Potential graduate students applying to IU next year will be using a new online application form. The form is one of the biggest changes to University Graduate School (UGS) processes this year and is available for IU programs and departments on all campuses.
The new application is workflow-based and was built in-house by IU in conjuction with Student Enrollment Services (SES). UGS and the IUPUI Graduate Office have been working closely with SES to design and implement the new application.
“The feedback so far has been positive,” said UGS Financial Director Kim Bunch. “[The application] is simple to use and it solves a lot of the problems we’d had in the old system.”
Using e-docs for the new on-line graduate application is a pleasure. Speedy, simple, and everything is just a click away. Very user friendly!
— Pat Gallagher, Graduate Director, Cellular & Integrative Physiology, IUPUI
For example, students may now apply to two different graduate degree programs using a single profile. The new application also supports online recommendation letters, she said, and recently a non-degree graduate application was added.
Some of the more heavily-used documents at UGS have also been made into e-docs this year. E-docs are electronic forms that follow a workflow—a kind of flowchart where a document is sent to the required parties for approval at each step. This not only streamlines the process, but also means students no longer have to print out a PDF, which eliminates paper for documents that are ultimately stored electronically anyway.
Forms like the Ph.D. Commencement Participation Application can now be completed online, and are automatically routed from person to person in his or her department. The student can track the progress of the document, but no longer has to track down signatures. Once the document is complete, a notice is sent to the student. Departments also benefit from this process as it eliminates paper processing and reduces human error.
Also converted this year is the Master’s Application and Recommendation for Advanced Degree form. Conversion of The Ph.D. Defense Announcement, Nomination to Candidacy for the Ph.D., and the Nomination of Research Committee for the Ph.D. forms is underway.
A paperless system in development this year, Compass, is a fellowship project spearheaded by Student Enrollment Services (SES). SES developed the original system to automate the awarding of undergraduate scholarships.
This year, SES began working with UGS to enhance the Compass system to incorporate graduate student fellowships. Although some fellowships are processed in a similar manner as scholarships, many require review committees and further application materials from the department and student. UGS and SES are in the preliminary stages making modifications that will allow Compass to accomodate the awarding of fellowship funds.
Ongoing Technical Upgrades at UGS
Graduate Admissions Application*
Ph.D. Commencement Participation Application
Master’s Application and Recommendation for Advanced Degree
Ph.D. Defense Announcement
Nomination to Candidacy for the Ph.D.
Nomination of Research Committee for the Ph.D.
Remonstrance List (Course changes and new course announcements)
Graduate Student Fellowships System (COMPASS)*
Curriculum / Remonstrance System (CARMIn)*
Another system being converted for use with graduate programs is a curriculum e-doc system. The original e-doc lite was developed by UGS Systems and Database Analyst Jennifer Rigsby. The new system, CARMIn, is being developed by SES and is an enhancement of the original system. CARMIn came online in October 2010 and is available to all campuses for both graduate and undergraduate programs.
“The new curriculum system is more user-friendly and dynamic than the original e-doc lite system,” said Rigsby.
“It shortens processing course changes for departments because they no longer have to shuffle paper between each person required to sign off, and it’s also linked to SIS.”
“When the document is initiated by someone, they are asked to select their school, and this determines the department the person can select. Then when they enter the course number the system determines if the course request is a new or change request. Anything currently in SIS is pulled in to populate the form, so you can easily see what already exists and what you need to change.”
In 2009-10, UGS approved new degrees like Ph.D.s in Educational Inquiry, Applied Earth Science, Health Policy and Management, a Ph.D. minor in Cardiovascular Science, an M.S. in Translational Science, and M.A.s such as Art Therapy, Sports Journalism. Additionally, new joint degrees, such as an M.A./M.F.A AAADS/Creative Writing, minors like Human Rights and Statistical Science, and new certificates, such as Management (IUN) and Composition Studies (IUE) were approved.
The IU Graduate Faculty Council (GFC) consists of graduate faculty members from all IU campuses with an interest in graduate education issues. After a hiatus of several years, the council has been reconstituted, and on May 3, 2010, the newly elected members of the council and IU graduate faculty ratified a new constitution and bylaws.
The GFC is both an advisory and legislative board on matters of graduate education. The council provides instruction and guidance on matters of the graduate curriculum, admission standards, degree conferral and general oversight of the academic quality and integrity of graduate programs. The council also advises the University Graduate School dean regarding the standards of graduate work at IU, and the awarding of UGS fellowships.
Council member terms are for two years, with one half of the council elected every other year.
Meetings are held monthly.
Learn more at www.indiana.edu/~gfc.
In 2009-10, the University Graduate School began an overhaul of its main website at graduate.indiana.edu. The first step is to find ways to better communicate with graduate students and about graduate students at IU. This led to the creation of a news blog at iugradschool.blogspot.com that aggregates news from:
- The University Graduate School
- IU News Room
- Graduate Student Life blog created by the Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity
- The Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO)
- IU Libraries
- Big Ten Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC)
- Articles of national relevance collected on nationalgraduatestudentnews.blogspot.com