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Project Overviews

Financial Aid

CHALLENGE: Student inquiries diverted staff focus from processing, docs were late and incomplete, and volume surged at deadlines, leading to delays and frustration.

RESULTS: Faster, more accurate financial aid processing that enabled disbursement of funds in a timely manner.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Tiered staffing model with escalation
  • Proactive volume monitoring / balancing
  • Expanded central call center capabilities
  • Inquiry triage process and system
  • Student communication and education via social media

International Admissions

CHALLENGE: Newly implemented system didn’t deliver anticipated process efficiencies and service upgrades. As a result, the unit had to develop complex, manual processing workarounds which were time consuming and confusing for staff, applicants, and agents; delayed offers; and negatively impacted service, targets and institutional reputation.

RESULTS: Easy, intuitive applicant and agent processes; timely, unified communication; efficient staff processes; staff who understood and embraced processes; engaged applicants receiving exceptional service; and offers to qualified applicants as early as possible.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Real-time applicant alerts and tracking
  • Staff training and change management support
  • Simplified instructions and terminology
  • Smart application soliciting personalized info and docs based on applicant and program
  • Self reported grades and scores
  • Realigned staff responsibility by program vs. country
  • Prioritized evaluation of completed files to speed offers
  • Shared notes location

Degree Completion

CHALLENGE: A dramatic increase in volume and use of new exam modes (driven of COVID) requiring more interaction between central and grad units – coupled with antiquated processes and communication via spreadsheets, email, and Post-It notes – led to an opaque, inefficient process for students (and others) at a critical point in their academic career.

RESULTS: Well-supported students and committee members; appropriate levels of transparency by stakeholder type; best practice staff processes; work completed where most appropriate; and clearly articulated roles and responsibilities; technology supporting the process end-to-end.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Consistent templates, guidelines, and timelines used by all academic units
  • Clearly defined and communicated responsibilities by staff and stakeholder type
  • Central unit realignment to support and actively build community among units
  • Updated and simplified messaging
  • Workflow system to facilitate intake and processing, prompt required action, send relevant communications, and provide real-time tracking

Faculty Hiring

CHALLENGE: Non-FT Faculty Hiring was complex and error prone for hiring departments, confusing for new hires, and highly manual for staff, leading to duplicate activities, delays, errors, and a poor hiring experience.

RESULTS: Flexible processes that support department hiring goals, are efficient for staff, and are easy and engaging for new hires, creating a positive first impression.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Simplified offer letters
  • Urgent-hire fast tracking
  • Auto-populated and workflowed online forms
  • Service level agreements
  • Quickstart systems provisioning for email and LMS access

Student Wayfinding

CHALLENGE: If a student is unaware or unable to easily connect with services, they may not realize their personal and educational goals because of missed opportunities and uninformed decisions.

RESULTS: To ensure students were aware of and able to connect with services, the school undertook a Process Streamlining project. Sponsors crafted end results describing the desired future state to guide the review.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

The team made a substantial number of wide-ranging recommendations that involved process transformation and improvement, training, technology, and organizational and culture change. Recommendations focused on a variety of new and improved Wayfinding approaches, tools, and philosophies for student and staff, including:

  • Continually-evolving knowledge base
  • Interactive voice and texting chatbot
  • Services-searchable smart map
  • On-demand personalized services roadmaps
  • Periodic check up and tuning tool
  • In-line SIS transaction advising
  • Integrated student services app
  • One-stop staff dashboard
  • Onboarding and ongoing staff wayfinding training
  • Cross-departmental wiki
  • Peak-period pop-up student services centers
  • Generalist and specialist student services hub

Registrarial Financials

CHALLENGE: Enrolment growth significantly increased the volume of financial transactions, leading to backlogs and unacceptable student service.

RESULTS: Optimized, standardized, and flexible financial processes that eliminate backlogs and meet student needs and expectations while complying with university policy.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Streamlined front desk operations
  • Consolidated online payment system
  • Enhanced P-Card usage
  • Online workflow system