Fixing an error in the admissions system

Because institutional research has not documented bilingual students, the ethnicity of many students remains unknown. Gladis Higginbotham / UVU Review

You might think that the Admissions Department would have a running total of students attending school that speak a native language other than English.

Think again. After an interview with Ryan Burton, Director of Admissions, it was discovered that this is not the case.

“The reality is that if UVU were to try and analyze the information in its current state, I think it would be greatly misconstrued by the lack of data,” Burton said.

“What I found out was that as new employees were coming through, they weren’t being trained on how to enter the information into the system,” he said, referring to the information asked on the admissions application.

Burton clarified that the questions found on the online application are automatically stored into the Banner system, but those from the paper application have not been entered for quite some time.

“We have asked these questions for many years, but we didn’t actually enter the information into the banner system until about four or five months ago when it was brought to my attention,” stated Burton after explaining the paper application process. “Maybe 15-20 percent of the current students will have the information in the system.”

The main contributing factor to this problem is that all students born outside of the U.S. have to fill out the paper application instead of the online version, which makes the process a little more complicated. Since the information from the paper applications has not been stored, it may take some time before accurate statistics will be compiled.

The department is working on fixing the issue by training all of the new employees on how to enter the information from the paper applications correctly. Though it might take up to three years to reach an accurate number, Burton said this will definitely help put things on the right track.

Burton is also looking into putting a question about languages on the questionnaire that pops up on UVLink at the beginning of each new semester. Currently, it asks students to update their addresses, phone numbers and other contact and demographic information. This would not only help the department to know how many students speak a language other than English as their native tongue, but also to know how many students speak a second language.

Given the recent discovery of these few errors in the system, the Admissions Department appears to be doing a great job at fixing these problems and updating all of the information, maintaining the school’s high standard of excellence.

1 thought on “Fixing an error in the admissions system

  1. I hope this problem is fixed soon, it would be very interesting to see the percentage of students who speak a second language.

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