Streamlining communication With EngineeringCAS, Poole explained, UMCoE’s admissions committee meetings “could take place regardless of whether a faculty member is sitting in an office above me or they’re sitting halfway around the world.”
From segmentation to unification Under UMCoE’s previous enrollment management vendor, the engineering school maintained separate processes for gathering applicants’ biographical information, letters of recommendation, transcripts and test scores. The admissions office created and then manually updated spreadsheets to track applicants’ progress in the process, while yet another portal was used to communicate with applicants. “Everything was very much segmented and used multiple systems to process each particular student,” Poole recalled. Poole said he heard from other University of Miami programs, which were already using CASs, that “the students seemed to be really happy that they only had to submit one set of transcripts and one set of letters of recommendation, and were able to utilize the documents for multiple applications that they would have, while the programs themselves were even able to communicate directly to students within the same portal.” “CAS had all of those things built into it, as a one-stop shop,” he said. Furthermore, Poole was excited to learn that EngineeringCAS provided “an opportunity to log in just one time, to see data on the dashboard and view a group of students who may not have completed an application and start communicating with them rather than logging into another system and doing it.” ‘We killed lots of trees’ Before EngineeringCAS, Poole said there was “nothing paperless about our process.” “We killed lots of trees,” he said. By making the admissions process completely paperless, UMCoE joined the thousands of programs that save time and money by embracing the wave of the future through CAS.
“Liaison provides an opportunity where people have a voice that will be heard, and change does happen as a result of people being able to express themselves, whether it’s at an advisory board meeting, at a user conference or even just reaching out to the team there,” he said.
“ The thing for all of us working in admissions is to take the technology and make it work for everybody. EngineeringCAS works for students because it simplifies the process in terms of submitting documents. It also simplifies things for us with new resources for document imaging and storage. It shortens the process of helping us get the word out to prospective students faster, so that they have the information they need to choose what’s going to be the best place for their graduate education. ”
“We are building out best practices for ourselves as we learn more about how other schools which have been using CAS have implemented the software and its functionality in reporting, scoring and communication,” he said. “We’re throwing everything out that we did before, using something that already has a template in place and creating systems internally that will work best for not only the College overall but for programs regardless of their level, whether they’re masters or Ph.D. programs.” Breaking down boundaries in higher education Poole believes Liaison is driving a movement in which technology and communication “break down the silos” in higher education and enable institutions to rethink the ways they’ve traditionally done business.
After all, technological platforms like EngineeringCAS don’t appear out of thin air — there are people behind them, Poole said. “It’s not just words and charts and technology,” he said. “Hopefully, people who are exploring the possibility of joining a CAS will see they have partners — regardless of the fact that they may be working at other institutions — who ultimately have the same goal to prepare the best students in their discipline. In CASs, Liaison provides the forum for all students and institutions to use a common platform to reach their goals, and in return, to help make the world a better place.” Learn more about the community for graduate engineering programs at engineeringcas.org.
Engineering: Today & Tomorrow | Summer 2020
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