Student Affairs Team Spirit Award: Admissions Operations (Summer 2020)
August 25, 2020
Quarterly, the Student Affairs Leadership Team nominates groups within the division to be recognized. One team is selected to be recognized with that quarter's "Team Spirit Award."
Our first ever Team Spirit Award went to the Admissions Operation team who did a marvelous job of building consistencies to bring efficiency of processing a huge amount of data, with very few errors, and with a very cohesive team spirit of helping each other succeed! The following nomination was written by Maria Stevens to nominate Kate Sander for the first Employee Spotlight for the month of September. Maria did not know, but we were also unveiling the Team Spirit award at the same time. The Executive Leadership Team was so moved by what she said about her team that they surprised her and the whole Admissions Operation team with the first Student Affairs Team Spirit Award for Summer 2020.
“When the ELT asked if there was anybody in Enrollment Services who I would like to recommend being the first Spotlight recipient, I wanted to nominate the whole Admissions Operation team! Let me just share quickly why. In 2011-2012, our turnaround time averaged about 4 months to get decisions out and about 10-15 days to get transcripts processed. Also, we had really high error rates, probably about 60 a month.
At that point, Friedman hired a consultant to come in and take a deep dive into the operations of the Admissions Operation team for about 6 months – 1 year. The consultant wanted to look at ways to increase efficiency and decrease errors. It came back that the main problem was the systems and she recommended the position that I was hired into.
When I came onboard, I created policies and procedures, and really focused on creating consistencies for the team. Within 6 months of creating consistencies, our numbers got so much better! We were still using the same system, but our numbers went from 60 errors a month to 21 errors a month. And right now, our team averages only 1-5 errors a month which is spectacular! We are processing applications and sending out decisions on average of 1-2 weeks! Additionally, our turn around for processing transcripts was 10-15 days, then it went to 4-5 days, and now they average 2-3 days and sometimes same day!
I am constantly in awe of our team and the work they do! They go above and beyond researching students’ questions and really super sleuthing to get the right information. They then give very professional, thorough answers and really work with the students until they understand! I am also in awe with the collaboration that this team extends to one another. If someone is behind with their flies or with their work, they will jump in and help each other! I wish I could nominate the whole Admissions team; they constantly impress me with the way that they have turned this unit around! The Admissions Operation team is a powerhouse, and they really keep me in check!”
Student Affairs champions holistic learning and success for UW Tacoma students. We remove barriers for students, engage them as partners to create an inclusive campus community and equip them for lives and careers that have meaning and impact.