Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


13.215.1 - 13.215.13

Conference Name

2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Time and quality are two important metrics for improving a company's production and profit performance. Six Sigma is one of the most powerful continuous improvement tools that have been used to improve the quality of products and business processes. Six Sigma methodology provides the techniques and tools to improve the capability and reduce the number of defects in any process. It was originally developed by Motorola to systematically improve processes by eliminating defects. Although, originally developed for manufacturing processes, the tool has been effectively applied to improve business processes also. Evaluation of applications for admission in higher education is often a long and time consuming process. Long lead times and number of errors can be very frustrating for prospective students and their parents. This paper addresses the issues and concerns related to the admissions process at a University and makes recommendations for implementation. This study was completed as part of a master's project. The paper first outlines Six Sigma principle and then discusses various tools and techniques that can be applied to the admissions process. The delays in the application evaluation process are caused due to several factors, student not submitting credentials on time, delays at processing stations and delays due to un-necessary routing. A process map was created followed by data collection at various stations along the value stream. Finally DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) principles were applied to identify sources of bottlenecks and to suggest improvements to the process.


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Original Publication Citation

Verma, A. (2008). Applying Six Sigma methodology to the admissions process in higher education. Paper presented at the 2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.