Category Archives: News

May 13, 2015

Medical School Curriculum Changes

Prospective students in upcoming classes for medical school are going to have a significant change in curriculum than their previous peers. Many medical schools are beginning to take into account the undeniable fact that medical training for doctors should change as the practice of medicine is changing.

Typical medical school curriculum usually involves teaching based around  Abraham Flexner‘s once-famous ’2 Plus 2 Model’, which involves two years in the classroom and two years shadowing in hospitals. The curriculum for medical school is now starting to include classes meant to build communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability to change. The new MCAT makeover released last month, April 2015, has included testing for similar qualities/traits as well. These medical school curriculum changes are going to be taking place at many medical schools, including the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Raj Mangrulkar, the Associate Dean for medical student education at the University of Michigan Medical School states, “Flexner did a lot of great things, but we’ve learned a lot and now we’re absolutely ready for a new model.”


The University of Michigan Medical School is implementing many changes to adapt to a newer, more innovative model. They are including classes within their curriculum based solely on improving communication skills, by giving negotiation scenarios to students to compromise and decide upon solutions with their fellow peers.

“Listed with the new prerequisites is a group of Core Competencies. The four competencies are analytical thought and problem-solving skills, written and verbal communication, mathematical/statistical analysis and application of hypothesis-driven methods of research.” Mangrulkar states, “These competencies began as expectations for residents, but have now trickled down to the pre-medical level.”

Along with the University of Michigan Medical School, many other medical schools have already began to look for those qualities in students and incorporate the search into their admissions process. Medical schools are searching for students who can exhibit not only top grades in school and scores on their MCAT, but also for students who exhibit teamwork, compassion, and communication skills within their activities and experiences. A well-rounded student who has the ability to display intelligence and communication skills, among other traits, is ideally the type of applicant that medical schools would like to extend offers to.

Evaluating applicants based on multiple variables and qualities can become difficult for schools, especially when trying to keep information on each applicant in order. ZAP Solutions admissions software, AMP, has the ability to simplify the process for admissions offices, keeping all student information securely placed in one system. ZAP has been continuously innovating AMP to incorporate new ways to evaluate these changes. AMP has also given schools the capability to use standard interviewing, MMI interviewing, or a hybrid combination. Each step of the admissions process is within AMP, making it easier, faster, and more effective for admissions officers to go through the process from the initial/secondary application to screening, interviewing, reviewing, and matriculation with each applicant. The goal of AMP is to customize the software specifically to each school’s process, growing and innovating with the school through their changes.

How do you think medical schools will continue to incorporate the new changes into their admissions process and curriculum?

January 22, 2015

Six Questions Grad School Prospects Should Ask Themselves

In a US News article, six questions were presented for graduate school prospects to ask themselves when visiting and interviewing at potential colleges. The questions within the US News article are centered around the initial impression that the prospect had from the admissions office. Many times how one is treated as an applicant can be indicative of how the individual will be treated as a student. Listed below are the six questions that US News challenged grad school applicants to ask themselves.

graduate admissions

1. Did the admissions staff seem to care?

First impressions are everything. Showing potential students that you and your admissions staff care about the applicant and their individual situation is important. AMP, one of the most customized graduate application systems, is one way to help your office stay focused on giving prospective applicants an effective experience.

2. How professional and informed was the staff?

To be a professional and informed staff member, the staff needs to have a good overall understanding of the type of upcoming class and applicant that they want their school to have. An enrollment management system can keep staff informed on the applicant’s background, grades, history, interests, scheduled visits and more within one secure place, so that staff can effectively evaluate applicants for the best possible class.

3. How did the admissions staff behave during the campus visit, event, or fair?

The US News article also continues to ask , ”If you visited the campus, was your visit confirmed with you in advance? If you sent an RSVP, did you get a friendly reminder?” Admissions staff should be knowledgeable about the applicant’s situation during any encounter with the prospective applicant.

 AMP’s system takes care of notifying and informing faculty and applicants of their upcoming meetings and appointments. Instead of worrying if every faculty member or applicant knows when and where to be, the top administrators can focus on the applicant.

4. How long did it take to get someone on the phone or receive E-mail response?

Communication and staying engaged is key with prospective applicants. With many applicants and  faculty members, it’s hard to keep track of all of the communication going on between. AMP can help your staff organize the communications in one place. Keeping track of every communication with each student allows your staff to see which students have been helped and contacted.

5. How was admissions information presented on the website?

Applicants want to find information quickly and easily. Within AMP‘s enrollment management system, every bit of information can be micromanaged to ensure that your applicants are getting everything they need to know. AMP gives your staff the opportunity to edit every page that the applicants see in their portal, all the way down to the specific stage of the application process they’re in. This ensures that the applicant has all the information that they may need, which will help to further streamline and simplify the admissions process for both the admissions staff and the applicant.

6. What was the online application procedure like?

The actual application is a sensitive and important part of the application process. This is where your admissions office has a chance to see behind just the GPAs and academic scores, and to look at applicant’s experiences and thoughts on important matters. Easy access to a student’s information, letters of recommendation, and transcripts help to simplify the process for admissions staff. By keeping all of the application materials in one place, and integrating with third parties, like, AMCAS, CAS, and TMDSAS, the admissions staff can better evaluate applicants.

For the admissions and recruitment office, their goal is to have their school stand out to applicants. With detailed and complicated admissions processes for graduate schools, admissions offices frequently struggle to make enough time in the day to complete everything on their to-do lists. Utilizing an enrollment management system, like AMP, can simplify the admissions process and help admission staff members prepare for the next hectic, but exciting, admission season.

How does your school currently prepare for the admissions season?

April 14, 2014

Humboldt State University admissions event ends in tragedy

Last Thursday, a Humboldt State University tour trip ended in tragedy when a Fed Ex truck drifted over a grassy highway median and hit a charter bus filled with teenaged prospective students. Ten lives were lost in the resulting crash and fire – two drivers, three chaperones, and five high school students.

The students on board the bus were recruited by Humboldt State to come to campus for an in-depth tour, orientation, and overnight stay in the dorms. They were selected as part of a program called “Preview Plus,” which seeks to enroll low-income and first generation high school students. Historically, the orientation weekend is a very successful recruiting tool for these students. After attending the free orientation event, 45% of Preview Plus students end up enrolling at the school. This bus crash represents a huge loss to both Humboldt State and the student’s communities.

Two other buses arrived safely to the orientation weekend. An evening barbeque was cancelled as students were informed of the fate of their peers. The rest of the orientation weekend proceeded as scheduled, but with an understandably altered tone. In response to the tragedy, Humboldt President Rollin Richmond and the vice president of public affairs went to area hospitals to visit survivors of the bus crash. A hotline was set up to field incoming calls about the welfare of the orientation attendees.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and communities affected by this unfortunate accident.