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K-State Today

October 1, 2013

Graduate School dean's letter to campus

Submitted by Carol Shanklin

Carol Shanklin, Dean of the Graduate School

The Graduate Scholarly Experience is a key theme of K-State 2025 as we work toward our visionary goal of being recognized as a Top 50 public research university. Our plan calls for building a community of support and effective student services for our graduate students, including more efficient and effective application and admission processing. As recruitment and admission of graduate students for the 2014-2015 academic year begins, I want to provide you with an update on actions we have taken to improve that community of support.

Due to changes in processing and the addition of an admissions staff member, the Graduate School was able to improve application processing times and better assist graduate programs in recruiting the best students. A total of 649 domestic applications and 310 international applications were processed for fall 2013. This represents an increase from fall 2012 of 12.5 percent and 63.2 percent in domestic and international applications, respectively. On average, international applications took between five to 10 business days to process during peak application times and one to three business days during non-peak times. Domestic applications were, on average, processed within three to six business days. 

In order to ensure applications continue to be processed in a timely manner, the Graduate School will be implementing College Net, a Web-based application program, in early November. Currently, Graduate School admissions staff and Marietta Milligan from the information systems office are working with graduate programs to review application processes and determine specific application requirements. Training will be provided to all faculty and staff involved in the application review process. As with all new systems, I anticipate some adjustments will be made. I ask that everyone be patient and work together as we adapt to this new admissions system.

Members of the Graduate Student Council, or GSC, completed a calling campaign to facilitate new graduate students’ transition to Kansas State University. In June, a group of volunteers called all U.S. or permanent residents who had been admitted for fall 2013 to welcome them to the university. Data was also obtained during the calls as to why or why not each student decided to attend the university. The main reasons students decided to attend K-State were: The university was a "good fit" between educational goals and research interest; program quality; and the availability of assistantships, scholarship or fellowships. Reasons for not attending K-State included: availability of assistantships, scholarships or fellowships; geographic considerations; program fit and research interest; and cost of tuition and fees. Following the calling campaign, domestic and international students were sent a welcome message from the council with helpful links to information students may need as they transition to Manhattan and graduate school.

The Graduate School New Student Orientation focused on connecting new students with each other and resources available on campus. Graduate students from the drama therapy program provided an interactive performance to help familiarize students with important information and situations as they transition to K-State. The Graduate School hosted a lunch to encourage networking among new students and the Graduate School team. 

In partnership with the Graduate Student Council, the Graduate School offers multiple opportunities for graduate students to develop and enhance transferable skills for future success. Please encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities and to share research on campus and at professional meetings. Information is available on the Graduate School website and is distributed to department heads and graduate program directors to share with their students and faculty.

To facilitate open dialogue among graduate faculty and members of the president’s cabinet, the Second Open Forum on the Future of Graduate Education at K-State is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the Big 12 Room of the K-State Union. I look forward to an interesting and informative dialogue among participants.

Thank you for all you do to advance graduate education at K-State. I look forward to working with each of you this academic year and welcome your comments and suggestions.


Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School