New tool connects students to campus resources, meets needs

Screengrab+of+the+Student+Resource+Finder+main+page+on+the+SBCC+website.+With+the+new+resource+finder+function+students+are+able+to+find+specific+information+on+resources+they+qualify+for+all+in+one+spot%2C+if+a+student+has+any+questions+there+is+also+a+live+chat+feature.

Dylan Harrison

Screengrab of the Student Resource Finder main page on the SBCC website. With the new resource finder function students are able to find specific information on resources they qualify for all in one spot, if a student has any questions there is also a live chat feature.

Dylan Harrison, Staff Writer

City College students now have a centralized resource where they can get their questions answered and find information about the services and support programs offered on campus.

The Student Resource Finder is a new tool launched by City College’s Guided Pathways which allows students to navigate through different topics areas of potential needs or interest to find answers to their questions in an organized web page.

Faculty Coordinator Margaret Prothero said she hopes the site is able to help connect students to the news and events through the college while finding out where the college’s needs are.

“We don’t want students to feel that they have to figure all this stuff out on their own,” Prothero said.

The team responsible for creating the Student Resource Finder said they knew a change was necessary, because a lot of times students weren’t able to receive the specific help they needed.

Prothero said the process was mostly based on “luck.” 

The tool has been in the works for over a year and a half and was officially published on Feb. 5th, with more than twenty faculty members involved in the process.

“We have so many people here on campus who really want to help students meet their needs,” Prothero said.

Students are able to click on one of the nine categories, depending on what they are trying to find, and explore the different topics that align with that individual section.

Topic areas include: basic needs, campus life, educational supports, financial resources, maps/parking/transportation, physical fitness, safety, technology and health/wellness.

For example, if someone wanted to get the latest news on financial aid they would just click on the financial resources section, and then click the third unmarked box that reads “financial aid.”

Students can then explore four different articles and links about the financial aid provided by City College.

Another feature is a live chat option where students can chat with a member of the faculty and can leave a message for them after hours.

The needs of City College students were the main factor that contributed to the formulation and the layout of the tool, but the team found inspiration from similar sites at other colleges.

After many hours of brainstorming, Student Program Advisor Kiko Almanza found a section of the student services website at Sierra College where students could click boxes to narrow-down exactly what they are looking for. It paved the way for the City College model.

There is a Google Form students can complete if one of their needs is missing from all the options in the tool.

“We would really love to hear your thoughts and suggestions because we want to make this tool be as absolutely useful and effective as possible,” Prothero said. 

The site is a “work in progress” with suggestions coming from a variety of different programs, Prothero said. With the information compiled in one centralized site, it should help City College students find the answers they’re looking for to succeed.