Category: Message from the Graduate Dean

A Message from the Graduate College Dean: Fall 2020

Old NorthGreetings Graduate Student Bronchos,

The Jackson College of Graduate Studies is eagerly awaiting you! We welcome your return or your beginning to graduate education in a few weeks when UCO brings all Bronchos back for learning. As you prepare for your graduate studies, I am reaching out to send you a note of encouragement. We are indeed in a time of heightened anxiety, uncertainty and stress. I am hopeful this quick update finds you well and will help you be more diligent, adaptive and aware.

Fall 2020 Graduate Student Experience

So what can you expect out of your graduate experience this fall? You can view complete details in the university’s fall reopening plan and in the Graduate College’s coronavirus updates website. Both resources will be updated regularly with any new information or changes that may occur as the situation evolves.

We are asking all graduate students to make every effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and Buddy wearing a UCO maskseasonal illnesses. As you prepare for in-person courses, please plan to do the following:

  • wear a mask with physical distancing;
  • wash your hands regularly; and,
  • wipe down the classroom areas you use.

You can anticipate that graduate faculty will use a variety of teaching methods (face-to-face, online, hybrid, alternative delivery, extended classroom, etc.). We are making provisions to accomplish physical distancing in the classroom; this means you may experience one or more of these methods across your graduate coursework in the coming academic year. Please know that regardless of the instructional modality, we remain committed to providing you with a quality graduate experience.

We’re Here For You

Finally, we’re here for you in person and virtually; our desire is to help you navigate your graduate studies amid our current COVID-19 realities. Along with visiting our office in person, you can book a virtual appointment. Rather than printing hard copies of documents, you can download a Graduate College form for securing digital signatures. When you are ready, you can complete your thesis defense this fall either in person with physical distancing or via Zoom. Please reach out if you discover more ways that we can be of assistance to improve your overall graduate student experience at this time.

Perhaps, never before have graduate students and the Graduate College experienced this mix of such rapid, changing dynamics. I hope you know we are here to support you. I wish you a productive, successful and safe semester.

Dean, Jeanetta D. Sims
My Broncho Best,
Dean Sims

Graduate College Launches a New CRM Recruit Enhancement to Improve the Graduate Student Experience

Dear Colleagues,

The Jackson College of Graduate Studies released a substantial Customer Relationship Management (CRM Recruit) enhancement this week; this is a significant milestone toward improving the graduate student application process. The Graduate College team began this effort more than a year ago in March 2019 with Graduate College and Office of Information Technology teams actively meeting since August. This week’s launch is the culmination of numerous weekly meetings and hours of joint testing.Jackson College of Graduate Studies logo

While the bulk of this work will remain unseen to our university campus, a new graduate web front-end entry is now visible; it leads prospective graduate students to the re-designed application portal. Once students have created an account in the portal, they can view a graduate application support page or book a virtual appointment for assistance. Prospective students will enjoy a smoother and more adaptive application with confirmation emails that nudge them through application completion. Future enhancements of this same project will permit graduate program advisors to offer admissions decisions in a more automated fashion. I will provide more details later concerning this effort with graduate program advisors.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the Graduate College staff – Brittany Carson, Zachary Hunter, Taro Iwase, Beth Bolding, Cristy Martin, Elise Ellis, Katie Timmerman, and Dr. Robert Mather who have worked persistently to develop the logic and communication plans associated with the effort. Along with her responsibilities in overseeing international graduate admissions, Brittany assumed the leadership role as a primary point of CRM contact. Many thanks as well to our OIT partners (Michael Page, Harriet Ervin, Rhonda Templon, Michael Calhoun, Timothy Mooney, and Tiara Gilmore). Michael Page’s leadership, Harriet’s diligent tracking and Rhonda’s expertise in implementation paved the way for releasing the enhancement.

We hope you’ll enjoy the progress being made in the Graduate College to improve the graduate student experience and to foster a stronger graduate student community. In December 2019, we launched a re-vamped Graduate College website designed to stimulate greater interaction. Spearheaded by Beth Bolding with Katie Timmerman and University Communications, the website now embeds opportunities for prospective students to directly apply, request information, or ask for an eBook.

Though we are not finished yet, I wanted you to be aware of our progress. From website improvements to this and future CRM Recruit enhancements, we are steadfast in our commitment to improve the graduate student experience. I look forward to sharing additional information and updates with you that further showcase our collective accomplishments.

Dean, Jeanetta D. SimsMy Broncho Best,
Dean Jeanetta D. Sims