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SEVP Response Center Inconsistencies

Background

Stakeholders identified that more consistent information from the SEVP Response Center (SRC) as an area for program improvement.  

They noted that information provided by SRC and its customer service representatives (CSRs) was not always consistent within SRC or SEVP.

Government Response

To provide stakeholders with consistent information and ensure that program representatives continue to speak with one voice, the SRC amended its internal processes to improve the quality of information it shares. 

CSRs began to receive ongoing training from SEVP’s School Certification Unit (SCU) adjudicators to increase their knowledge of the school certification process. SRC and SCU also established an open door policy that allows them to share knowledge with one another and increase learning opportunities for both CSRs and adjudicators. 

To ensure that CSRs properly respond to case-specific stakeholder inquiries, SRC provides ongoing training that includes scenarios and examples. They also use monthly metrics to understand the areas where the most questions are coming in and develop the scenarios. These scenarios help CSRs ask the right questions to better understand and respond to stakeholder inquiries. 

A representative from the U.S. Department of State also sits on-site with SRC twice a week to assist with any stakeholder inquiries related to J visa functionality in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. If CSRs receive any pressing inquiries that should be directed to State, they can forward them to government representatives on the remaining weekdays to ensure questions for SEVP’s government partners are directed to the appropriate parties.

Finally, SRC provides CSRs with insight into the day-to-day operations of SEVP field representatives and designated school officials through its ride along program. SEVP established the program in regions where both SEVP field representatives and CSRs are located. It involves CSRs observing a school visit and learning about the ins and outs of a field representative’s daily responsibilities. Due to the success of the program, CSRs will continue to attend school visits with SEVP field representatives to promote knowledge sharing and transparency between the two SEVP units.