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Graduate Admissions Leaner, Greener

The first phase of a four-part project to improve the way NC State faculty and graduate programs evaluate and review applicants to the Graduate School has been rolled out and is getting good reviews for its efficiency and sustainability. The new system, called NextGen Admissions, was implemented in October to standardize and simplify the way applications are reviewed within a specific department, and to give applicants a faster decision.

Directors of graduate programs and graduate service coordinators can more easily gather and pre-screen applications and assign them to appropriate evaluators, without needing to print the application out or put a version of it into an electronic folder where it might be susceptible to security issues.

“While we’ve had electronic applications for the last 10 years, we did not have a good system for electronic review and evaluation by faculty members,” says director of admissions Lindsay Gentile. “Directors would get an application electronically and print it on paper or move it to an on-line folder or a website that they believed to be secure.”

“We needed a better system to ensure security and privacy and still be able to allow customization at the program-level to allow for their specific set of requirements.”

Working with campus focus groups, developers began crafting the new system last summer. It was completed and implemented on Oct. 14 of this year. The new system is designed for both desktops and mobile devices, a feature that makes it popular with tech-savvy professors.

Program directors and graduate service coordinators have attended one of six instructional seminars to learn the new system, with more scheduled throughout the fall.