upload one copy of the letter. “When you have 10 students
applying to 10 programs each, letter writing can really
increase your workload,” says Mary Beth Kenkel, PhD, a
member of APA’s PSYCAS advisory panel and dean of the
college of psychology and liberal arts at the Florida Institute
• Spend more time analyzing applications. Having to do
less paperwork and field fewer questions from applicants means
faculty have more time for recruitment and in-depth analysis.
“When you don’t have to spend time on some of those rote,
redundant processes, you can dedicate all that time you save to
other parts of the process,” Fowler says.
• Target their communications. PSYCAS offers tools to
help departments reach out to applicants at various stages of
the process. For example, a department can email applicants
who didn’t complete their applications, or invite applicants
with a specific GPA or higher to tour the university or come in
for an interview.
PSYCAS will also help programs capture data over time,
so that they can compare applicants from year to year or their
applicant pools to national data.
“This will also give our entire discipline information on who
is applying to graduate school, what that pipeline looks like, what
their strengths are and where they are coming from,” says Kenkel.
APA unveiled PSYCAS to graduate psychology departments
during APA’s 2014 Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.,
and will roll the system out slowly as schools decide if it’s a tool
they want to use, starting with the 2015 fall admissions cycle,
“We know we can’t get all 600 graduate programs
overnight,” he says. “It’s a slow build process with the soft
launch and we hope to have a larger number of participants
by the fall of 2015.”
Psychology is not the first field to streamline its application
system. Liaison International, the company that will provide
the data support for PSYCAS, runs two dozen CAS services,
including NursingCAS for nursing school applicants with the
American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and CSDCAS for
audiology program applicants with the Council of Academic
Programs in Communication Science and Disorders. n
Interested in bringing PSYCAS to your school? Contact Daniel
Michalski, PhD, assistant director of graduate and postdoctoral
education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the answers to frequently asked questions about PSYCAS
and dates for webinars and training sessions at www.apa.org/