At its heart, postbaccalaureate education is all about finding the key ingredients for change. Students who already possess an undergraduate degree yet fall short of the requisite coursework to pursue a graduate degree in their preferred field turn to postbac programs as the missing link.
On the admissions side, today’s colleges and universities are also searching for a crucial missing ingredient — the time and resources to alleviate persistent pressures. Institutional budgets are down, including for traditional marketing expenditures. State funding is also on the decline, resulting in rising tuition fees as well as low-income families’ struggles to meet those costs.
How can today’s postbac programs fill their seats — let alone build diverse classes — with a diminishing toolbox at their disposal?
It starts with Liaison’s reimagination of the admissions process through an improved way to recruit, enroll and admit best-fit students quickly and efficiently. The full-service solution is PostBacCAS™, the Liaison-powered Centralized Application Service (CAS™) for postbac programs, which serves as a single portal for prospective students to apply to multiple career changer and grade enhancement programs.
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 to create 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.
With the second cycle of PostBacCAS at its midpoint, participating institutions and applicants are already seeing significant results. This cycle, 87% of applicants have been satisfied or highly satisfied with PostBacCAS, and applications to programs listed in PostBacCAS have increased 35% from the platform’s first cycle to its second. The number of participating institutions in PostBacCAS, meanwhile, has jumped from 22 to 54.
For participating programs, PostBacCAS streamlines application review.
“We estimate that implementing PostBacCAS saved our admin about 90 hours of work,” says Courtney Klipp, health professions advisor at Loyola Marymount University. “In addition to that, one of my favorite features is the ability to automatically do multiple GPA calculations. Now I have my BCPMs [biology, chemistry, physics and math grades], I have cumulative GPAs across multiple schools, GPAs for non-science courses, graduate work, postbac work. It’s just amazing that I can see all of that in one place. It made this application season so much better.”
Like its counterpart CASs, PostBacCAS is also empowering its members to expand and diversify their reach by literally redrawing the admissions map. During its current cycle, PostBacCAS has received applications from all 50 U.S. states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.
“We’ve definitely seen a greater diversity in the kinds of applicants we’re getting,” says Cassidy Chambers, assistant director of admissions at Rocky Vista University. “Even if they’re not looking for Rocky Vista specifically, when prospective students see us on PostBacCAS they can dig in for more information and decide we might be a good fit. PostBacCAS has been very easy to use and has freed up a lot of time. It’s just been a great transition for us overall.”
Meanwhile, amid the often-daunting prospect of adding the transitional postbac program tuition fees to their past undergraduate and future graduate education costs, students have received the lifeline of $10,000 in scholarships through PostBacCAS. In that realm, once again, PostBacCAS is the missing link.