Inside Syllabus: Q&A with George Haddad

Inside this Syllabus Edition:

  • Summer Seminar to Take Place in Historic Quebec City - SOLD OUT
  • Q&A with George Haddad, Founder & CEO fo Liaison International
  • AACN and QGenda Partner on New Scholarship
  • ... and more!

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headshot of george haddadAbout George Haddad, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Liaison International

George Haddad founded Liaison International in 1990 and currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Under his guidance, Liaison has become a leader in higher education, providing recruitment, admissions management software, and Centralized Application Services (CASsTM) for educational institutions and affiliated professional associations. Liaison plays an integral role in streamlining the admissions processes that allow institutions to advance their recruitment strategies, provide better access to education, and share best practices throughout the global education community.

Mr. Haddad is an active board member of for-profit and nonprofit institutions that encourage scholastic achievement and personal excellence among students in the realms of K-12 and higher education.

Q&A with George Haddad

What was the impetus for your creation of Liaison International?

The creation of Liaison International with a focus on education and health professions was driven by a combination of motivations and considerations. It stemmed from a genuine passion for education and health care, a strong desire to make a social impact, and the recognition of a market opportunity. The overarching goal was to improve education and healthcare systems by leveraging innovative technological solutions and services, and fostering collaboration and coordination among different health professions constituencies.

By facilitating collaboration and coordination, Liaison aimed to enhance the admission experience for applicants and programs alike. The intention was to provide impactful and innovative solutions that would streamline the admission process, while also providing real-time data to health profession associations, enabling them to advance their missions and goals effectively.

Over the years, Liaison has actively sought feedback and participation from associations and programs, allowing for continuous evolution and improvement. This collaborative approach has transformed Liaison into a gateway for education access, enabling millions of students to fulfill their aspirations of enrolling in higher education in the United States through CAS and other supporting products offered by Liaison.

How many healthcare professions participate in CAS?

Liaison has established partnerships with over 40 health professions, utilizing our comprehensive CAS products. These alliances extend beyond nursing and encompass a wide range of healthcare disciplines. By working closely with these health professions, Liaison aims to provide tailored solutions and support to meet their specific needs and challenges in the admissions process. The diverse array of health professions programs partnering with Liaison underscores our commitment to fostering excellence and innovation across the healthcare education landscape.

What recent trends have you seen among the health professions programs with whom you partner?

Health professions programs face similar challenges to those observed in the broader higher education industry. The ongoing impact of COVID-19 continues to affect the health professions, creating additional obstacles for these programs. Moreover, the upcoming demographic cliff, which will result in a 15% decline in college-bound students in the US between 2025 and 2029, presents further enrollment challenges for health professions programs. Additionally, the great resignation phenomenon has led to the loss of valuable staff and resources, compounding the existing enrollment difficulties.

The influence of geography, demography, and the economy has pushed institutions to navigate within limited margins. However, there is an opportunity for change. By fostering genuine collaboration among programs and leveraging the robust platform of NursingCAS, programs can avoid unnecessary duplication of resources and costly redundancies. Instead, these resources can be strategically directed towards nurturing the applicant pool at a deeper level, resulting in more effective and efficient enrollment efforts. This approach allows programs to address enrollment challenges more proactively and maximize the impact of their resources.

What are some of the challenges ahead for enrollment officers in academic nursing?

Enrollment leaders in academic nursing are currently facing significant challenges. One of the major concerns is the approaching demographic cliff, which will result in a substantial decrease in the number of students available for admission. This poses a pressing issue for enrollment leaders in maintaining a steady student population.

Furthermore, the impending SCOTUS ruling on the use of race in admissions has created uncertainty regarding how enrollment leaders will assess and admit students. This legal development adds complexity to the already challenging task of shaping an inclusive and diverse student body.

In addition, the ever-changing state and local political environments exert a considerable influence on education policies. The continual shifts in these environments necessitate a thorough evaluation of existing processes and resources. To address these challenges, there is a need for enrollment leaders to transition from a scarcity-based mindset to one of abundance by cooperating as a profession. This collaborative approach can foster innovative solutions and ensure a more effective execution of enrollment strategies that align with evolving policies and promote inclusivity and access in academic nursing.

How does your Centralized Application Service support your partner institutions’ total enrollment goals?

Throughout our history, Liaison has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of the schools, programs, and applicants we serve. While CAS has remained a foundational offering to our partners, we have recently expanded our portfolio of products to provide a comprehensive solution for institutions’ total enrollment goals. In the past few years, we have acquired Othot, an AI/data science practice, TargetX, a leading CRM in higher education, and Time2Track, a platform that enables students to track their training hours online. Additionally, we have introduced the Enrollment Marketing Platform (EMP) to support programs in their campaigns and digital search efforts, allowing them to reach potential applicants and showcase the unique characteristics of their programs, ultimately driving application submissions.

This growth and evolution are also evident in CAS. With its flexible architecture, CAS adapts to the specific needs of programs, allowing them to customize their applications to address their unique campus requirements while maintaining their brand identity. CAS is a highly scalable application platform that equips institutions with state-of-the-art, no-cost technology, empowering them to be better prepared for their enrollment processes.

CAS serves as a vital connector, linking students with institutions and providing institutions with easier and improved tools and processes to help them achieve their enrollment goals. We collaborate closely with our CAS partners to examine their holistic enrollment strategies, identify gaps, and propose solutions to enhance their entire enrollment ecosystem.

What are the goals for NursingCAS?

One of the primary goals of NursingCAS is to establish a robust admissions ecosystem that enables students to discover the nursing programs that best suit their needs. It provides nursing schools with the essential tools and services required to achieve their enrollment objectives. Another significant goal is to address the national nursing shortage by increasing the number of students enrolling in nursing programs. To further support this objective, Liaison has planned a substantial additional investment aimed at reaching deep into the applicant pool, which we expect to launch soon.

Regarding AACN, our aim for NursingCAS is to provide valuable data on the emerging nursing workforce. While most other health professions have achieved participation from all schools in their respective CAS, we aspire to reach a milestone of having at least 50% of all nursing programs integrated into NursingCAS within the next 2-3 years.

NursingCAS transcends being a mere application platform; it serves as an ecosystem that administers and delivers consolidated, value-added services. By doing so, it eliminates the silos of costly and ineffective technology solutions that can hinder long-term success and sustainability.

What are the benefits of NursingCAS?

Schools that participate in NursingCAS gain access to a larger pool of applicants; they also benefit from online tools and support services that assist in managing the administrative tasks faced by limited admissions and nursing staff resources. NursingCAS aims to guide students seeking admission to nursing school towards available seats at participating programs.

One compelling benefit for program administrators is the ability to offload the mundane and time-consuming efforts and costs associated with building and maintaining an application system, providing customer service support, verifying transcripts, and managing letters of recommendation—all crucial components of an effective admissions process. By freeing up time and resources, schools can prioritize establishing meaningful relationships with students and alleviate much of the administrative burden. Training and educational resources are readily accessible to schools and programs as well. Additionally, NursingCAS provides unique analytics reporting tool that offers insights into the applicant pool over time and allows for benchmarking with other relevant programs. Importantly, all these tools and services within NursingCAS are provided to schools at no cost.

For students, NursingCAS offers an easy-to-use and intuitive application interface, along with 24-hour access to monitor their application status conveniently. The centralized nature of NursingCAS enables students to discover and considerw programs they may not have otherwise explored. Likewise, it enables schools to attract applicants from outside their traditional applicant pool. Through nurture campaigns, NursingCAS conducts outreach to over 160,000 students each month, encouraging them to consider NursingCAS programs and promoting participating school events. This outreach is designed to motivate students to submit their applications to participating NursingCAS schools.

How many schools participate in NursingCAS?

Currently, NursingCAS has a strong network of 300 participating schools offering over 3,000 combined programs. This extensive reach provides a diverse range of options for students seeking nursing education and allows for greater opportunities for schools to connect with potential applicants. The wide participation of schools in NursingCAS strengthens the overall ecosystem and fosters collaboration among institutions in addressing nursing workforce needs.

How does NursingCAS increase college access and strengthen recruitment efforts?

Applying to nursing programs can be financially burdensome for many students. However, NursingCAS, in collaboration with AACN, offers a robust fee waiver program to alleviate this burden. This program enables applicants with limited financial means or those involved in service organizations to apply to nursing programs through NursingCAS at no cost. By eliminating these fees, NursingCAS ensures that all students, regardless of their financial circumstances, have an equal opportunity to pursue a nursing education. Liaison understands the challenges faced by nursing program enrollment teams and aims to provide comprehensive support. NursingCAS serves as an extension of the nursing program’s enrollment team, helping with the cumbersome administrative tasks that can often hinder important student outreach and connections. By offloading these administrative responsibilities, schools and administrators can redirect their resources toward more targeted recruitment efforts, enhanced campus visits, and personalized outreach conducted by faculty. Liaison is dedicated to empowering nursing programs to focus on building meaningful relationships with prospective students and enhancing their overall enrollment experience.

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