Cornell University Alumni-Student Mentoring Program (CASMP) was created with the aim to enable personal and professional relationships between current enrolled students and alumni at Cornell University. Over 900 alumni and 1,000 students have been matched through this program. Matches are made on the basis of gender, ethnicity, course of study, career field, and location.

Business Need:

The student/alumni registration process was tedious and repetitive resulting in a slow turn-around time and low registration rates. To enable the match both students and alumni have to fill out a registration form with some basic information. They also write about what they hope to achieve from the program. After the registration form was completed an administrator from the CASMP office would filter each response and snail- mail waiver forms to each applicant. The signed waiver forms were required by the Risk Management office at the University as part of the security protocol. This slowed down the process tremendously and lead to several inefficiencies caused by human error, such as at times students would sign in the wrong place and this meant that they would receive a follow up mail requesting them to make the necessary changes. Each year 200 alumni agreements and 250 student agreements were processed Hence in order to make the system more efficient, we worked collaboratively with CASMP to automate and streamline the entire process such that there was a sustained interest in the program on behalf of both the student and alumni.

Key Challenges:

  • Issue of accuracy caused by 1.) signatures in inaccurate spots on the waiver form, 2.) manual scanning of addresses when mailing the forms out to alumni and students
  • Repetition of task: With each registration, the administrative staff had to follow the same process of writing letters, mailing waiver forms, scanning these forms and then, repeating the entire process in case of any errors.
  • Low response rate: Since the entire registration process was a combination of online and offline tasks, interest in the program dropped resulting in low response rates
  • Tedious process: Once the administrative staff at CASMP received the completed waiver forms, they would scan each document and compile it together to send it over to the Risk Management office.


Our expertise in CommonSpot enabled us to streamline and automate the entire process, thus making the system more efficient. We worked collaboratively with the CASMP staff to integrate the registration and waiver process. Now, the applicant first fills out the registration form and then as a next step of the application process completes the waiver form. We created digital signatures, such that each applicant is now assigned a unique digital signature. This has resulted in a significant reduction of time and effort of all individuals involved in the process. In addition the applicants can now use the save function and return to the registration process at a later date/time. This has eliminated the creation of multiple accounts and has streamlined the entire process. In the past, applicants would loose data if they did not finish the entire process in one sitting. The completed forms are then sent as an attachment to administrative staff at CASMP who then forward the waiver forms to the office of Risk Management. We have also included a provision such that CASMP can include the office of Risk management in their email list in order for them receive the forms directly.


Parameter Old System New System
Time spent in processing a single agreement couple of weeks to couple of months, the worst case being chasing the individual for 2 years Couple of minutes
 Spare time for administrative staff to devote to other activities Limited Couple weeks worth of time over the year
Student Agreement Completion rate 40% 100%
Alumni Agreement Completion rate 80% 100%
Applications processed *time spent*hourly rate 450*0.5*50 ($11,250) Almost zero

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