The Call-A-Ram Program at Colorado State University has an adequate training program for the fundraising call center requirements and needs, and some areas of concern were offered, outlining the issue of isolation from administration that call center employees experience, removing them from opportunities to expand their skills and learn from those with more complex experience and knowledge. This concern also included the fact that the isolation also kept administration from access to talented fundraisers who may be eager to move up. Suggested solutions involved integration area focus that included a survey of program administrators, a planning group, and employment opportunities. All of which are to identify how to best utilize the student employee and alleviate extraneous work for administrators.
On the surface this appears to be a feasible proposition. It also does not account for the concerns of administration regarding the implementation of such a plan. One area of concern for administration is the transient nature of the student employee body. With the knowledge that students are not long-term employees, the investment of time and resources to properly train them to handle administrative-level workloads would become cumbersome as new personnel would have to continuously be trained to replace the students who graduate or move away. Although there would be benefit to the student to learn these expanded skillsets, in the overall bigger picture, it would be a poor use of resources and energy. Students who wish to run call-centers as a long-term goal of employment can do so through traditional employment means by companies that focus on this type of business endeavor full-time. Additionally, the majority of students did not seek out their college degrees necessarily to manage call-centers. This is a job that can be achieved without any higher education required.
The training of the students for the Call-A-Ram Program at Colorado State University offered adequate training manuals with all of the essential information required to perform the tasks of the job (Call-A-Ram Training Manual 21). The procedures for oversight by management adequately address the concern for ensuring quality and appropriate technique and skills are implemented by the student callers (21). The rewards system in place appears to properly inspire and motivate callers to excel in their work, offering them a positive influence in their choices and simultaneously promoting the increase in obtainable returns (9).
An option that might meet the suggestions offered earlier might be to offer an internship or apprenticeship program that specifically addresses leadership training models for such an environment. This would be much more beneficial than merely expanding the requirements of call center staff. The title changes the entire purpose of the experience and exposure to much broader skillsets than a call center caller vs. call center administrator. With such a program, students who were looking to go into business management (as part of their degree program) could utilize this as an extraneous credit on their degree program, could be offered as part of their graduation requirements, and would also offer them applicable experience prior to graduation. It is one thing to graduate with a degree in business management, and it is entirely another thing to have actual experience managing a business. To graduate with both skillsets on the resume would further the gainful employment efforts of alumni who were able to participate in such a program. Students would have real-world management experience to match their educational training, which renders them viable prospects in heated job search scenarios where the competition may be tight. This idea would enhance Colorado State University’s program offerings and reinforce their degree program much more effectively as well.
“Call-A-Ram Training Manual.” 20 Feb. 2014. SupportingAdvancement.com.