Why are we making the change now to Slate?
Our current system has some deficiencies:
- Difficult to maintain and update current software to meet growing issues/needs
- Does not fully support features desired by applicants and staff (e.g., mobile)
- Issues with reliability and performance
- Slate will address these issues and provide other powerful features of a complete applications CRM.
Why was Slate chosen?
Slate is a speedy and reliable cloud-based software that can handle a high volume of applications, as reported by other institutions. After a competitor analysis of other major vendor-based solutions, the Graduate School determined that Slate addressed our needs and constraints better.
How will Slate improve the application experience for users?
One of the best traits of Slate is its speed. Page load times will dramatically decrease, which will improve the user experience for our applicants and programs. We are also excited about Slate's potential to help us improve communications with applicants as well as improve our data collection. (There are many other features we are excited about, but we don't want to promise too much too soon!)
What is the customizability of Slate to fit campus or department-specific needs?
There is potential for quite a bit of customization. Slate will allow us to continue iterating while in use, so we will be adding more customizations over time.
Will programs have the ability to update, change, and/or customize the supplemental applications?
We anticipate that supplemental apps will function much like they do now, where there is an annual opportunity to submit updates to your program’s supplemental application.
Will we be able to see what the application looks like without having to create a "fake" account?
A fake/dummy account will likely still be the best solution for seeing what your application looks like in real time, especially to navigate embedded logic in the various forms. There will also be a KB Document that shows the different sections of the Application, which will be updated on occasion.
Will applicants be able to see the status of their official transcript(s)?
There is the ability to see a checklist in their Status Portal, which will help them see if an official transcript has arrived. They will also be sent emails automatically if they have not yet sent an official application yet.
What will happen to files in Applicant Review? Will we still be able to access them?
We will be using Data Mart to store applications submitted in Applicant Review for the foreseeable future. For current students, their application summaries will still be accessible in the GradPortal.
Will Slate require HR folks to enter information in regarding appointments, payroll data, or fellowships?
No. Slate will not be used for HR reasons.
Our program does not require the GRE, so applicants often express confusion when the current application prompts students to upload their test scores. Will there be a similar test score section in the Slate application? If so, how will it communicate to applicants if a test score is needed or not?
Like Applicant Review, Slate will have a section where applicants can upload their unofficial tests scores. This section will communicate to students that academic test requirements (such as the GRE) are determined by individual programs, and that they should check the program's individual Guide page for specific instructions on which tests are required for admission to their program.
Will current UW-Madison graduate students use the Slate applications to apply to a new program? Or will we still use the Add/Change Program function in the GradPortal?
We’ll continue using GradPortal and Add/Change Program for current UW-Madison graduate students. We acknowledge this is a major pain point, and we will continue looking for solutions.
This group of Graduate School staff and campus partners is tasked with configuring Slate for Graduate School use and completing the project.
- Parmesh Ramanathan, Associate Dean (Project Sponsor)
- Tony Johnson, Information Technology (Project Manager)
- Austen Vizcarra, Applications Developer (Project Owner)
- Katie Bourassa, Associate Director (Change Manager)
- Benjamin Kilness, Admissions Business Analyst
- Eric Lynne, Admissions Business Analyst
- Abbey Thompson, Assistant Dean in the Graduate School
- Jenna Alsteen, Assistant Dean in the Graduate School
- Nick Sigmund, Research and Policy Analyst
- Meghan Chua, Communication Specialist
- Stephanie Scherer-Johnson, Information Technology Manager
- Scott Genz, ERP Team Lead, Information Technology
Slate Advisory Team
This working group of Graduate Program Managers and Coordinators provides guidance and feedback to the Project Team.
- Sharon Kahn, Physics (Chair)
- Dennis Choi, Library and Information Sciences
- James Doing Jr, Music
- Sara Hladilek, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Physics, and Design + Innovation
- Cheryl Loschko, English
- Stephanie Milkey Arroyo, Cellular and Molecular Biology
- Nibedita Pattnaik, Computer Sciences
- Shawn Ramer, French and Italian
- Amy Rivera, Planning and Landscape Architecture