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Release Date: 
Monday, August 30, 2021

Student Services Spotlight: Enrollment Services

Photo of 3 people in computer lab

This article is part of a series highlighting our Student Services offices and what they can do for you. For information about all HFC student services, please visit Student Services and Campus Resources.

The HFC Enrollment Services Division, which handles all questions regarding admissions, financial aid, registration, records, and student accounts, serving all prospective students, current students, and alumni, prides itself on going the extra mile for HFC students.

“We have continued to offer the same level of service that we offered in-person. We had to quickly pivot to offer new services to reach students and still connect with students even though we are not on campus. Several of the new services we created will continue to be offered, even once we are back in the office,” said Holly Diamond, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs.

When the pandemic forced Enrollment Services, primarily located in the Welcome Center, to become virtual, team members went many extra miles for HFC students, working around the clock to help them navigate the unknown, address their doubts, and make sure they successfully enrolled for classes.

“When the Enrollment Services team moved to working off-site last March, we quickly got creative in finding ways to continue offering our services to students which would normally be offered in-person,” said Diamond. “Our team members have worked hard to set up services and continue serving students from a distance.”

Smooth transition online

Their hard work is paying off. Some of the highlights include:

  • Answering more than 26,000 calls with an average hold time of approximately 6 minutes since March 30. The average time spent per each individual student was more than 13.5 minutes.
  • Holding more than 605 one-on-one FAFSA and registration sessions via Zoom with students and parents since April.
  • Being able to communicate with students from other countries via Zoom. Team members have been able to meet face-to-face with students who otherwise would not have been able to see an Enrollment Services team member even if Enrollment Services was open due to work and family schedules, as well as time zone differences.

All steps to enroll can be completed by new students online. Services for current and returning students are also available online. The services are not only available online, they are available with the extra human touch, which includes support and guidance from our team members – whether it’s via e-mail, phone, and even face-to-face Zoom conference appointments, according to Nikole Ford Kondraciuk, HFC Assistant Director, Enrollment Services, Assessment and Orientation.

“Based on student feedback, many of the new services we have created will likely be continued even once we are back on campus, offering students an additional flexibility in electronic services that still have an in-person and one-to-one communication component,” said Ford Kondraciuk.

The Enrollment Services Division’s departments

It is common for many to confuse what is included in the Enrollment Services Division because HFC’s Call Center, Solution Center, and lab teams all represent a variety of offices including financial aid, billing and payment, etc. The Enrollment Services Division serves as the front line, providing service for those departments with Enrollment Services team members being cross-trained in all areas.

Expanding and adjusting services to accommodate students

Enrollment Services teams, including the Enrollment Lab, the Solution Center, the Testing Office, the Orientation Office, and the Call Center, have expanded or adjusted services to continue assisting students even while team members are not physically on campus. With the help of IT Services, Enrollment Services was able to duplicate its Call Center desktop phones on laptops for team members to work remotely.

“Students calling Enrollment Services receive the same service over the phone as they would if our team members were still in the office. This gave us an advantage over many other local colleges who didn’t figure that out as quickly as we did,” said Ford-Kondraciuk.

Orientation already had an online option, making it an easy transition. However, HFC Orientation Manager Kelly Baratono quickly added new online program content, including extra audio and video components. Enrollment Services also partnered with Academic Advising to create an online version of the former in-person Nursing Information Sessions which are required for all students applying to HFC’s renowned Nursing program.

“We also created new how-to videos for YouTube as additional guides for students to follow from home. Kelly envisioned and coordinated Group Advising Online sessions which were held on Zoom and gave students a face-to-face opportunity to meet with an Advisor and Enrollment Services representatives and, in some cases, faculty from their academic program,” said Diamond.

Students received face-to-face guidance with registering for classes during these sessions, just like they would at in-person orientation. The Orientation team also worked in conjunction with HFC counselor Diane Green to offer the first virtual Parent and Family Orientation programs called Hawk Family Fridays offered through Zoom.

“We even had a family log in from Senegal!” said Diamond.

New placement guidelines

Working in conjunction with English and Math faculty, the testing team implemented new placement guidelines to provide students flexibility with course placement since in-person testing is not available. Enrollment Services has expanded placement using a greater range of SAT scores. It’s now using multiple measures to a greater extent, including utilizing a student’s high school GPA for a portion of its math placement with additional considerations and flexibility for dual-enrolled students who have not had a chance to complete the ACT or SAT. Further, Enrollment Services is now also offering placement tests which are proctored remotely via Zoom.

The Enrollment Lab team and Enrollment Services managers from the Solution Center also got creative with new service options for students. This team normally serves students in-person and they are now assisting the Call Center team by answering incoming calls to the College and also offering the following:

  • One-On-One FAFSA Sessions: Students can now request a FAFSA Zoom appointment for one-on-one assistance with completing a FAFSA application. This mimics the face-to-face assistance normally provided students. Plans are underway to add additional Zoom appointment types and offer one-on-one help with registering for classes as well, just as it would be done in-person at the Welcome Center Enrollment Lab.
  • Qless Call Back Queue: Qless queuing software has been implemented in a new and innovative way. Through Qless, the division now offers a call-back queue. Students who click on our Qless link or text in as they would normally do for in-person service and sign up in the “call-back queue” instead. This works just like the in-person Enrollment Lab queue and gives students an estimated call-back time, depending on the number of people ahead of them and the estimated wait time for a call-back.
  • How-to Guides: We have developed several how-to guides which include pictures and text to guide a student step-by-step through process such as registering for classes, ordering a transcript online, and creating an FSA ID for Financial Aid. These guides are useful tools to share with students as we assist them either by phone or electronically.

Constantly training staff on latest technology

Enrollment Services has continued to find ways to keep its staff trained by creating virtual staff training/Hot Topics. Its weekly Welcome Center training is called Hot Topics and has always been held in-person twice/day every Thursday to allow all Welcome Center team members to attend. Enrollment Services is now able to host the training sessions virtually through Microsoft Teams, allowing on-going and timely training to continue for our teams. These sessions accommodate up to 100 people each week with a variety of topics.

“We hosted our first Hawk Help Saturday, providing extended service hours remotely for students,” said Ford Kondraciuk.

The College as a whole has made many accommodations for students who don’t have access to technology – and Enrollment Services is no exception. Team members have mailed documents to students and monitors drop boxes. A skeleton crew goes to the office each week to process mail.

“We also connect students with our laptop loaner program to help them get connected to technology in preparation for classes,” said Ford Kondraciuk.

How students can get the most from their Enrollment Services experience

Just like any office at the College, Enrollment Services experiences a peak in volume of calls and emails from students 2-3 weeks before and after the start of a semester. The wait-times can be a lot longer during those periods. The best thing to do is plan ahead, register early, and reach out when you have questions.

“We are here for students and want to see all students succeed. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us or your instructors; we are all still here to assist you, only virtually” said Diamond. “Also, give us feedback! Students should receive a survey after each interaction with our Enrollment Services team members and let us know where we can improve or give a shout-out if a team member went above and beyond to help you. Also, if there is an extra service you would like to see us offer, reach out and let us know!”

For students to get the most from Enrollment Services, they should select communication method that best fits their schedule and is the one in which they are the most comfortable (phone, email, Zoom appointment) and reach out. The Enrollment Services team member they speak to is trained in a variety of different areas.

“They may ask you additional questions above and beyond what you initially inquire about, but it’s because they want to look at a holistic view of your student account and provide the best service possible and limit the need to contact us again. Also, always use your Hawkmail and provide your student number when communicating with us,” said Diamond.

Future plans in Enrollment Services

The Welcome Center is a cutting-edge enrollment services operation, one of the first one-stop service centers among community colleges. Its cross-trained staff offers comprehensive one-stop enrollment advice and service to students regarding all enrollment-related topics.

“Staff answers student questions while teaching students how to use self-service tools, assisting students with all enrollment services needs in one transaction,” said Diamond. “Students avoid contacting multiple offices this way. For those more complicated questions, staff have direct access electronically to other team members in other offices who can help.”

Future plans in the Enrollment Services Division include:

  • Enhanced customer service
  • Customized steps for enrollment
  • New phone systems with new features, such as an online chat option for students

“Our team really understands processes from a student perspective and always puts student service first,” said Diamond. “They are constantly recommending improvements for the offices we partner with on various processes, knocking down perceived barriers for students and always willing to go above and beyond for a student. We are still here to assist students, even if it is from our own home offices.”

For questions or more information, contact the Enrollment Services Division at 313-845-9600 or

Students can sign up for FAFSA or registration help. Students can also sign up for a call-back from an Enrollment Services team member.