Proctor Academy: Simplifying Admissions Workflows with Blackbaud Enrollment Management System and SAO

September 15, 2016 Jackie Christensen

Proctor Academy’s Director of Enrollment Management, Chris Bartlett wants to help clear the path for prospective families interested in applying to Proctor. That is why offering The Enrollment Management Association’s (formerly SSATB) Standard Application Online (SAO) made so much sense.

The Enrollment Management Association’s Standard Application Online (SAO) simplifies the process of applying to independent schools. Families complete just one online application, obtain one transcript, and one set of teacher recommendations to apply to any number of private/independent member schools that accept it. By accepting the SAO, private school admissions offices widen their pool of candidates. In addition to the applicant portal, Educational Consultants and Placement Directors have access to an advisor portal where they are able to monitor SAO applications. Schools can also require an additional supplement, which provides the opportunity to customize and address school-specific questions (in Proctor’s case, a supplement for admission for their Learning Skills Program).

Proctor has been accepting the SAO since it’s inception. However, over the past two years Proctor’s application numbers spiked by over 40%, with the SAO representing over 50% of Proctor’s applications.  It was time for a change. Director of Admission Operations, Lesley Fisher, partnered with Blackbaud Enrollment Management System Senior Product Manager, Jackie Christensen, to help facilitate and pilot the integration. “SAO is a wonderful product for our families! The process of applying is simple and straightforward. But it wasn’t always simple and straightforward for our Admissions Team to manage the data, so when BB K-12 asked if we would help pilot an SAO integration, we were absolutely thrilled,” says Lesley Fisher.

As of August 30th, 2016, bringing SAO data into Blackbaud’s enrollment management system just got easier via a direct API integration! Before the integration was available, Admission staff members would have to jump between two systems, spending precious time manually creating candidate records in Blackbaud Enrollment Management System and attaching the SAO.  The new integration streamlines the workflow by automatically pulling a candidate’s submitted SAO directly into Blackbaud Enrollment Management System ’s Application Processing Center. From there a candidate record can be created and the SAO can be accessed from the Blackbaud Enrollment Management System checklist.

“Schools have numerous application products and integration tools from which to choose, many driven by SIS providers. We needed to evaluate which application products are most user-friendly for prospectives families, sending school personnel, reference writers and educational consultants. By leveraging our long term partnership with Blackbaud K-12 and the Enrollment Management Association’s SAO, we are streamlining our own systems but, more importantly, we are simplifying the admission process for our families. The integration is huge win for all parties,” adds Chris Bartlett.

To learn more about the SAO integration, visit The Enrollment Management Association’s partner page or download the datasheet that details the connection between the SAO and Blackbaud Enrollment Management System.

Partner page:


About the Author

Jackie Christensen

Currently serving as a product management manager, Jackie Christensen has been a member of Blackbaud K–12's product development team since the inception of the education management solutions. In fact, she was on site with the first school to launch our LMS and SIS. She loves the journey of working with schools and our UX and technical team to bring ideas to life. Jackie lives in New Hampshire with her husband Mark and three boys. Depending on the season, you’ll either find them at the lake or skiing.

More Content by Jackie Christensen
Previous Article
7 Ways to Increase Inquiries on Your School Website
7 Ways to Increase Inquiries on Your School Website

View More
The Parent Experience Journey Map
The Parent Experience Journey Map