San Bernardino Valley College faculty and staff members are now more prepared than ever to provide excellent service to students. 
In June, more than two dozen SBVC employees attended "Enhancing the Student Experience," a staff development training focusing on customer service, conflict resolution, and team building. They represented several different departments, including student services, the library, and career technical education, and received valuable coaching that will benefit the campus community. 
"The training served as a reminder to all in attendance that every student we come in contact with is the core purpose of the work we do," Joanne Hinojosa, EOPS/CARE Director, said. "So how do we ensure that students are being provided with the best experience possible? The three focus areas of customer service, conflict resolution and team building are considered essential to improving upon the delivery of our services and thereby enhancing the student’s experience here at Valley College. After all, the retention and persistent enrollment of every student can be greatly influenced by the quality of the interactions we have with them." 
The training was led by Efren Galvan, director of admissions and records and enrollment technology at Orange Coast College, who was selected because he focuses on student-centered practices that promote academic success. 
"It was good to see faculty and staff come together in one place and engage in the different activities," Hinojosa said. "For the team building module, Efren separated everyone into four different groups, which gave everyone an opportunity to work with someone they hadn’t met before or don’t work with on a regular basis. This is important for expanding one’s network within the college. I am a firm believer in that having a solid professional network allows you to strengthen your ability to more effectively serve students." 
This type of training is not offered at most community colleges in California, and those in attendance had high praise for the event. All participants filled out evaluations, and one wrote, "I liked the reminder that people remember how you make them feel. I got so much customer service stuff to share with my staff." 
Because SBVC students interact with so many departments, it's important that faculty and staff know what their colleagues across the college do, and the training helped shine a light on the different divisions. 
"We are all 'experts' in our own areas of the college, but there are times when we need to refer students out," Hinojosa said. "Becoming aware of other programs and the individuals that work in those areas allow one to better guide and support our students."