Episode 33: How To Build The Best Quality-Driven Admissions Departments

Nearly 20 million American students were registered in college or university in the fall of 2020. All of them went through some sort of process to get there, meaning that the schools they applied to, guided each one through an admissions procedure.

The admission process is a school’s chance to make a good first impression. After all, students represent revenue. So, the business case for having an efficient admissions department revolves around how students judge their admissions experience.

Admissions departments need to take a page out of the manufacturing playbook where companies strive to make the best products possible by spending a lot of time and attention on quality: quality control and quality assurance. They evaluate their processes, pinpoint the weaknesses, and create methods to strengthen those weaknesses.


Nearly 20 million American students were registered in college or university in the fall of 2020. All of them went through some sort of process to get there, meaning that the schools they applied to, guided each one through an admissions procedure.

The admission process is a school’s chance to make a good first impression. After all, students represent revenue. So, the business case for having an efficient admissions department revolves around how students judge their admissions experience.

Admissions departments need to take a page out of the manufacturing playbook where companies strive to make the best products possible by spending a lot of time and attention on quality: quality control and quality assurance. They evaluate their processes, pinpoint the weaknesses, and create methods to strengthen those weaknesses.


Topics addressed during their conversation include: 

02:24 – Why focus on Admissions issues rather than Enrollment issues?

07:30 – Manufacturing uses quality principles to improve product. But admissions is not a product, so can quality principles be at all useful?

09:50 – Are admissions issues the age-old problem of data silos plugging up processes? Yes!

21:35 – ELS learned about their own data silos and compromised processes through the guidance of an objective outside agency

23:08 – ELS now uses Salesforce technology in their Admissions department. Why Salesforce?

Our Guests:


April Bollwage

Senior Director of Education, Gerent

April Bollwage has spent over 20 years working for education and training organizations. During the time, she developed and redesigned processes to support no fewer than 60 domestic learning centers and 650 colleges and universities. While she keeps her finger on the pulse of the education sector at large, her individual specialty is in strategic operations and enrollment management.

Lance Johnson

EQMS & EHS Practice Lead, Gerent

Lance Johnson has over two decades of experience working on software projects in the life science sector; he once served as the primary consultant for a quality management implementation at the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. Today, he leverages his EQMS and EHS knowledge to facilitate Salesforce implementations for Gerent.