Naahp (AUDIO) technology in letters


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"Letters the Easy Way (Technically Speaking)"
June 19, 2010 NAAHP meeting

Download the presentation with a recorded audio track! (In Powerpoint 2007, play this presentation in full-screen mode from the beginning). Advance the slides manually to completely listen to the presentation.

Opinions are solely those of the participants, and all information should be considered "draft".

Copyright 2010. Emil Chuck/George Mason University Health Professions Advising. All rights reserved.

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  • With the advent of letter-collection portals supported by central application services, many evaluators and prehealth advisors have had toadjust their letter-collection processes to accommodate electronic transmission and delivery of letters of recommendation.  Major steps to crafting composite letter packets in PDF format include instructing evaluators on appropriate authentication (letterhead and signature) and delivery of letters to advisor offices, incorporation of institutional evaluator comments, and delivery of those documents to advisor/evaluator portals.Using examples from the prehealth advising office at George Mason University, this session will focus on how one single advisor can craft anddeliver roughly 100-150 institutional evaluation letters during the 8-10 summer weeks between June and September.  (His evaluation rubric will beminimally discussed in this presentation and will be the topic of a poster.)Issues that are covered in this presentation include resources that willassist faculty in creating an electronic stationery and signature,converting files from Word to PDF format, and accumulating supplemental reference information using online survey tools.  Furthermore, web-basedsurvey tools are used to distribute and compile preapplicant information and interview feedback from committee members to compile programmaticinformation for interested stakeholders.  Finally, after all the materials are assembled into a unified PDF document, the steps (and missteps) thatstudents need to be informed about to properly allow advisors to upload letters of recommendation will be briefly mentioned.
  • This session is one of eight concurrent sessions being covered at this conference on Letters of Evaluation and Recommendation. I assure you that even though my talk specifically focuses on the use of technology tools to craft your letters, it will delve into many of the issues being covered in most of the other workshops, so don’t think you’re missing that much.
  • So let’s get an idea of what brings you to this particular session. I’d like to get an idea of the work burden you all have when it comes o writing or managing evaluations letters, and also what specific issues you’d like to see covered here.
  • Issues that are covered in this presentation include resources that willassist faculty in creating an electronic stationery and signature,converting files from Word to PDF format, and accumulating supplemental reference information using online survey tools.  Furthermore, web-based survey tools are used to distribute and compile preapplicant information and interview feedback from committee members to compile programmatic information for interested stakeholders.  Finally, after all the materials are assembled into a unified PDF document, the steps (and missteps) that students need to be informed about to properly allow advisors to upload letters of recommendation will be briefly mentioned.
  • If we’re talking about technology issues, I want to let you know of the technology I wind up using the most when it comes to this discussion. Here is the list of things that I have or wish I had when it comes to writing letters effectively. Aside from the obvious hardware needs, I would really say I can see the value of having a two-monitor or multiple-monitor system when it comes to writing letters. At least the late Randy Pausch suggested that if you are able to get a second monitor, it would help increase your productivity. In this case, I can be able to have “the letter” on one screen and my web-based information or survey data on the other screen. However, right now, my computer operates using Windows 2005 XP, and it is incapable of operating two monitors simultaneously for some reason. Thus I use my laptop connected to the wireless computer network to satisfy my needs for the second monitor.
  • For scanning purposes, one really needs to keep in mind of the minimum legibility settings for your scans. Most application services prefer a scanning density of 300 lines per inch or more, but with scanned files of size 2 megabytes or fewer. Most schools will handle PDF’s differently: many will still print the PDF’s as black-and-white documents, while others retain the documents in electronic form. Unfortunately there is no consistent preference for color documents or the resolution of pictures or graphics, but many of us know how important it is to consider these technical details.
  • One message that has become clear is that schools are strongly requiring or preferring all reference letters to be signed and written on letterhead. I will mention that the ultimate fail-safe contingency will involve you scanning letters, so invest in a good scanner and in Adobe Acrobat. In fact, you should always be able to accept official signed letters on stationery and be prepared to put in the time to scan in letters that conform to these requirements. That said, it is not clear whether work-around solutions such as a typed signature using a different font would be considered acceptable.
  • But many faculty are completely unaware that many institutions are extremely sensitive to identity and branding. In an era where many phishing websites exist that appear to emulate official websites, there are offices that specifically protect the appearance of official websites for their institutions. These site articulate the appropriate use of shades of colors or fonts for branding purposes for printed and electronic materials. At GMU, the visual identity policy site contains those specific parameters and has templates for letterhead, powerpoint slides, poster logos, business cards, and website templates. Thus for many faculty members who ask me how they can create their own stationery, I direct them to this site and ask that they create their own customized stationery with their own email, phone, and mailing addresses.
  • Indeed, all stationery must conform to the visual identity standards. But what I wind up doing with this letterhead is embed the logo information as a “header” within a template Word document. I can also change the color of the font and position the address information as a textbox relative to the logos already embedded in the file. But at the very least, one should be aware that when you create your own official stationery template for your evaluation letters that you pay attention to the visual identity policies of your institution.
  • With this in mind, if you have official colors, I’d suggest using the darkest official color for your contact information. Create a template document with the logo information as a Header or Footer, and embed a “confidential” stamp and appropriate watermarks to signal the authenticity of the document. Many institutions have higher-volume demands for crafting letters, so many of them will have a set template document and use “forms” and “mailmerge” to populate certain parts of the letter. I won’t show this to you, but I would urge any of you interested in these steps to seek a course at your institution on the use of mailmerge from Excel or other spreadsheet documents.
  • So you have an idea on how to create your stationery. The other part is making sure you have a “signature”. The easiest solution is to scan in your signature and save it as a high-resolution photograph. Save the file at a convenient location in your computer hierarchy. Now you have a choice on whether you will use black ink on white paper or perhaps a colored ink (like green, red, or purple). At any rate, create one signature for your purposes.
  • If you are able, overlay your signature before you scan with some additional information that may not be easily discoverable. For example, put on your NAAHP member number, stamp your University seal if you gain permission, or place an expiration date. In addition, make sure that you create a unique letter format. If you have a template letter, use a footnote to refer readers to any institutional information you have placed on the history of applicants from your institution or of the process of evaluation your school uses. Another suggestion I have often used is listing the compiled or declared references that the applicant discloses to you. My letters also include the text of the committee member post-interview feedback.
  • I did want to mention the issue of FERPA. As I understand I with my university counsel, the reason why a student should waive FERPA for the purposes of the committee letter is that he/she allows you to mention specific information about the applicant that is germane to an admissions decision. If the applicant does not waive FERPA rights, your committee letter and appended letters should never identify or discuss the applicant’s personal information, grades or educational records, institutional or application identification numbers. I also know that FERPA waivers also prevent me from including a student photograph, but I know inclusion of a photograph to a committee letter can be a point of major contention. In essence, a non-FERPA-waived reference letter simply verifies that the student existed on your campus but nothing else.
  • If there are no other questions, I will do another informal poll when it comes to how you or your office collect solicited letters. What are some of the common problems you have when it comes to solicited references?
  • A statement needs to be issued to all solicited references on what constitutes an acceptable letter of recommendation. Do you require supplemental documentation for FERPA waivers and supplemental Likert-scale evaluations? What authenticity information do you require for your letters? What policies do you have for content for letters so they aren’t the superficial, uninformative type? Do you have a policy of excluding letters for content reasons and for authenticity reasons? Do you articulate consequences of non-compliance (signatures and letterhead)?
  • One of the more important elements of writing letters of recommendation is the ability to provide the “personal journey” and competency information to the committee members that will also be the basis for a committee evaluation. At most institutions, there is a “pre-application” for advisees who consider themselves to be in the last 6 months before submitting a “real” application. The pre-application at George Mason is a required step for a bonafide committee letter since the information is the basis for committee interviews. Preliminary solicited references are also declared with a deadline of letter receipt of May 1 “for competitive applicants.”
  • The pre-application that has been implemented is a web-based survey using SurveyMonkey and comprises up to 90 separate questions. This is a screen shot of the first page of the pre-application. It is not modeled after any specific central application, and all reapplicants must complete a pre-application to update their application profile to the committee for an updated letter.
  • The content of the pre-application serves a larger purpose than just preparing the interviewers for the applicant’s interview. It also serves as a self-assessment and an external assessment of the usage of prehealth resources. The advantage of an electronic preapplication that appeals to me is the ability to control who gets access to the survey. Rather than spending time and money copying a large number of preapplications, SurveyMonkey allows individualized email links that can track individuals’ access to the survey. It can enforce a time deadline, and it can be used to supply critical information upon completion of the survey. In this case, I list the veCollect authorization code at the end so that advisees can activate their veCollect accounts. You can get a sense of an applicant’s attention to detail, since more than once has a student “forgotten” the code and requested me to activate their account. Thus the preapplication also serves as a behavioral test of project management skills that will predict how detail-oriented and prepared the applicant is for the arduous application process ahead.
  • [THIS SLIDE IS NOT IN THE SLIDESHARE PRESENTATION!] I can get a quick idea of the demographics of my applicant pool with respect to gender and self-reported ethnicity. Additional self-reported information can also be assembled: 42 (24.6%) consider themselves financially disadvantaged, 41 (24%) identify themselves as a minority underrepresented in the health care workforce, 22 (13%) claim they have lived in an urban underserved setting, and 14 (8.2%) claim they lived in a rural underserved setting.
  • So here’s an example of programmatic assessment. The survey asked all preapplicants to provide a measure of usefulness of certain sections of the GMU Prehealth website. The trends that are observed here is that most students do not ever read information regarding affinity communities, while most will pay attention to nuts-and-bolts pages of applying to programs.
  • I will include a self-assessment for the pre-applicants to get a sense of where they believe they are best prepared for their next step. You may already have seen these data on my poster, especially data looking at the 360-degree evaluation comparisons with external solicited and committee evaluators. It also allows me to focus more critically at those areas when it comes to writing my evaluations. This year, I have been including both the self-evaluation and the committee evaluation of these metrics to provide insight to one’s ability to self-evaluate accurately.
  • In addition to getting information from the pre-applicants, one needs to get evaluator feedback. While I take solicited evaluation letters from a variety of sources, I strongly encourage evaluators to complete the online supplemental evaluation through a SurveyMonkey email link that is attached to a confirmation email in veCollect. When the students declare their references and send a notification to their references, this link is included in the instructions. There is an alternative Word document version that I have always used, and many solicited evaluators fill out that form and return it to me either through paper or email.In contrast, the committee evaluators solely communicate with me electronically. After some training and now an iTunesU podcast, I assign pre-applicants to two interviewers and a deadline of April 1. The committee members have their own SurveyMonkey survey to complete after they interview each pre-applicant.
  • The solicited evaluator feedback form is pretty standard and requires filling in both referee and applicant information. Admittedly my more-popular academic evaluators get a little tired filling out all the referree information, so I often tell them the only fields required are their own name, email, and work phone.
  • In contrast, the committee evaluation form is much shorter. Identity is populated by a drop-down menu, and the information about the preapplicant is populated in a smaller number of boxes. I also ask other supplemental questions that point to procedural processes that I am considering or improving. In this screen-shot, I ask how the committee interviewer verifies the identity of the interviewee. I’m still freaked out by “Good Will Hunting” where Matt Damon’s character sends his “best friend” as a surrogate for his interview. I will note that my committee consists now of about 15 people, and only one has a background in science. Most of the committee members work in student services or student life units, including units that look closely at diversity, international, and generational issues.
  • The data I get so far shows what I think is a significant problem that most evaluators at the health professional schools have and what I think most of us consider “not news.” In general solicited evaluators are “doing their job” in describing the applicants as “highly qualified” or as I call it “superheroes.” However, committee evaluations reveal more discernment of skill levels. In short, you see more colors and shades in this panel on the right compared to the panel on the left. To this end, I think those of us who use committee interviews should argue more strongly for committee letter evaluations having greater value. When structured and trained appropriately, committee evaluations provide more accurate descriptions of a candidate’s holistic characterisics, abilities, and motivations than solicited letters. If anything, more health professional programs should be given data like these to argue the acceptance of committee letters in their holistic evaluations rather than completely disregarding or actively discouraging applicants from using committee letters.
  • I also have other ulterior motives. The evaluation process we use relies on a philosophy of interprofessional career development. All individuals in a health care workforce demonstrate a variety of expertise in similar competencies. The ability to use online web surveys allows me to also study differences in competencies among applicant sub-pools. Here I compare the committee evaluations for individuals applying to osteopathic medicine compared to my predental pool. These data inform me better on looking at program development in competency areas for specific groups of applicants, such as the competencies here for interpersonal interactions and communications skills.
  • Each interviewer’s free-response comments are included in each committee letter. While I obviously cannot give you an example of specific comments from an interviewer, I can give you a bulk analysis of what impressions my preapplicants make to the interviewers. This word-cloud notes the most-often used words in the comments of my interviewers out of 2195 words in 164 comments.
  • Finally, I did want to cover a little bit about compiling and delivering letters of recommendation. I disclose the fact I was Kay Singer’s premed advisee back in the day, so I know I probably reflect the “generation X/Y” perspective of using technology packages, even when I often make my own work-arounds. I will say that for my purposes, keeping everything as paperless as possible means you need to be able to deliver letters effectively. I cannot say all problems are magically carried away, but it really does depend on the philosophy of your institution and unit. My office is committed to making sure the economic burdens on the student are minimally impacted, so my office completely assumes all costs related to both veCollect and veClient to avoid passing any operational or accounting costs to the advisees or applicants.
  • In my own view, veCollect works great for specific application services which allow for committee letter uploads or delivery. But you probably have many advisees who deliberately try to avoid the committee process because they initially intend to apply to one of the non-committee letter application services, but then sneak around and declare they were interested in AMCAS. At Mason we will offer committee evaluations to all applicants who intend to use a central application service, and we often have talks recorded on iTunes that inform applicants with advice to using as many of these services as possible. These talks are free on iTunes and can be searched for.
  • I don’t know how many of you are looking for a PDF printer program. The easiest solution is to go ahead and purchase Adobe Acrobat Professional. But there are many additional free tools available to convert files to PDF’s. One of the biggest problems I see if getting a letter of recommendation that is scanned in and sent to me as a photo file like a JPEG. This particular program is on my laptop which helps me convert any Microsoft document to a PDF. Adobe Acrobat Professional can also help edit PDF documents by adding watermarks, electronic signatures, and so on.
  • However, with the advent of smartphones and soon iPads with cameras, you can create PDF’s by just taking a photograph of a document. I don’t have this program, but I can see how you can advise your professors who do have such fancy equipment to be able to write a letter, print it on letterhead, sign it, take a picture, and then convert to PDF to mail you from their phone. for video
  • There are some things that I know I can do in Adobe PDF files, but apparently is NOT what health professional school admissions committees want. PDF document manipulation is common in the legal world, so this website “PDF for Lawyers” goes into some information about what you can and cannot do, especially for legal documents. But for admissions processes, apparently the things we can do that admissions committees are not accustomed to include attaching a file within a PDF document. This includes embedding say your institutional information or your evaluation rubric or solicited letters as actual attachments to the PDF document. The other sticky point is digital signatures; banking and legal institutions allow for digital signatures for authenticity, but apparently medical school admissions in general don’t really like this. For all intents and purposes, it appears that receiving schools cannot read those signatures, so other proxies (as described earlier) need to be implemented, even if they may not hold as much legal weight.
  • One last thing: if you consistently have files that exceed the upload limit, the latest Adobe Acrobat Professional program includes a PDF optimizer to reduce the size of your file a little bit. With all the extra things I put into my committee letter packets for authenticity, it often helps to optimize the packet first before sending it out.
  • So I hope these areas cover the bulk majority of issues that you wanted addressed, and if there is time, I would be happy to field additional questions.
  • Naahp (AUDIO) technology in letters

    1. 1. LORs: Use of Technology session<br />Networking questions while we wait (5 minutes)<br /><ul><li>How many evaluation letters do you compose?
    2. 2. How many evaluation letters (others writing letters) do you manage?
    3. 3. By attending this session, what are the specific issues you would like to see covered?</li></li></ul><li>Use of Technology in Letter Writing and Transmission<br />Emil T. Chuck, Ph.D.<br />Health Professions Advisor<br />Term Assistant Professor of Biology<br />NAAHP 2010 meeting<br />Friday, June 18 (10:30 am-11:30 am)<br />Session will be recorded.<br />
    4. 4.<br />This presentation is available on Slideshare at the address below:<br />
    5. 5. Letters of Recommendation<br />Letter basics for new advisors<br />Single advisor letter-writers/institution*<br />High-Volume Committee Letter Management*<br />Use of Technology<br />Online Application Services and Delivery I*<br />Online Application Services and Delivery II*<br />Experienced Advisors Letter-Writing Workshop*<br />Holistic Letters of Evaluation*<br />* Partly addressed here<br />
    6. 6. LORs: Use of Technology session<br />Networking questions while we wait (5 minutes)<br /><ul><li>How many evaluation letters do you compose?
    7. 7. How many evaluation letters (others writing letters) do you manage?
    8. 8. By attending this session, what are the specific issues you would like to see covered?</li></li></ul><li>Technology issues<br />Visual identity and authenticity<br />Electronic stationery<br />“Signatures”<br />Handling electronic sources and data<br />Student/Advisee Pre-applications<br />Solicited evaluators and committee evaluators<br />Document formatting and creation<br />Creating PDF documents<br />“PDF optimizer”<br />
    9. 9. Hardware I use/need<br />Functioning computer with (wireless) internet.<br /><ul><li>Backup drive.
    10. 10. Good inkjet scanner/printer.
    11. 11. Have a backup scanner just in case.
    12. 12. Filing cabinet.</li></ul>If you can get it, TWO monitors (Randy Pausch).<br /><ul><li>I use my laptop with my work computer.</li></li></ul><li>This is my desk (when I first got it).<br />
    13. 13. Technical standards for letters<br />Legible: 300 dpi or finer<br />Size: less than 2 MB, depends on app services<br />Colors<br /><ul><li>Some schools print to black/white.
    14. 14. Some schools review “in silico”.</li></ul>Picture or graphics resolution<br />
    15. 15. Visual identity: creating letterhead<br />Superseding rule (when everything fails)<br />Invest in a very good scanner (or two) and Adobe Acrobat.<br />Resolution: 300 dpi or greater.<br />(Note: WordPerfect has automatic PDF generator.)<br />
    16. 16. Visual identity: creating letterhead<br /><ul><li>Does your school have a visual identity policy?
    17. 17.
    18. 18. Templates and policies for
    19. 19. Letterhead (customizable)
    20. 20. Powerpoints
    21. 21. Logos for posters
    22. 22. Business cards
    23. 23. Websites</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: creating letterhead<br /><ul><li>Logos and seals (permissions?)
    24. 24. Font used (size, name, relative arrangement)
    25. 25. Textboxes
    26. 26. Official colors and combinations
    27. 27. What you can/not modify
    28. 28. Resolution of graphic logos</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: authenticity<br /><ul><li>Use (dark) official colors for your contact info.
    29. 29. Create a template document
    30. 30. Copy/paste logo and address into “Header/Footer”
    31. 31. “CONFIDENTIAL” stamp (if FERPA-compliant).
    32. 32. Updatable timestamps (date of letter)
    33. 33. Watermark logos in H/F mode.
    34. 34. More advanced (or higher volume)
    35. 35. Create “forms” to switch pronouns, degrees, etc.
    36. 36. Mailmerge (much more time)</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: signatures<br />Create a graphic “photo” of your signature.<br /><ul><li>Sign your name on clean white paper.
    37. 37. Black ink?
    38. 38. Colored inks?
    39. 39. Scan as JPEG. Crop to desired size. Save where convenient.
    40. 40. Resolution 300 dpi or better.
    41. 41. Other programs exist if you have a tablet.</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: signatures<br />Develop a unique signature for letters (graphic file JPEG).<br /><ul><li>Include your NAAHP or other association ID#.
    42. 42. Use a seal or stamp.
    43. 43. Put in an “expiration date” (milk carton).
    44. 44. Change every year or couple of years.</li></ul>Develop a unique letter format.<br /><ul><li>Footnote your website for “institutional information”.
    45. 45. List all known compiled letters/sources.
    46. 46. Include committee feedback.</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: FERPA confidential<br />If applicant waives FERPA, then …<br /><ul><li>Mention student applicant information
    47. 47. Grades, GPA, major, graduation
    48. 48. Institutional identification number
    49. 49. Applicant identification number (not SSN)
    50. 50. Add student photograph? (Discuss.)
    51. 51. Helps committee interviewers verify identity.</li></ul>If not, you should NOT disclose the above info!<br />
    52. 52. How do references submit letters?<br />Informal poll:<br /><ul><li>Electronically through veCollect to you
    53. 53. Electronically as email attachment to you
    54. 54. Electronically through application service portals
    55. 55. Electronically through Interfolio (not to you)
    56. 56. Electronically through school’s portals
    57. 57. As a text email
    58. 58. By campus mail/postal mail</li></ul>Do you require “institutional” or business email addresses?<br />
    59. 59. Reference: signatures<br />Create a “policy document” for acceptable references.<br /><ul><li>Faculty referee’s should include their institutional ID#.
    60. 60. Require external references to include all contact info.
    61. 61. Be prepared for MORE secure documents (PDF digital signatures).
    62. 62. Require a supplemental evaluation.
    63. 63. State a deadline.</li></ul>Require a hard-copy when electronic letter is not compliant.<br /><ul><li>Committee letter should state “signatures are on file.”</li></ul>Distribute these “policies” (still working on this).<br /><ul><li>Need statement from admissions committees of consequences of NOT conforming to letterhead/signature expectations.</li></li></ul><li>Incorporating Pre-applicant Information<br />
    64. 64. Pre-applicant information<br /><ul><li>Application for committee (pre-application)
    65. 65. Solicited references
    66. 66. Committee interview feedback
    67. 67. Two separate 30-60 min interviews
    68. 68. Criteria based on evaluation rubric</li></li></ul><li>Pre-application (EY 2011)<br />
    69. 69. Pre-application survey<br /><ul><li>Applicant background and family history
    70. 70. Motivation for the profession
    71. 71. Self-evaluation
    72. 72. Pre-health program assessment
    73. 73. Information for committee interviewers
    74. 74. Email survey (SurveyMonkey) to applicants
    75. 75. Can monitor when applicants fill out/complete survey
    76. 76. Can enforce a cutoff deadline time.
    77. 77. Can supply a veCollect authorization code at end.</li></li></ul><li>Demographics (EY2011)<br />Female 100 (58.1%), Male 72 (41.9%)<br />
    78. 78. Pre-application: website assessment<br />
    79. 79. Preapp: Rubric self-assessment<br />EY2011 Applicants (n=147)<br />Most confident:personal, emotional resilience and intelligence<br />Least confident: academic foundation; mentoring/advising relationships.<br />
    80. 80. Collecting evaluator feedback<br />Solicited evaluators<br /><ul><li>Students declare in veCollect accounts.
    81. 81. Students send veCollect link to references.
    82. 82. Dr. Chuck sends supplemental evaluation (SurveyMonkey) email link to references.
    83. 83. Sign with “phone number” and typing in complete name.</li></ul>Committee evaluators<br /><ul><li>Training meetings.
    84. 84. iTunesU podcast
    85. 85. Dr. Chuck assigns evaluators to students.
    86. 86. Dr. Chuck sends feedback form (SurveyMonkey) weblink to interviewers.
    87. 87. All interviews are completed by April 1.</li></li></ul><li>Collecting evaluator feedback<br />
    88. 88. Collecting committee feedback<br />
    89. 89. Argument for (my) committee letters<br />Solicited evaluators (145)<br />Committee evaluators (160)<br />(My) Committee evals are more discerning about applicant’s competencies.<br />
    90. 90. Ability to compare applicant pools<br />Committee evals: 18 DO<br />Committee evals: 45 dent<br />Competency differences by degree pursued (example)<br />
    91. 91. Interviewer comments<br />Describe your impressions about the applicant's preparation, noting the candidate's strengths and weaknesses based on the interview and pre-application. (Your comments will likely be quoted in the applicant's committee letter and will play a role in the final evaluation.)<br />Tag crowd word-cloud of 164 comments.<br />
    92. 92. veCollect and veClient (my views)<br />
    93. 93. CAS Letter Clients<br />Accepts PDF (comm letters)<br /><ul><li>AMCAS (2MB)
    94. 94. AADSAS (2MB)
    95. 95. [AACOMAS, through veCollect]
    96. 96. [AACPMAS, some through veCollect]</li></ul>Text-only or must mail<br /><ul><li>CASPA
    97. 97. CSDCAS
    98. 98. ETS PPI
    99. 99. PharmCAS
    100. 100. PTCAS
    101. 101. OptomCAS
    102. 102. OTCAS
    103. 103. SOPHAS
    104. 104. VMCAS</li></li></ul><li>Creating PDF documents<br />
    105. 105. Free PDF printer program<br />Creating PDF documents from Microsoft programs for free. Print “JPEG” photos as PDF’s.<br />Use Adobe Acrobat to create PDF documents and append/conjoin PDF documents.<br />
    106. 106. Creating PDF’s with smartphones<br /> (still developing)<br />Demo:<br /><br />
    107. 107. What you can (but won’t) do<br /><ul><li>“Attach” files within PDF documents.
    108. 108.
    109. 109. Provide a digital signature for authentication.
    110. 110.
    111. 111. Can receiving schools read digital signatures?(Probably not.)
    112. 112. Read</li></li></ul><li>PDF Optimizer (in Acrobat)<br /><ul><li>No freeware found (yet) that compresses files. Lots of shareware.
    113. 113. Adobe Acrobat (6.0 and higher) has options to optimize PDF file size.</li></li></ul><li>Technology issues<br />Visual identity and authenticity<br />Electronic stationery<br />“Signatures”<br />Handling electronic sources and data<br />Student/Advisee Pre-applications<br />Solicited evaluators and committee evaluators<br />Document formatting and creation<br />Creating PDF documents<br />“PDF optimizer”<br />
    114. 114.<br />This presentation is available on Slideshare at the address below:<br />