Better service through collaboration
Projects supported by Excellence & Innovation fund
Ryan McNutt - May 9, 2014
Applying to university can be a stressful process sometimes, but Dal is doing its part to help make that process easier for Nova Scotian students.
On Friday, Minister Kelly Regan of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education announced funding to four new projects and renewed funding for four others from the Excellence & Innovation Fund.
The fund, first established in 2012, is designed to help universities explore ways to encourage innovation and collaboration while reducing operating costs.
The total funding for this year ($5 million) also includes $1 million for the previously announced “sandbox” initiative.
While none of the new projects are Dal-focused, the university is playing a key role, together with the province’s other universities, in each of the four projects that received continued funding this year. The initaitives are examples of how the province's universities are finding new ways to coopearte to better serve Nova Scotians.
Improvements for students
Three of the projects deal with the university application process: finding new efficiencies to make applying to university in Nova Scotia quicker and easier for everyone involved.
Perhaps the most exciting of these, according to Dal Registrar Asa Kachan, is the electronic transcript project. This will allow Nova Scotia’s high school students to submit their grades electronically.
“Currently, we receive thousands of paper printed transcripts, along with subsequent grade changes,” explains Kachan. “Moving to e-transcripts will mean we can process applications faster, reduce the need for follow-up communication about missing grades and reduce strain on guidance offices at schools across the province.”
The system is expected to be fully functioning by September 2015 to support applications for the fall of 2016.
Another project Dal is supporting is the Nova Scotia transfer credit guide: an online tool that will allow students to review potential credit equivalencies for programs and courses at Nova Scotia post-secondary institutions. It will include both program-to-program equivalencies and course-to-course equivalencies, as well as articulation agreements between the province’s universities and NSCC. Phase one of this project is expected to be ready by summer 2015.
The third admissions-centred project is a shared post-secondary website for students looking to study in Nova Scotia. This will serve as both a source of information for students and a single point of access for applying to any of the province’s universities and colleges. The website is expected to launch this fall.
Dalhousie is also playing a crucial role, together with Saint Mary’s University, on an Innovation & Excellence Fund project focused on sharing certain IT serves among the province’s universities, including email, calendar and online collaboration tools.
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