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Accomplishments

In the first phase of our implementation strategy, efforts were focused primarily on working with the divisions to conduct extensive requirements gathering, identifying and standardizing over 50 business processes across different administrative functions, and creating positions to oversee functions from a university-wide view.

Here follows a summary of key achievements during our first phase of implementation:

Career Services: adoption of common platform, shift in focus to Integrative Learning and Life Design

The team worked with colleagues across all nine schools and our colleagues on the University Information Systems (UIS) team to select and launch Handshake, a platform connecting prospective employers with Hopkins talent, across all nine schools. In tandem with Handshake, we also launched an employer engagement platform, to help career services staff across the university enterprise cultivate and maintain relationships with prospective and current employers. Jean-Amiel Jourdan, director of Global Careers at the Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a key player on the career services working group, had this to say about his experience using the employer engagement platform:

As part of implementation efforts to improve the student experience, JHU hired Vice Provost Farouk Dey, whose vision extends beyond advocating for career services at JHU. Provost Dey is leading efforts to transform Hopkins into an environment wherein students of all levels across the divisions can more closely connect higher education with their life aspirations. Learn more about these efforts at Integrative Learning and Life Design.

Recruitment and Admissions: adoption of common platform for graduate admissions; shift to shared governance across all schools’ vice deans

Recruitment and admissions was identified as another area of early prioritization during the assessment phase. During the first phase of implementation, the SSEI stood up a graduate admissions working group comprised of staff across the nine different schools at JHU, to gather detailed requirements and extensively vet vendors. Their work resulted in the selection of Slate as the common graduate admissions system across the university enterprise. The primary goal of selecting this common platform is to ensure a more consistent user-friendly experience for students, as well as the faculty and staff on the administrative side of the graduate admissions selection process.

(For staff and faculty looking for assistance with the transition to Slate, the SSEI and UIS team has prepared a tutorial and support resources site).

Registration: university-wide Registrar, common calendar, course catalog and other digital resources for students

During the first phase of implementation, work focused on streamlining processes and coordinating policies across the nine different divisions of JHU. Some of these policies include:

  • creating a position for and hiring JHU’s inaugural university-wide Registrar
  • implementing a consolidated academic calendar, reducing the number of calendars from 24 to 2
  • implementing a university-wide digital course catalog
  • integrating homegrown technology (e.g. semester.ly, a tool developed by JHU students) to create a seamless digital course registration process
  • enabling expanded access for students to retrieve key documents and credentialing online

Access to these resources, as well as progress updates on other key projects in the registration workspace, can be found on the University Registrar site.

Financial Aid: increased compliance with federal aid regulations, document management, deploying financial literacy and support tools

Work in the area of Financial Aid has focused on aligning systems and ensuring compliance with federal aid regulations. Tom McDermott was hired as Assistant Vice Provost for Student Financial Services; in this university-wide role, Tom has led efforts to design and implement financial aid foundational shared services and strengthen the university’s compliance related performance. Much of the work in this area focused on streamlining document management (via a platform called OnBase), along with assessment and adoption of other tools to assist with greater compliance performance and student service delivery. Some of these tools include AskJay, a financial aid chatbot, as well as expanded access to financial literacy tools across all divisions.

Student Accounts: Director of Student Accounts, dedicated third-party payer team, digital document management

Efforts in this area centered on streamlining manual paper-based processes, enhancing the use of existing technologies, and redeploying existing resources in a more efficient manner to better serve students. Heather Vetzner, the inaugural university Director of Student Accounts, was hired to oversee this function across all divisions. A dedicated third-party payer team was created to support students who utilize third-party sponsors for all or part of their tuition payments.

As with Financial Aid, all Student Accounts offices now have foundational access to OnBase, converting paper-based processes into a digital format for document management. Heather is continuing to work with colleagues across the divisions to review and refine other student accounts processes, policies and workflows. In addition to building cohesion across the divisions, she is working with the functional leads of Financial Aid and Registration to increase collaboration and coordination across these key student support offices.

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