Manuel Gant, Financial Aid Counselor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, was one of two winners of the DMCI (Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives) Scholarship to attend Summer Institute. Here are his thoughts on the experience!
Attending the Summer Institute was a great experience! The organizers of the Summer Institute really do a fantastic job with how the week is structured. The decision of using a theme, such as bands from the 80s, and dividing all the attendees in small groups gives a good opportunity to get to know the people in your class and also to add some fun to an event where learning is the main goal.
The classroom format with a small group and two faculty members creates an excellent learning experience that almost reminded me of being back in college, in the good sense. The materials cover a lot of useful information and the faculty makes sure to cover the majority of it with detailed explanations and examples. This keeps the class engaged with the explanation. Also, allowing some open discussions and playing some games to go over the materials that we just reviewed was a great way to make sure that we understood the topics.
However, one of the main elements that I appreciated most was the opportunity to network and see how other Financial Aid Administrators work and being able to talk about best practices and procedures. Also, having the contacts to be able to ask questions in the future is always a useful thing and I think it is one of the best values of the Summer Institute, besides learning all the materials that are covered.
I am really glad that I attended RMASFAA’s Summer Institute! I enjoyed learning more about financial aid regulations, procedures and the overall experience offered in the Summer Institute.