When Florida Tech began developing off-campus and online programs, they needed someone to create a new admissions process. Enter Carolyn Farrior, who has been working at FIT since 1985 and in graduation admissions since 1990. Farrior became the Director of Graduate Admissions and is responsible for all admissions for online graduate majors, extended studies majors and any major on campus that is offered in an online format.
Now, Florida Tech offers graduate degree programs 100% online in a variety of disciplines, including accounting, business administration, cybersecurity, healthcare management, information technology, marketing, organizational leadership and supply chain management.
With 30 years at Florida Tech, Farrior is passionate about “being a part of the process that changes and impacts [our] students’ lives.” She spoke with us about the graduate admissions process and how it differs from undergrad admissions.
What does your role as Director of Graduate Admissions entail?
My responsibility as Director of Graduate Admissions is to oversee and manage the staff that processes all the graduate admissions applications for all online majors and courses offered by Florida Tech. In addition, I am responsible for processing all of our on-ground majors that are not held at the Main Campus.
What does the Graduate Admissions office look for when examining applicants?
The “whole” student is evaluated. They are reviewed academically. The GPA (grade point average) for graduate school at Florida Tech is determined by incorporating the GPA from all colleges and schools attended. In addition, because many of our students are adult learners, their professional careers are also reviewed. Florida Tech looks for leadership, consistent growth in their professional pursuits, signs of future potential and ability to multitask.
Can graduate students transfer credits?
Graduate students may request transfer credits; however, they are limited to a maximum of 12 credits (four courses). In addition, the transfer credit will not be evaluated or awarded until the student has been admitted to their desired major.
How much weight does the statement of intent carry? What does that tell you about a candidate?
This statement gives insight as to why the student is pursuing the requested major and how they believe that it will enhance their career. In addition, it also provides a writing sample that assists in determining the student’s ability to write at the graduate level.
What is different about the graduate application process compared with undergrad?
One difference is that graduate applications that fall below a minimum standard are reviewed by the requested major department. In addition, the admission process for graduate applications requires the student to submit not only the application and transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, but also requires a statement of intent, resume and a minimum of two letters of recommendation.
Have you noticed any difference in evaluating students for online/off-campus programs versus on campus?
Our online/off-campus students have a tendency to be a little older and mature. The result is that when they apply for admissions, they are very serious and they usually are committed to the process from admissions to graduation.
What do you most enjoy most about working in the admissions office?
I enjoy being a part of the process that changes and impacts our students’ lives. I like admissions because we have an opportunity to assist the student in making the process as smooth as possible. In addition, many of our students are adult learners who haven’t been in school for quite some time. It is a great opportunity to assist and encourage them in the process and let them know that no matter the age, education is always a great investment.