Okay! With lots of editing, rethinking and listening, my new stats are:
Words per sentence: 10.2
Passive Sentences: 0!
Reading Ease: 78.0
Grade Level: 4.9
I think I may have gone a little too heavy on the question and answer. But that’s for the next round of editing 🙂
That One-Size-Fits-All Application? It’s Gotta Go
Wouldn’t it be easy if all our college applicants were exactly the same? And they all applied to college straight out of high school?
Of course it would. But would we want it that way?
We’d be missing out on a great chance to help all sorts of people – university students, working people, parents and so much more. That would be just awful.
But if we don’t want all our applicants to be the same…why are we treating them that way when they apply?
The application we have today is fine for our high school audience. Is it time-consuming? Yes. But they’ve got a week’s worth of class time to spend on filling it out (in between surfing Youtube and Facebook).
Is it complicated? Sure. But Guidance Counsellors are experts and are only too happy to help hold their hands. The fact is, a high school student is going to make their way to the “Submit” button – no question about it.
But what about Jim? He’s working full-time but wants to explore Second Career opportunities. He’s tired at the end of the day and doesn’t have time for complexity.
Or Joanne? She’s a stay-at-home mom of two busy kids. She’s wants to get back in the workforce, but she doesn’t know what’s available to her.
Or Mohmar? He’s overseas but wants to come to Canada to study. English isn’t his first language and that form is intimidating.
There are many special cases out there, but only one application. It just doesn’t make sense.
So, how do we change it?
Step one, we need to know who we’re dealing with right away. The faster we know someone’s circumstances, the quicker we can tailor their application experience to them. That might mean providing a few more details up front, but it saves time in the long run when they go down a road designed for them.
Don’t Ask For What Doesn’t Matter
Once we know who a person is, we can decide what information is important for their application –and what isn’t. If it isn’t helping them get to the end goal of an offer letter, we need to eliminate the hurdles.
For example…remember our ideal high school grad? Let’s call him Steve. He’s applying to business programs and his grades are stellar. His transcript matters. His part-time job painting houses? Not so much.
But Joanne, our mom of two who wants to go back to work? She’s interested in Office Administration programs, but doesn’t have a high school diploma. The fact that she worked as a secretary for three years before her kids were born? That’s very important.
Speed Things Up
Right now, we’re asking applicants to log back into our system to check for important messages, even though we can’t guarantee when they’ll arrive. Yuck.
Picture yourself waiting for the big news of whether you got into that program you’ve dreamed of. Picture yourself checking your inbox day in and day out, and not seeing anything. You might as well be waiting for the mailman!
We can do better. We have the technology to push important messages out to smartphones the instant they arrive. We just have to start using it.
These are just a few of the things we’re working on. It’s a big challenge already, but also just the tip of the iceberg. It’s going to take some time.
But that’s what we’re here for. We’re here for Steve, Joanne, Jim and everyone else who needs it to be easier to apply to college.
So out with the old. Let’s do something better.