New Student Service Centre opens Monday

12 August 2021

August 16, 2021 marks the official launch of the Student Service Centre located on the main floor of the Administration Building on North Campus (utilizing the previous Student Connect space and infrastructure).  

In preparation for the launch, we have been working on a number of features which will help improve the overall student experience including:

  • An expanded rollout of Vera, our chatbot, to include web pages within the Dean of Students Office,
  • A physical space with in-person services,
  • Virtual self check-in options for students to get in line for in-person services through their own personal devices before they even arrive at the Student Service Centre
  • Expanded staffing to allow for quicker response times,
  • A dedicated team of specialists focused on continuous improvement and connections between the Student Service Centre and our partners across the university (e.g. in faculty offices or other student service units), and
  • More direct connections and the ability to provide referrals to other service units as needed, providing students with a more seamless experience.

This chart represents the service delivery model that will be in place for August 16:


  • Students (current and prospective) connect with the Student Service Centre (SSC)
    • in-person, phone, kiosk, live chat: Student is placed in the queue and connected with an advisor as soon as possible
    • web or contact form: Student is placed in the ticketing queue and receives a response in around 5 business days
  • Advisor (at the SSC) reviews knowledge base articles and referral instructions to provide information to the student.
    • If the student's query is resolved, advisor resolves the ticket or removes the student from the queue
    • If the student's query is not resolved, advisor provides a warm referral
      • To Specialist (at the SSC): Advisor creates a ticket in the customer management system.
      • To services (at RO, DoS, UAI, FGSR*): Advisor creates a ticket, sends an email, or phones the contact in an urgent case
      • To Advisor (in the faculties): Advisor refers the student via the relevant advisor chat group, sending an email, or phoning the contact to confirm availability

*Acronyms to note: RO: Registrar's Office | DoS: Office of the Dean of Students | UAI: U of A International | FGSR: Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research

Conversations between all the student service providers across the university (including the RO, DoS, UAI, and FGSR) and student service visioning activities continue on the overall structure of student services at a central level. Decisions made through this process may result in additional services moving to the Student Service Centre. In addition, IST is currently leading a request for proposals (RFP) for a new service management solution that may impact the overall referral and student case management processes institution-wide.

SET initiatives outside of the student service centre

In addition to the Student Service Centre launch, we are moving forward on a number of initiatives that will impact student services work in the faculties:

  1. Developing and implementing the Student Recruitment Center of Expertise (CoE). This CoE will be responsible for all domestic recruitment activities for the direct-entry faculties (excluding the stand-alone faculties for the moment) moving forward and reports through the Office of the Registrar. The centre will include the following people and teams:
  2. Implementing Enrolment Management Service Partners. This Centre of Expertise (CoE) that will be located in the Office of the Registrar and includes a service partner who will work with each of the colleges and faculties on the development and implementation of a strategic enrollment management plan. This CoE is expected to be in place in late August/early September and will start working to support the faculties on the Fall 2022 enrollment planning processes.
  3. Centralizing the transfer admissions process. Work is ongoing to start automating and centralizing the admission process for transfer applicants. The scope of the work for Phase 1 is looking at the automation of internal applicants (i.e. applicants applying within and between faculties with no other external education), which is expected to be implemented for the upcoming Fall 2022 academic year.