Summary: Letter announcing that 21 lessons in the new computer-based training course SFA COACH are available to download from www.ifap.ed.gov/sfacoach
In our customer service listening sessions with school financial aid managers and Department of Education staff around the country, we often heard about the difficulties that student financial aid personnel face as they try to comprehend and keep up with the vast amount of technical knowledge required for proper administration of federal financial aid programs. This is a special challenge for employees new to the field and for schools that have limited time and funds to send staff out to training workshops.
Now, help is on the way to your desk from our new SFA University. SFA COACH is a computer-based introductory training course covering all major SFA topics. Its organized around the functions carried out in school student aid offices and the people who perform them. It is designed to give new staff a solid understanding of Whats going on here? in the field of SFA management, and equip them to build their knowledge using more detailed reference sources.
The Course Preview with 21 of the 36 lessons in the COACH curriculum can now be downloaded from www.ifap.ed.gov to any computer that meets the specifications for using other ED electronic services and has available 100 MB of hard disk space (the entire course will require around 140 MB.) Since SFA COACH is EDs first use of Web-based training for the SFA community, were also enclosing a CD-ROM containing these 21 lessons. After its been confirmed that all is going well with the Web delivery, the entire course will be made available for downloading by the end of December.
We are excited about this method of Title IV training for SFA personnel in schools and other organizations because updating of technical information can be more timely, the courseware can be delivered to an unlimited number of learners at once, and it can help our SFA partners to make the most of their staff training funds. This first version of the course is based on information for the 1999-2000 award year. As you are beginning to use this edition, ED will already be working on updates for the lessons that are affected by award-year or regulation changes for 2000-2001. Future updates will take place once or twice a year, and well continue to expand and enhance the course and add others as customer needs and the technology develop. We look forward to getting your ideas. For the present, please send any comments by email to email@example.com. If you should have any technical problems, EDs Customer Support staff at 1-800-433-7327 or firstname.lastname@example.org will try to help.
All of the SFA COACH lessons have been field-tested by experienced and neophyte student aid administrators at various types and sizes of schools. Their suggestions have resulted in many improvements to the lessons, and their enthusiasm for the product has been very encouraging to course designers working on a tight schedule. We hope youll agree that SFA COACH is a good example of the kind of service you can expect as our new performance-based organization tries to more effectively work with you.
Chief Operating Officer