New recruiting system streamlines application process

Jessica Costello

Graduate Studies has adopted a new recruiting system this semester and has seen an increase in applicants for the upcoming year.

Hobsons Connect System is a web-based system that automatically sends e-mails to students who have shown interest in Kent State’s graduate program.

“We’ve been using this system since January, and it is going very well,” said J.P. Cooney, director of graduate admissions. “It has helped grabbed the attention of more students, which will give departments a bigger pool of students to select from and be selective in their efforts to have a higher quality student population. We are up about 500 applications from last year at the same time.”

Hobsons helps streamline the way the university communicates to prospective graduate students.

“For example, if I’m a prospective student and I fill out an interest form, lets say for the psychology department, I fill out all my demographic information, program interests and from that point forward, we kind of put them on a communications stream,” Cooney said. “We send them information almost weekly regarding what Kent State has to offer and information about application deadlines that are coming up.”

Students can be put on the Hobsons sending list by filling out an interest form for a particular graduate program or by sending in their GRE scores.

“We are really here to serve the departments.”

“Probably the most unique quality of Hobsons is that it really works with prospective students who may not be on a faculty member’s radar – meaning they may have visited our website but not yet contacted a faculty member directly,” said Kate McAnulty, director of graduate student services. “That was a limitation of the banner system, not having the prospective function utilized, but with this system we can see prospects perhaps before they apply.”

Depending on if the student has chosen a specific field, they will receive different information through Hobsons.

“We have a general communication stream and then those that are very specific – the ones that come out of Graduate Studies are really about Kent State, its national rankings and reasons why someone would want to come to Kent State,” said Mary Ann Stephens, dean of Graduate Studies. “Each program and each department can create their own stream for those who know what specific program they want to study.”

The stream of information that each department has established will now be automated through the Hobsons system, which frees up more time to do other things in the office.

“We are really here to serve the departments,” McAnulty said. “Students have a lot of the same questions so to be able to get out the same information in an automatic system, it simplifies it for them.”

The Hobsons system sends about six e-mails over a four to five week period. If a student applies to a graduate program within any time of that process, they get removed from the prospective track and placed into the applicant track. They will then receive information such as reminders to submit their transcripts and test scores.

Contact Jessica Costello at [email protected].