“Who We Are” is an occasional series that provides the Touro University Nevada community with a deeper look into what our departments do. This month, we’ll take a look inside the Department of Admissions.
As Tava McGinty-Jimenez, Director of Admissions put it, the Department of Admissions is always on the frontline showcasing the programs, students and faculty of Touro University Nevada.
With the enormous task of deciding the future of prospective Touro students, Admissions handles a myriad of responsibilities to make sure the process is as fluid as possible.
“Admissions always has to think about the future while maintaining the present,” McGinty-Jimenez said.
For all of its programs, Touro receives thousands of applications from all over the country. Prospective students submit numerous documents as part of the application process, including transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation and personal statements.
When deciding which potential students to interview, the department works closely with faculty members to get a better idea of the type of caliber of candidates the programs are looking to bring in.
“Our faculty are very involved,” McGinty-Jimenez said. “They read the personal statements and letters of recommendation. Not every university does that. We work as partners, but we are here to provide the service of getting the right applicant to the table and letting the faculty take it from there.”
If applicants lack a strong GPA or test scores, a great deal of field experience can be enough to persuade the Admissions counselors to set up an interview.
“One non-academic component we definitely look at across the board is experience,” said Admissions Counselor Charles Buckner. “The shadowing, the volunteering…it gives us a good snapshot of how the students have prepared themselves for their professional goals. That gives the faculty something to score against the other applicants.”
Being able to connect with classmates and faculty members is another key component to being accepted to Touro.
“All of our programs are looking for someone who can integrate well with other people, because that usually equates to a patient encounter” McGinty-Jimenez said. “They might be competitive on paper, but who are they as a person? These are rigorous courses they’re trying to get into. We always want to make sure we’re not setting anyone up for failure.”
Diversifying the student population is another critical responsibility for the Admissions department. Diversifying the application pool makes it easier for counselors to measure the new cohort demographic against the previous cohort demographic.
With more than 8,000 incoming applications each year, the Touro Admissions department is constantly tapping into areas where they see potential.
While counselors are recruiting countrywide, the focus on Nevada students is still a top priority. The Admissions department wants to plant that seed in high schools across Clark County with the hopes that they’ll choose Touro for graduate school.
“We want them to have Touro as part of their long-term plan,” McGinty-Jimenez said. “If they choose to go out of state for their undergrad, that’s fine. But we want them to come back home to us.”
A big component of keeping Touro in the minds of potential Nevada students is being out in the community. Admissions is also leading that initiative, branding the university wherever possible.
Department members can be found in local high schools and at community events establishing connections within the Southern Nevada community. One plan they are looking to implement is having local Touro students return to their old high schools to speak about the university.
“We want the community to know who we are,” McGinty-Jimenez said. “Some of these new events, where we immerse ourselves within the community, are really helping.”
Nearly 60 of Touro’s newest students lived in Nevada before being accepted to the university. Those are numbers the department is happy about as they work to cultivate stronger relationships across the Silver State.
“We’re an established medical school that’s already here,” Buckner said. “This is a great time for us to really paint the Valley blue and yellow.”