apas news

 

  Milestones

The total number of applications submitted through ApplyAlberta has grown to 858,000; more than 1,062,000 transcripts have been transferred through the system.

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Strategic Planning

The five-year strategic plan for the ApplyAlberta system is now available.  The Plan focuses on future directions and enhancements to the system. based on three goals:  services to learners, services to institutions, and services to the Campus Alberta system.  The Plan is available online at Strategic Plan 2015-2020.

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Web Renewal Project

A Web Renewal Project has been launched to update the 'look and feel' of the public website and online application, update workflows to improve overall usability of the site, and accommodate the use of mobile devices.  Preliminary user testing, combined with feedback from applicant support both centrally and at institutions, has highlighted several challenges applicants encounter when completing the online application form.  Minor changes are already underway to address these challenges, and a more comprehensive review of workflows will be undertaken in the coming months.   Enhanced access to information on program availability and related services will also be made available to assist applicants with making informed decisions and finding the information necessary to achieve their educational goals.  A prototype of the new design will be available for review soon.

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Focus On: High School Transcripts

With the retirement of its mainframe, Alberta Education moved to transcript delivery from the Provincial Approach to Student Information (PASI) system on April 1st.  As the limitations imposed by the mainframe are being removed, Alberta Education has completed a review of the content and format of the high school transcript in conjunction with stakeholders in order to provide more comprehensive and accurate information regarding student achievements. The changes to transcripts are significant, and will require member institutions to devote extensive resources to modify their own systems so that transcripts can continue to be consumed.  The transcript changes are being implemented in two phases to allow institutions sufficient time make the necessary modifications to their systems and conduct testing.

in the first phase, the Short-Term Transcript Solution, a transformer application was developed to ensure that transcripts received from the PASI system match those delivered by the mainframe as closely as possible.  Four changes were implemented on the short-term transcript:

  • change from 4-digit to 7-character course codes;
  • gender reporting;
  • reporting of out-of-province evaluated courses;
  • elimination of the Course Notes field for "Special Circumstances".

For the second phase, the Final Transcript Solution, the remainder of the changes to high school transcripts are being finalized.  These include individual rather than summary reporting of Career & Technology Studies (CTS) courses, and reporting of external credentials and dual enrollment courses.  These changes will be implemented once the specifications and timelines for implementation have been agreed upon.  Discussions are ongoing.

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Susan Stein,
Executive Director

From the desk of Susan Stein

In this edition of APAS News, we provide updates on current activities such as:  the development of a five-yeay Strategic Plan for the ApplyAlberta system; launch of the Web Renewal Project; milestones on the numbers of applicants using the ApplyAlberta system; and continue our regular feature focusing on topics of interest to the APAS community. 

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Board of Directors

Welcome to new Director Steven Dew (University of Alberta).

The Board would like to express its appreciation to Carl Amrhein for the time and effort he contributed to making the ApplyAlberta initiative a success.

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Committee Updates

Nancy Walker (University of Lethbridge) has joined the Finance Committee.

Mark Humphries (University of Lethbridge) has joined the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee extends its thanks to Trevor Woods for his efforts and commitment to the success of ApplyAlberta, and wishes him all the best for his new adventures down under.

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Inside APAS

On the operational side, the migration of the ApplyAlberta system from standalone hardware onto the Alberta Innovation & Advanced Education cluster has been completed.  This move will enhance the reliability and availability of the system as the cluster has failover capabilities to a secondary data centre, something that could only be achieved at significant cost to APAS in the standalone environment.

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