Undergraduate Degree Audits Get Facelift with DegreeWorks
Posted April 5, 2011 | Atlanta, GA
Regardless of why you decided to come to Tech, the ultimate endpoint is to earn a degree from the Institute. Now, the Office of the Registrar has made it easier for students to track their progress toward that goal.
The Institute began replacing its previous degree audit system, CAPP, in 2010; as of December, DegreeWorks has taken CAPP's place and is accessible to all undergraduate students at degreeworks.gatech.edu. The online system enables students to see which degree requirements have been fulfilled, which are in progress and which are incomplete.
“I’ve found it to be very helpful for deciding what classes to take and which ones would fill which degree requirements,” said Sarah Burdette, a third-year biology major who transferred to the Institute last fall. “It was really nice to be able to look and see in which areas all my transfer credits went.”
The system also aids communication between advisors and students by allowing advisors to leave notes regarding any academic concerns. Advisors also have the capability of correcting or overriding automation in the system on a case-by-case basis.
“DegreeWorks provides students and advisors one reliable, accurate place to review degree requirements and progress,” said Robert Simon, assistant registrar for academic services. While previously students may have had a difficult time keeping track of this information, DegreeWorks makes it available online at any time. Simon also noted the system’s vast visual improvement over its predecessor, with color-coding and a more intuitive interface.
An additional aspect is the capability of seeing how an academic timeline would change as a result of changing majors through a “What if?” feature. Students can see which courses would carry over to meet a new major’s requirements, assessing how it may affect their academic timeline.
“I really liked how it showed me which classes would count, what would have to get made up and how long it would take to graduate if I changed majors,” Burdette said.
“This program doesn’t replace meetings with advisors, but it’s a tool students and advisors can use to make sure everything is clear, accurate and consolidated in one place,” Simon said. “It will strengthen student-advisor relationships since they’ll be seeing the same information. If you leave a meeting and can’t remember which course your advisor mentioned while you were talking, they can record it in a note and it will stay there for your reference.”
DegreeWorks feeds information from Banner and Oscar, so students must register for classes and declare majors and minors for that information to be reflected in DegreeWorks. The “What if?” feature does not reflect minors at this time but is being considered for the future, as is access for Master’s and Doctoral candidates.
Anything altered in Banner or Oscar will be reflected in DegreeWorks after it refreshes each night; it’s manufactured by the same parent company as Banner, making for a relatively seamless integration.
The Office of the Registrar will update the system each year as catalogs and degree requirements change, and encourages students to provide feedback to their advisors as they explore and use the program.
Beginning this summer, graduating students will need to include a printout of their progress from DegreeWorks with their application for graduation. Check your progress at degreeworks.gatech.edu