Departments from across The University of Texas at Austin collaborated to create Texas One Stop, a resource that aims to improve enrollment services for students.
Texas One Stop, which assists students with registration, financial aid and billing, originally planned to open its permanent office location on the first floor of the Main Building in March. The opening of the office has been pushed back because of COVID-19, but in the meantime, Texas One Stop staff members have been working remotely to help students.
“Texas One Stop has been a two-year project to really bring together campus enrollment services for students,” says Jennifer Love, director of Texas One Stop. “We’re here to help support continued enrollment and graduation.”
Texas One Stop staff members are trained to handle questions that students would typically direct to the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, and Student Accounts Receivable. These offices still exist and will continue to support students, but Texas One Stop will serve as the first stop for students, Love says. The office staff also can point students in the right direction if there is a question that could be better answered elsewhere, such as by an academic adviser.
Love says there are many scenarios in which students might have questions that pertain to multiple departments, and Texas One Stop can simplify the process.
Hodges Mitchell II, director of Student Accounts Receivable, says he sometimes has to direct students to another office that can better assist them.
“You feel for students when they have to go to one building to get one answer and another building to get another answer,” Mitchell says. “That’s frustrating for a student. That’s frustrating for a parent. That would be frustrating for anybody that’s trying to get a question answered.”
He says Texas One Stop meets a need by providing a centralized location for departments to come together and better serve students.
Texas One Stop has hired a full-time staff to assist those who call in, Love says. Before, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid had a staff of primarily student workers that handled financial aid advising.
“We were expecting student staff to be … having very complex conversations with families and students in areas that we’re now putting full-time staff in,” Love says. “Switching the model from students to full-time workers has been really transformational.”
Texas One Stop launched its website last fall. It focuses on providing answers to questions related to the business side of being a student, Love says. The site includes Bevo Bot, an AI-supported chatbot that can answer simple questions or direct students where they need to go for further help.
Love says she looks forward to seeing how Texas One Stop’s office is able to alleviate students’ stress.
“To have that natural student reaction that this has removed a barrier, whether big or small, is I think the thing that I’m going to be most excited about,” Love says.