Process Mapping for Student Success

At the end of the spring 2019 semester, staff members from Student and Academic Affairs units across Iowa State’s campus were invited to a one-day process mapping workshop sponsored by Enrollment Management to examine current practices and identify ways to make improvements. Alex Aljets, Oregon State University UIA Fellow, facilitated the workshop which included an introduction to process mapping as well as an interactive case study.

The purpose of the workshop was to begin redesigning processes at Iowa State in order to reduce inefficiencies and remove obstacles for students. Like many large higher education institutions, several processes at Iowa State still rely on paper routing systems and manual entry which can be cumbersome and confusing for students, faculty, and staff. The workshop allowed teams to map out the current processes and identify steps that can be automated or in some cases, eliminated altogether. 

Seven teams were brought together to redesign processes for the following topics:

  • Changing Majors
  • Accounts Receivable Holds
  • Reinstatement
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Schedule Changes and Late Registration
  • In-State Tuition and Residency Classification
  • Distance Education Course Offering Set-Up

By the end of the workshop, three of the teams were able to complete a draft of a new process, three began redesigning new processes, and one group identified a need to expand their team and continue working over the summer. Some of the new processes will be implemented immediately while others will go into effect upon departmental approval. To learn more about process mapping or the University Innovation Alliance, contact UIA Fellow Darcie Sprouse (

Multiple tables of people with whiteboards around them
Four women looking and discussing what is on a whiteboard
Four people discussing around a table