Case Studies · 4 minute read

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine prioritizes bias mitigation in a newly streamlined admissions process

Discover how NC State College of Veterinary Medicine streamlined their admissions process with Kira, for a more inclusive and consistent evaluation of applicants.

Challenge

Structuring the admissions process to streamline reviewing and adopt bias mitigation best practices. 

Key outcomes

Achieved 85% scoring consistency across dozens of reviewers.

Favourite features

  • Horizontal Review
  • Inter-rater Reliability Metrics
  • Defined Rubrics and Rating Scales

Ranked in the top five veterinary colleges in the United States, North Carolina (NC) State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is a driving force for veterinary research and education. 

Centered in what's known as The Research Triangle, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is part of a research conglomerate with two other tier 1 research universities — Duke University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel hill.

“As a student at NC State, you have access to a lot of really amazing research, impressive institutions, and opportunities for connecting with like-minded peers,” shared Adam Jenkins, the Director of Admissions at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. “We attract professionals that are at the top of the veterinary world to come here and teach our students. The people that you meet here, the experiences you get, are kind of second to none.”

Over ten years ago, NC State CVM dropped the interview component of their admissions process because they didn’t have the resources to deliver them at scale. 

“For a long time, we had to go without having any interview component whatsoever,” Jenkins explained. “But we felt like we were missing the communication aspect, an important piece of identifying the best candidates for our program.”

“With Kira, we found a way to reclaim that piece of our admissions process at scale.”

On-demand assessments for greater efficiency

“While there may be pros to in-person interviews, the reality is that the logistics of actually doing it well are significant,” shared Jenkins. “We felt that we’d be trying to squeeze it in and the finagling we’d have to do would end up impairing the integrity of the process while failing to deliver the level of professionalism that we want applicants to associate with NC State CVM.” 

“The efficiency and flexibility of Kira’s Asynchronous Assessment allows us to create a stronger, more diverse reviewing team because it’s more accessible to our faculty, staff, and practicing DVMs who don’t have hours to set aside for in-person interview days,” Jenkins shared. 

“With Kira, they can review candidates without it interfering with their work.”

“The same benefits hold true for our applicants,” he continued. “We have yet to encounter a scenario where technology is a barrier for anyone. If anything, we’ve found that it creates a more level playing field.”

Achieving reviewing consistency

“The larger and more diverse group of people you’re able to include in the reviewing process, the more confident you can be that unconscious biases aren’t influencing the admissions decisions,” Jenkins explained. 

Using Kira’s Horizontal Review, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is able to assign reviewers to a specific competency which they assess across a wide pool of applicants. In doing so, Horizontal Review helps improve accuracy and reliability of scoring as each applicant is evaluated by more reviewers who are better versed in assessing that specific competency. 

“We have three reviewers score each response, which means that there are nine different people assessing each applicant,” shared Jenkins. 

“When we see outliers, we might take another look, but we know that one review can’t sink the boat,” he continued. “That’s really important when you’re including a varied group of reviewers in your reviewing process — the diversity of backgrounds and experiences is very beneficial, but these are not all professional reviewers, you have to make sure you have the right structures in place.” 

“When all the scores align, however, we can feel very confident that we’ve gotten an accurate read on that applicant.”

“Once the Kira assessments are reviewed, the scores and notes are passed along to our admissions committee, who complete a full holistic file review, and make our final admissions decisions,” Jenkins added.

Tracking reviewer integrity and consistency

“Kira’s Inter-rater Reliability Metrics flag any significant deviations in scoring and allow us to easily see when there’s an outlier,” explained Jenkins. “However with all the additional support, like the defined rubrics and clear competency descriptions that we created in Kira, it wasn’t often that we needed the tools.” 

“There was a lot of consistency amongst a wide group of reviewers who did not communicate and had no idea who was reviewing what,” Jenkins continued. “Around 85% of reviewer scores were within three points of each other.”

“That showed us that, with our process in Kira, we are getting an accurate evaluation of the applicant and their skillset.”

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