Sunday, April 14th, 2024
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MU Admissions Goes Paperless

Admissions saves 135,000 sheets of paper and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by about 2,700 lbs.

Millersville University’s Undergraduate Admissions Office will save about 135,000 sheets of paper and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 2,700 lbs. in one year, with one step: going paperless.

Admissions transitioned to paperless record-keeping in time for the 2016 enrollment cycle. By utilizing Slate software, the office is able to organize prospective student applications, transcripts and other paperwork in an efficient and environmentally conscious manner.

“The move to paperless makes sense in so many ways. It cuts waste, saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions while improving record-keeping, making office operations more efficient and providing better service to prospective students,” says Chris Steuer, MU’s Sustainability Manager.

The reduced paper usage resulting from this transition advances the efforts of Millersville’s Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2016 with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a point of carbon neutrality by 2040. Included within that plan is the objective to cut the amount of waste MU generates, achieved in this case by reducing MU’s purchase of paper.

“Everyone at Millersville is doing their part to make us a leader with regards to sustainability,” said Brian Hazlett, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “And, admissions was pleased to be able to contribute to reducing our footprint.”

Implementing this new software not only benefits the environment, but allows employees in the admissions to focus on assisting prospective students instead of handling paperwork.

Enrollment counselors now turn to tablets rather than filing cabinets to gather and reference information on potential students. Such methods increase efficiency, while preventing records from being lost or damaged.

The application process for prospective students also becomes easier. Interested individuals can complete an online application and some high schools are able to submit student transcripts electronically. Millersville hopes to extend that transcript submission feature to more high schools as its familiarity with the Slate software develops.

“Admissions going paperless is a pivotal point since the student file is created in admissions,” says Tara Keefer, Millersville University Manager of Auxiliary Services. “The Registrar’s Office will have the opportunity to transition to paperless since the admission file will become electronic. In succession, other offices can follow this modernization of their document management and workflow process. Providing Millersville University constituents with electronic forms rather than paper forms is a goal we hope to accomplish. Current paperless offices find it better to have their documents in one central location that is secure and easily accessible.”

Admissions now joins other offices and departments using electronic document managements systems including Registrar, Experiential Learning and Career Management, Graduate Admissions, Advancement, Financial Aid, Payroll, Accounting, Bursar, Sponsored Projects and Research Administration, Purchasing, Housing and Residential Programs, the Psychology Department and the Nursing Department.

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