Interphase/EDGE Application Process and Workflow

Each applicant has a protected dashboard in their profile to help them with the process.
Each applicant has a protected dashboard in their profile to help them with the process.
Each applicant has a protected, printable profile summary.
Each applicant has a protected, printable profile summary.
Administrators use a listing of all active applications to manage the process.
Administrators use a listing of all active applications to manage the process.

The MIT Office of Minority Education hosts a two-year scholar enrichment program called Interphase EDGE. The purpose is to help ease the transition to MIT and to build community among new students. OME had an existing application system but wanted to make some improvements to the functionality and integrate it with the Drupal 7 site we built for them.

Overview

  1. The applicant creates an account on OME's server and OME approves that account and creates the application associated with the applicant.
  2. The creation of the application (node) triggers a message to the applicant with their own unique dashboard URL so that they may begin. 
  3. Applicants fill in the information necessary on the application and their profile in any order they wish. They can save and come back to the application as many times as they need to and their dashboard tells them how close they are to completion and all the remaining steps. 
  4. When the applicant puts in the contact information for their reference, that individual is sent an email message with a one-time URL that will allow them to securely upload their recommendation without the reference needing to create an account or memorize any other information.
  5. Once all of the fields are complete and the recommendation is attached to the application, the applicant hits submit, the workflow status is changed and the administrator is alerted that there is a completed application to review.
  6. The administrator reviews the application and can either accept it (in which case the system sends a congratulatory email to the applicant) or they can reject it, in which case the applicant receives a message with details on the rejection.

Components

  1. Custom module:
    1. Creates two dashboards:
      1. Applicant dashboard that keeps track of all requirements for the application and instructs them on next steps.
      2. Administrator dashboard that informs administrators of the status of all applications.
    2. Workflow to manage the application cycle including submission, review and acceptance/rejection. Each step has associated custom email messages.
    3. Manage recommendation submission process. Each applicant must have a reference submit a document to recommend them. This is automated by this module, including the uploading of the form and its subsequent attachment to the application.
    4. Configuration screen that allows administrators to customize the text of each message in the application process.
  2. Customize user profile page to collect demographic and other information necessary for the process. This information can be used later for other applications.
  3. New content type that applicants use to fill out their information. This was customized so that unnecessary and privileged were hidden from applicants using Drupal best practices.