Posts Tagged ‘My GradSpace’
Matt and I are in Minneapolis this week for a conference hosted by Hobsons. Hobsons, to put it bluntly, makes our lives at The Graduate School easier.
We use one of their products to build My GradSpace, the online application and our email communications. And we’re always looking to do more.
This conference is called Connect University. Schools from across the country have come together for this conference — from our friends at North Dakota State University to new friends from Georgia Southern University and many more.
We come together as users of Hobsons’ products. We give each other advice, we congratulate each other on successes, we brainstorm ideas for the future. We meet with our Hobsons’ reps to hear about new products (like a new app for mobile users … w00t!) and think of ways to improve our communications with prospective students, applicants and current students.
Matt and I look forward to all the events this week. I’ll be tweeting from the conference, along with many other attendees, with the hash tag #connectu10. (We love Twitter.)
And, bonus, the conference is in Minneapolis, one of my favorite places to be!
Last week, a contingent from UND attended the Western Association of Graduate Schools Annual Conference. The conference was held in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – certainly a picturesque location and a great venue for focused discussions about issues concerning the current state and the future of graduate education both in the western states and the nation, more broadly.
Our own school was well represented in the presentations. The opening session discussed the organization of online education – the pros and cons of funding models and the need to be aware of expectations on faculty and students. The Graduate School Dean, Joseph Benoit moderated this session which included UND’s Associate Provost Victoria Beard, Dean of the Graduate School at New Mexico State University, Linda Lacey, and Chair of the Social Work Department at UND, Thomasine Heitkamp.
Graduate recruitment specialist Evan Nelson presented in the next session: “Delivering Graduate Programs in Rural Areas: Innovations, Challenges and Solutions”, and discussed our online-and-on-the-ground recruitment strategy for reaching out to rural and distance students. To best demonstrate the online component, Evan cleverly invited all of the conference attendees to sign up for My GradSpace to experience the system first hand.
Director of Admissions & Assistance, Linda Baeza-Porter lead a round-table discussion on Software and Processes: Friend or Foe? It is certainly recognized that while technology is essential, our various systems do not always talk to one another in a seamless way.
The two and half days of meetings gave us an opportunity to share common issues and find solutions, ask questions and to learn from those with unique perspectives and experiences. Debra Stewart, President of the Council of Graduate Schools offered the fascinating plenary lecture on the Future of Graduate Education: a Focus on Western Universities and Demographics. We are all eagerly awaiting the forthcoming reports.
Finally, you may remember last Fall, we posed the Great Burger Challenge after recruiter Matt Anderson gave a plug for a delicious burger at McCormick Cafe in Billings, MT. Our Dean soon followed with his review of Hudsons in Coeur d’Alene, so we felt that since we were in the area, we should at least judge for ourselves. Hudsons is tiny. And it’s one of the busiest fast food establishments I’ve seen in a long time. The menu is simple, every stool has a view of the grill, and orders coming from walk-ins, phone calls and take outs. I estimate in the short time that we sat, ordered, and ate approximately 50 burgers were made – and they are good! I think it is safe to say that our staff gave Hudsons the “thumbs-up”!
The Graduate School has several tools at it’s disposal to collect data which we learn about our student body and use to make more informed decisions et c. One of our critical tools is My GradSpace.
It’s almost been a year with My GradSpace — a great year, in fact. Traffic through our sites has been fantastic, students are gathering all the information they request and store it in one place, and we’ve had more applicants this year than we’ve ever had before.
My GradSpace also gives students the chance to tell us a little bit about themselves. We posted a survey, asking students which tests they have taken as they prepare for graduate study, and why they have choosen to explore UND. Here’s what students are telling us:
What tests have you taken?
GRE — 54%
TOEFL — 20%
GMAT — 6%
MAT — 2%
Why have you chosen UND?
Great programs — 76%
Great faculty — 37%
Great facilities — 25%
Spouse/relative — 9%
We’ve posted some new questions on My GradSpace. We’re curious where our students like to study, and we’re curious how often students are online. Log in to My GradSpace and let us know!