By Heather Zimar, AACRAO Managing Editor for C&U and SEM Quarterly
In a Monday afternoon session at the 107th AACRAO Annual Meeting, admissions officials from Texas A&M San Antonio shared how their campus “reimagined the admissions process.”
Anthony C. Perez, Director of Admissions Processing, and Maggie Pena, Coordinator of Admissions Processing, discussed how their university began an employee-engaged approach to provide continuous improvement in the application processing department. The
department, which reports to the university’s registrar, handles applications and communications, first-year application processing, and transfer application processing.
The university focuses on four steps or PDCA:
- Plan: identify an opportunity and plan for change;
- Do: implement the change;
- Check: analyze the results; and
- Act: how did it go?
“We are always analyzing our results to see if our changes are affecting our results,” said Perez.
Other ideas to consider during everyday processes are:How is work aligned with the strategic plan?How are employees engaged?What are our small and big wins?How are we utilizing resources?What drives application completion? (e.g. transcripts, test scores, application fees)What processes are working? How do we use technology/resources? (e.g. manual processing, automated processes)
At Texas A&M San Antonio, these questions inspired the redevelopment of standard operating procedures, new system configurations, process automation, and improved collaborations. The changes resulted in decreased application process time
(from 6-8 weeks to 2-3 days) and a more than 40 percent increase in admitted students from 2020-21. Perez said the university hopes to continue growing its pool of applications and generating new admits.