Why GradCAS does a better job of facilitating communication with students to ensure they apply
Kenneth Andries, Ph.D., is the Interim Director of Graduate Programs — as well as an Associate Dean and Associate Professor — at Kentucky State University, an historically black college/university (HBCU). He assumed his current role as the university was in the midst of unifying its graduate application processes by implementing GradCASTM.
GradCAS, from Liaison, is the full-service, cloud-based Centralized Application Service (CAS™) that allows a student to apply to multiple graduate degree programs on one campus, or to multiple programs across multiple campuses, by submitting a single application for enrollment.
Although Dr. Andries doesn’t yet have the final data to support his theory, he believes GradCAS may already be making a difference in shaping Kentucky State’s applicant pool.
“Due to the size of our institution, one of the biggest issues we face is that we’re not as well known as a lot of the other major institutions,” he said. “Sometimes it’s difficult for people to find us when they’re not necessarily looking for us.
“I don’t have the numbers yet, but it appears to me that we are actually being found by more students, especially international students, as a result of being part of GradCAS. When students go in and search for a program, we will pop up if we offer that program. Before, students essentially had to search specifically for us in order to find us.”
Much smoother and more controlled
“The process we have now is greatly streamlined,” he said. “Before we switched to GradCAS almost all of our graduate applications were going directly to the individual programs and not through the Office of Graduate Studies. So there was a lot of talk about, ‘Who is in? Who’s not in? What’s needed?’ Everybody was doing their own thing. It created issues for the university because the programs were applying admission requirements differently.
“With GradCAS, we now have the ability to make sure that someone who is being passed on to a program for admission has been vetted first to make sure they meet the minimum requirements of the university. We lacked that ability in the past. GradCAS has also taken us from a paper application process, which was very cumbersome, to a streamlined electronic process. And payment of the application fee is much, much easier with GradCAS — especially for international applicants. That’s great.”
Andries also noted that GradCAS does a better job of facilitating communication with students to ensure they apply.
“We’re able to make contact as soon as they start an application to make sure they get their questions answered,” he explained. “We’re able to use the built-in categories within GradCAS — as well as our own university-defined categories — to classify those students. That makes it a lot easier to go through and check the status of applications.”
In addition, Andries touted the benefits of Liaison support teams.
“They’re very helpful,” he said. “I haven’t had a question yet that they weren’t able to answer for me.”