AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University is implementing Auburn DegreeWorks, a software program designed to help students and their advisers monitor progress toward graduation.
The program provides a comprehensive set of web-based academic advising, degree audit and course planning tools for students and their advisers in determining curriculum requirements.
Auburn DegreeWorks supports academic advising by combining the university’s degree requirements and a student’s completed coursework into a format that enables students to visualize those courses completed and what courses remain. It provides information on current curriculum, recommendations, academic standing, a GPA calculator and a list of conditions the student must meet for graduation. Students are alerted to unmet conditions when they log in, and advisers can enter notes when meeting with students, providing a progress report and course planning assistance. Exceptions and class substitutions can also be documented in the program.
“Auburn DegreeWorks will benefit students by providing them with a quick and clear sense of the progress they are making toward completing all their degree requirements,” said Constance Relihan, associate provost for undergraduate studies. “It will also help them understand how their degree progress would be affected if they changed their major.”
The system enables students to view degree requirements if they are interested in changing majors, and see courses that do and do not transfer, providing a “what if” analysis for those considering the change.
“Let’s say you’re a mechanical engineering major and you want to change to civil engineering. What the ‘what if’ tab will do is allow you to see what exactly you need to do in order to complete this new degree,” software engineering student Antionne Morris explained. “It will have all your credits lined up for what you’ve already taken in mechanical engineering and will add on to that the credits you need for civil engineering. If you had a class in mechanical that transfers to civil, it will show that as well. It allows you to easily see what you would have to do if you decide to change your major.”
Auburn DegreeWorks also offers real-time advice and counsel to students with a 24-hour virtual adviser, but in no way takes the place of a student’s personal adviser housed within his college.
“Auburn DegreeWorks will help advisers focus their discussions with their students on concerns and issues by decreasing time advisers need to spend posting grades to students’ curriculum check sheets,” Relihan said.
John Raines, an academic adviser in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and member of the Auburn DegreeWorks committee, led the rollout of the program for testing in the college and said he believes it will only strengthen his ability to assist his students.
“Auburn DegreeWorks isn’t going to do anything we as advisers don’t already do, it’s just going to do it more efficiently,” he said. “The data will be more concise and the students will have access to the same information we have. We’ll both be on the same page from the get-go, which will give me time to be more of help to the student.”
(Written by Carol Nelson.)