University of Alberta
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Graduate Studies Management Solution (GSMS)

CURRENT STATUS

GSMS Overview

The Office of the Vice-Provost (Information Technology) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, in conjunction with the units offering graduate programs, have initiated a collaborative process to review, change and automate all business processes concerning the graduate student lifecycles within the University of Alberta. The objectives are to:

  1. Improve processing using a central comprehensive and robust records system that provides clear views of pertinent details to all users (student, admin staff and faculty).
  2. Reduce admission processing time by developing processes and interfaces which make efficient use of the time spent by the applicant, admin staff and faculty adjudicators so that offers to strong candidates can be made expeditiously.
  3. Assist graduate advisors in ensuring graduate students make appropriate progress through their degree requirements and assist graduate students in understanding and meeting their milestones.
  4. Assist in matching students to the most appropriate scholarships and streamline the scholarship adjudication process.
  5. Create a software-based solution that seamlessly manages the graduate student lifecycle within the University of Alberta from Application through to Alumni.
  6. Provide support for monitoring all phases of the graduate student lifecycle to help inform decisions about graduate quality issues.

The GSMS Program

The GSMS Program is a collection of related solutions that will be scheduled and delivered in a cohesive plan of projects. The sequence and interdependence between the projects will be governed at the program level and will be adjusted to current and future business needs/constraints as within the scope of each project.

Proposed Projects

  1. Admissions Process
    From applicant submission to acceptance.
  2. Student Lifecycle
    A mechanism that provides both a historic and forward look on a graduate student’s career. The timeline will have multiple views to visualize data as diverse as Milestones set by Advisors, Supervisors, Departments and Faculties, plus those required by the Institution.
  3. Scholarships & Awards
    This mechanism will maintain knowledge of all Graduate Scholarships and Awards and will be used for matching graduate students with funding sources, managing the application and adjudication processes, enabling payments to recipients, and managing and meeting the financial reporting requirements of the scholarships themselves.
  4. Recruitment
  5. Transition of status into Alumni, including post-graduation professional tracking.

The GSMS Program's active projects:

  1. Graduate Admissions
    Because of its urgency, Graduate Admissions is being targeted first with the objectives of reducing the admission processing time by potentially providing:
    • An online student application system that facilitates the keying-in and/or uploading of application information to accelerate the university's assessment process.
    • An applicant portal to enable the student to monitor their application progression, supply additional information if needed, message the Graduate Program Advisor for clarifications, and ultimately receive and respond to an offer of admission.
    • A process-wide admissions view for the Graduate Program Advisors to enable them to marshal each and every application from submission through to notification.
    • Transparency of the admissions process for the Associate Graduate Chair to provide oversight/foresight into application volumes and bottlenecks.
    • Online, parallel application review to avoid bottlenecks and generate live rankings.
    • A centralized, comprehensive and robust records system that provides clear views of pertinent details to all applicable users (student, admin staff and faculty).
    • Processes and interfaces that make efficient use of the time spent by the applicant, admin staff and faculty adjudicators so that offers to strong candidates can be made expeditiously.

    For further information, please contact gsms@ualberta.ca