Customer Story: The University of Michigan
Transforming health through innovative education
For 186 years, the University of Michigan Medical School has offered unparalleled learning through high-caliber instruction, programming, and clerkship. Putting students first, the University of Michigan needed an efficient system to collect applications for medical education and graduate school preparation programs.
The University of Michigan Medical School was challenged with collecting hundreds of applications for multiple education programs at once, and needed a solution to move the application process out of the email inbox and improve communication between team members.
With one centralized, online system to collect and review data, the University of Michigan Medical School is able to seamlessly manage their education programs, communicate across teams, and assist students throughout the process.
The University of Michigan Medical School is now able to manage the intake and review process for several programs at once, and with a streamlined process in place, faculty members are able to dedicate more time to further developing program content.
“With SurveyMonkey Apply, we created this automated, streamlined process for providing consultations to students. That made it a lot easier because they could fill out the application, go through a formal review process, and we could better assess their application and respond to their request in a timely manner. It reduced redundancy and increased efficiency in staff time.”
The University of Michigan hosts 19 schools and colleges within their vast 3,207 acre campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The city sits comfortably at #1 on Forbes list of best college towns in the United States.
The University is home to one of the oldest physician learning schools in the country; the University of Michigan Medical School. As the fourth largest school on campus, the Medical School faculty, partnered with a dedicated staff, is committed to creating the future of health care through discovery.
Paving a path for success
The office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies helps to prepare and train students who are interested in pursuing a graduate program or postdoctoral fellowship in the biomedical sciences, with an aim to provide a foundation and a community for trainees to explore the next step of their career.
To ensure student success, the Office offers five major teaching programs to prepare students for the graduate school experience; Postdoctoral Preview, Program in Biomedical Sciences Preview, MEDPREP, PREP, and the Cancer Research Summer Internship.
Jim Musgrave, Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment for the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, plays a key role in managing and assisting with these programs to ensure the application, review and acceptance process runs smoothly for staff and students each year.
“We really strive to create an inclusive, supportive community that provides access to resources that are going to help students succeed,” Jim says. “Whether that’s going on to graduate school or professional school, or going out into the workforce. That’s really what we’re all about.”
Each student support program is designed to help students who are looking to further their medical education, by either offering them additional experience in their field or preparing them for a postdoctoral or graduate degree program.
Ironing out a new process
As the Systems Integration Analyst at the University of Michigan, JD Jordan works alongside Jim to make sure that faculty and staff have technology to help them reach their program goals efficiently. When he started to look for an online solution to save time and manage the application and review process, JD’s main priority was to take the process out of the email inbox.
“The biggest problem I saw on a daily basis was people operating a workflow out of their email. When you have a multi-tiered process that has things coming in, coming out; going backwards and forwards; things being attached and removed, operating in your email is very inefficient and it creates a lot of problems,” JD says.
“There was a need for a tool to take the workflow out of inboxes. SurveyMonkey Apply provided that tool and ensured that our administrators, staff, and faculty were not operating workflow out of their email inbox.”
Keeping the goal of connecting with students at the forefront of their mission, the Office also needed a way to manage the large number of incoming applications quickly and share the process with other staff, without creating additional administrative work.
“The application process involves a lot of different team members, and facilitating this process over email was getting really cumbersome,” Jim says. “With SurveyMonkey Apply, we created this automated, streamlined process for providing consultations to students. That made it a lot easier because they could fill out the application, go through a formal review process, and we could better assess their application and respond to their request in a timely manner. It reduced redundancy and increased efficiency in staff time.”
The Michigan Difference in medicine
Through their preparation programs, the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is committed to furthering the education and learning of students that pass through their halls. These opportunities provide students with experience and resources that assist in reaching their academic and career goals.
“Through this program they’re getting the credentials they need, but they’re also being supported and given a sense of community. This helps them become more confident — to have a dedicated and supportive service,” says Jim. “Students express their gratitude for not only what the program offers but what the people here have to offer as well.”
With a system in place to capture application data online, programs hosted on SurveyMonkey Apply are easily accessible to students and can be monitored, reviewed and managed by various team members to ensure the best possible experience.
“We’ve been able to enhance the user experience for the applicant, and then also streamline the experience for reviewers and coordinators,” JD says.
“Instead of having to keep various emails in folders and storage drives, the workflow and application process is in one central location. SurveyMonkey Apply is that location. It has a very intuitive and user friendly interface that tracks all that data. The automations also help with removing tedious work from the process.”
With a streamlined process in place, JD says staff throughout the office take back time that can be used to work on initiatives that are important to program development. As the University of Michigan Medical School continues supporting the physicians of the future, students can continue their educational development knowing that there are faculty, staff and programming in place to help them succeed beyond limits.
“I’m just one part of a large team that really does have the success of the students at the forefront of everything they do, and again that’s really what we’re all about.”
All titles provided for identification purposes only. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individual only and do not necessarily reflect the position of the University of Michigan
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