NEGAP Conference 2012: Going Paperless: Our Journey to a Clean Desktop


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Having a paperless application process in the admissions business can be a daunting task. At Harvard School of Public Health, we have had a paperless review process for the past three years and we are in the midst of a paperless application process this year - all with the assistance of outside vendors. This presentation will go over the challenges and lessons learned during the transition.

Presented by Vincent James, Director of Admissions for the Harvard School of Public Health.

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NEGAP Conference 2012: Going Paperless: Our Journey to a Clean Desktop

  1. 1. NEGAP 2012 Annual Conference 16 November 2012Going Paperless: Our Journey to a Clean Desktop Vincent James Director of Admissions
  2. 2. Topics• A little bit about HSPH• The phases of going paperless: • Paper, Paper, Paper! • Switch to online application (entry year 2001) • Switch to SOPHAS (2007) • Switch to trial Reviewer’s portal (2009) • Switch to Banner (2010) • Switch to full Reviewers’ Portal (2010) • Switch to Paperless processing (2012) • Switch to ImageSilo (2012)• Q&A
  3. 3. Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)powerful ideas for a healthier world• What is public health? • It improves the shared conditions and behaviors that affect the health of all of us. (• The mission of HSPH is to advance the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication.• We offer master and doctoral programs and have an enrollment of over 1100 students.• 2013: Centennial celebration
  4. 4. The Numbers: 1988-2012250020001500 apply admit1000 enroll 500 0 198819901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
  5. 5. Paper, Paper, Paper! • Develop application in spring/summer • Mail to prospects in August/September • Buckets of mail would arrive in December • Color-coded folders; labels • Lots of temp assistance (opening mail, data entry) • What else???
  6. 6. Online Application (2001) • ApplyYourself • Selected by Assistant Dean • Len Methany • Paper Apps were still mailed to prospects (a catalyst to get the process started) • About 80% applied online • Buckets of mail for transcripts and LORs • A little pricey ~$26K
  7. 7. SOPHAS (2007) • Liaison International • Robert Ruiz/ Boss and me, “We’re sold!” • Allison Foster • No paper application option • Transcripts and LORs handled by SOPHAS • Hardcopy of applications were shipped to us each week • No buckets of mail!!!! • Concerns about int’l application unfounded • Making the case (join SOPHAS/discontinue app fee) • Dean/senior management team • CFO • Faculty (self-report grades; uniform appearance)
  8. 8. Trial Reviewers’ Portal (2009)• New feature of SOPHAS• Faculty were requesting this for a long time.• We still had folders: • To hold review sheets/decision letters/I-20s/confirmations etc. • To pass to registrar’s office• Started with a couple of departments, but word caught on!
  9. 9. Banner/Full Reviewers Portal (2010)• One h*ll of a installation!• Full reviewers portal to get data entry outside of critical path• Still created folders of applications for: • Registrar • Archiving
  10. 10. Paperless processing (2012)• No colored folders• We used SOPHAS admission portal features and PDFs of applications• We used spreadsheets as trackers • Processed applications • Transcripts • I-20s
  11. 11. ImageSilo (2012)• The Last Step – buy in from the registrar• Why SourceCorp? • School contract • Already used by HR, Payroll, External Relations • Inexpensive (no hardware expense) • Good demos• Implementation? Well…..• …but no going back!!!!
  12. 12. Questions? • Vincent James • • 617.432.1031 – voice • • Hope your journey is a good one! 