Does it take a village to process an application?
Indeed, several staff members in an admissions office need to devote their time to managing the various details behind application processing, reflects Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (BCOM) Director of Admissions Courtney Lewis.
“Having to process transcripts, wait for official documents to come in, then manage all of the different moving items and try to make sure that they’re coming from viable sources — and also hand-calculate GPAs — it took up a good chunk of our admissions advisors’ and assistant directors’ available time,” she recalls.
Yet since the 2015-16 admissions cycle, Lewis has experienced the transformative benefits of WebAdMIT™, the administrative portal within Liaison’s Centralized Application Service (CAS™). She describes the difference as “night and day.”
“Having Liaison process the master application, conduct coursework verification and keep track of recommendation letters and other documents prior to us receiving the application, it decreases the manpower hours we need,” she says of her experience with AACOMAS™, the CAS for osteopathic medical schools.
Today, more than 31,000 academic programs on over 1,000 campuses use a cloud-based CAS. Liaison has partnered with more than 30 professional associations (including the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine) to offer over 40 discipline-specific iterations of the CAS, enabling the associations to better support their members by promoting best practices and the adoption of transformative technology.
In particular, the WebAdMIT, the administrative backend of each CAS, enables schools to communicate with applicants more seamlessly, work with evaluators more efficiently and analyze and report on applicant data more effectively, all with the goal of building the strongest possible incoming class.
Although specific figures are unavailable, Lewis believes AACOMAS has “most definitely” freed up budgetary resources at New Mexico-based BCOM.
“If we didn’t have Liaison acting as an extension of our staff, we would need hundreds of staff members to do all this for the 5,400 applications that we receive in a cycle,” she says. “With the CAS, we’re cost effective, time efficient and organized.”
Lewis also lauds BCOM’s newfound capability of communicating with applicants in a timelier fashion.
“If we didn’t have a centralized application where Liaison was doing all of the background work, it would be impossible in the timeframe given to collect all the information, condense it and then decide who to invite to an interview in any type of timely manner,” she says. “We’re able to process applications and invite prospective students for interviews a lot sooner since we know there’s a standardization of the application. We need this level of consistency and professionalism in order to be competitive with MD (Doctor of Medicine) schools that use a centralized application as well.”
She adds, “We appreciate all of the work that Liaison does for us in processing these applications and getting them out. Because they take on the manual administrative tasks, we can do our jobs a lot more efficiently.”