted the walls with bright colors to give students a more calming feeling than the upstairs hallways that they used to wait in. They put comfortable couches in the waiting rooms with a media room for tours in a separate room. To make sure that the students did not do the “Lumbee Hall shuffle,” they came together to help create a concept called “one stop.” One-stop was a concept made to put all the needs for an individual into one. The plan was to assign students to one counselor who specialized in financial aid, admissions, registration and student accounts. This will help the student not have to go from one office to the next because they will have a counselor who is trained to know all the important needs of a student. Christina Reeves, director of brave central, came to UNCP in the middle of their production. She was excited for the new model because she once helped create one-stop. “I have to give kudos to one-stop counselors and everyone is the department,” Reeves said. “UNCP is on the right track and they did a good job.” Although Brave Central is open, they are still working on the process of one-stop. There is a plan to put only one clipboard out when the counselors are all trained. Reeves developed a training manual to help the new counselors learn how to help the students. They plan to have faculty and staff from students of success learn how to advise too. Lumbee Hall also wants to create online forms for students so they wouldn’t have to come pick up a hard copy. “We’re still working to get Brave Central to where it needs to be,” Williams said. “It really does take a village to do something important.” Williams couldn’t put her excitement into words. She said she couldn’t help but to smile when she overheard a student talk about how quickly she got out after meeting with a counselor in Brave Central. Brave Central is currently still in progress but wants students to continue to keep letting them know what more they can do to help.

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