MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Database study by GSBS researchers published in CBE Life Sciences Education

July 11, 2018
Tracey Barnett

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences have had a second paper published in CBE Life Sciences Education. The paper titled Prospective Student Database: Technological Support for Assessing the Effectiveness of Graduate Recruitment Activities covers the school’s development of a database that is purpose-built for tracking applicant movement through the recruitment and admissions processes in graduate education. The authors of the paper are Marenda Wilson-Pham, PhD, GSBS assistant dean, Diversity and Alumni Affairs; Wayne Turner, programmer analyst; Andrew Bean, PhD, GSBS associate dean, Graduate Education; and Anthony DePass, PhD, biology professor, Long Island University, and a leader in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

In the job market, human resource management uses tracking systems to provide a central applicant database as well as a set of processes and tools to help employers manage recruitment and hiring efforts. However, academic institutions have been slow to adopt these tracking methods and instead depend on less sophisticated approaches due to scale, expertise, and cost. GSBS researchers have designed and created a prospective student database that can address whether the success of mechanisms used to recruit students is proportional to cost, and whether the retention and outcomes of graduate students are linked to recruitment programming.

The system matches prospective applicants with admitted students and, subsequently, with students who have enrolled at the institution. Admitted and enrolled students from one year can be queried against a list of prospective applicants from the current year and previous years using unique identifiers generated by the system. Thus, determination of prospective applicants who are admitted and which of the admitted applicants matriculate provides a clear understanding of recruitment outcomes.

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