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    Genetic Counseling Graduate Programs (GCGPs) have progressively increased in number and class size, and implementation of the National Matching Services in 2018 was a major step toward streamlining the admissions process. Standardized applications (SAs), which have been incorporated into the admissions process for undergraduate studies as well as several professional graduate programs, could also be considered for GCGPs. In this study, we assessed the opinions of GCGP Program Directors (PDs) regarding the implementation of an SA for GCGP admissions processes. GCGP PDs participated in an anonymous online survey designed to evaluate interest in an SA and assess perceived implementation barriers. The survey collected GCGP and PD demographic information, data on current application components, and PD opinions of an SA. Thirty PDs were included in this study, and just over half (n = 16/30, 53.3%) reported their current application structure would allow for SA implementation. While 40% (n = 12/30) of respondents anticipated an SA would benefit GCGPs, an additional 23.3% (n = 7/30) anticipated no impact to GCGPs. Most respondents (n = 26/30, 86.6%) anticipated that an SA would be beneficial for GCGP applicants. The main perceived benefit to GCGPs was an efficient application process, while perceived benefits to applicants included decreased redundancy and increased application access. Perceived harms to GCGPs included more generic applications, while perceived harms to applicants included increased competition for admission to individual GCGPs. The most common SA implementation barrier cited by respondents was current administrative structures. This study demonstrates that while GCGP leadership largely perceives an SA to be beneficial for applicants, opinions on impact to GCGPs vary. While the majority of respondents perceive implementation of an SA to be feasible, there are implementation barriers that must be addressed. Interestingly, GCGP leadership had mixed perceptions about the structure of a hypothetical SA, and thus overall impact, demonstrating the need for further study. © 2021 National Society of Genetic Counselors.


    Erin Beasley, Caitlin Mauer, Jacqueline Mersch, Sara Pirzadeh-Miller, Sayoni Lahiri. Standardized applications for genetic counseling graduate programs: Opinions of program directors. Journal of genetic counseling. 2022 Apr;31(2):489-496

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    PMID: 34558754

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