By Ieva Bytautaite
Ka La editor
Katy Ho is here to listen.
As the new Dean of Student Services of Honolulu Community College, Ho’s main focus is to con nect with students and, through their feedback, understand what changes students want to see in the school.
“Our main focus is to make sure we are providing really good support services for students, so they feel like this is a home for them, and a place where they can go be successful,” Ho said, who grew up in Hawaii and went to college in Oregon.
One of Ho’s biggest challenges so far was starting after the Fall 2012 semester had already started and trying to learn about the college and the students. “One of the things we are working on is providing clarity for new students about the process of admissions, classes, financial aid, and scholarships,” Ho said.
“It’s not really about big changes but about improving the things we already have,” Ho said.
One of the changes that has already gone into effect is the new general scholarship application which makes it easier for students to apply for scholarships they qualify for. Another change students can expect to see is welcome stations during the first week of school. These stations will be set up at key points on campus, welcoming new students and serving as a place where students can get quick answers to their questions.
“We really want to make it a little easier for students, especially new students,” Ho said. Having these welcome stations will shorten the long lines in the admin building, and help students get the right answers without having to run around from office to office.
“We want to put more emphasis on how we can be more proactive in getting students the info they need, when they need it, and being more proactive in asking for student feedback in a more formal way,” Ho said.
Ho wants students to know that her office door is always open to students to come and talk story. “I think a lot of times students think that going to the Dean of Students’ office means that they are in trouble or they have a complaint. I hope to change that,” Ho said.
“We want to be more welcoming, more proactive, and do anything we can to get students information quicker. But students have to meet us halfway, and they can do that just by checking their emails,” Ho said.
If you have any suggestions or complaints, you can contact Katy Ho, the dean of student services, at firstname.lastname@example.org