The Duran Welcome Center supplements advising, provides extra help with registration for new students.
Correction: Ranger Visit Day was today, March 4.
By Maritza Ramirez
The Duran Welcome Center will host Ranger Visit Day, a tour of the campus for first-time-in-college and high school students 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at this college.
The students come from local high schools visited by this college’s outreach and recruitment team, said registration specialist Joe Delao.
The team helps high school students get a head start with the first few steps of the college registration process, such as completing applications like ApplyTexas, Delao said.
The Welcome Center, 1533 N. Main Ave., serves as a guide through the enrollment and registration process for first-time-in-college, returning and transfer students, registered specialist Eleanor Alvarez said.
At least one student at this college says the center is a welcome addition to this campus.
Nursing sophomore Aaron Cortez said he hadn’t been to college in two years, and he was sent to the Welcome Center to receive help with the registration process.
Cortez said he went to the Fletcher Administration Center and a few other places, but was told to go to the advising offices.
“The advising office sent me here at the Welcome Center and said they would be able to help me out,” Cortez said.
“So I reapplied for school, got the TSI (Texas Success Initiative) exam out of the way and I registered for class for the first time in two years,” he said.
Cortez said instead of going to advising, he would go to the Welcome Center instead.
While it is not an alternative to advising, the center can serve as a supplement for more one-on-one attention.
Alvarez said all staff members at the Welcome Center will help students with the registration process. There are nine employees, and two others from College Connection help on busy days.
“We’re all registration specialists,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said if a student goes to another Alamo College, they can go to the Welcome Center and receive help with enrollment as well. The staff will also help international or ESL students, Alvarez said.
Alvarez said a lot of students will not be familiar with the college process. The registration specialists help students complete ApplyTexas and fill out FAFSA applications, she said.
Alvarez said sometimes students walk in confused thinking the staff are like advisers, and she doesn’t know why students don’t just go to their advisers.
“We are not advisers, but we can help them register for classes and we can tell students what degrees are offered,” she said.
“A lot of students come in and feel comfortable because it’s one-on-one attention,” Alvarez said.
Before registering for classes, the enrollment checklist must be completed, which includes:
- Completed and submitted admission application
- Submission of all transcripts
- Bacterial meningitis vaccination
- TSI exam
- Refresher course of English or math if required
- New student orientation or advising and registration
- Payment of bill due for tuition
Any student with under 14 college credit hours must sign up for orientation.
“Once the enrollment process is completed, holds that were put on a student’s account will be waived,” she said.
“Then the student will receive their banner ID and they can then register for their courses,” Alvarez said.
After completing his enrollment checklist, Cortez said it wasn’t hard at all.
Cortez said he told his girlfriend and his sister to go to the Welcome Center if they are going back to school.
“I’m going to start telling people go here if you haven’t gone to school in a long time,” Cortez said.
Cortez said he had some difficulties at his first registration attempt and was unaware why he could not register for his classes.
“I just was sitting there confused and staring at a screen,” Cortez said.
Cortez was told by a registration specialist he had some holds on his ACES account.
Staff members helped Cortez complete his FAFSA application, get his holds waived, register for classes and “get his foot back in the door,” he said.
The Welcome Center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday; and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. every first Saturday of the month.
For more information, call 210-486-0040.