New DegreePlan feature allows students to create educational plans

New DegreePlan feature allows students to create educational plans

Davenport University has launched a new feature in DegreePlan to enable students to take full ownership of their educational plans and goals.  

Following three years of planning, implementation, training and testing, the Degree Works™ Student Educational Planner (SEP) tool went live on May 7 in Davenport’s DegreePlan. Students will be encouraged through ACES 100 courses and other means to use the tool to plan their full academic careers early on, enabling them to efficiently fulfill degree program requirements. Completed SEP Plans will also help DU determine when courses should be offered and assist in building an effective yearlong schedule.

“We have often heard from students that they become frustrated when the courses they need to graduate are not available,” said Executive Vice President for Academics and Provost Linda Rinker. “The Student Education Plans will help them take more control over their own academic journey and help them to plan in advance the courses that they take – and when. This will help us have a better view for when we need to schedule certain classes that are not available every semester.”

Davenport University selected the Degree Works SEP tool after extensive research that involved dialog with other universities using this feature.

“The biggest success Purdue has had with the SEP comes from using templates to provide all of our students with access to a four-year plan of study,” said Kylie Edmond, associate registrar for systems and technology at Purdue University.

“This provides students a clear path to graduation and keeps us in compliance. A win for everyone!” Edmond said.

Tonya Moreno, an academic advisor and instructor at East Tennessee State University, said she relies heavily upon SEP to help students visualize their plan of study in a concrete way from the beginning.  

“Even though things may change, they at least have all of the pieces to help them choose wisely every semester,” Moreno said.

SEP templates, which match Program Sequences, and Blank plans are available to assist students with planning their sequence of courses and tracking their progress to program completion. SEP templates work best for FTIAC (first-time-in-any-college) — students with few articulation or transfer credits — however, any student can create a SEP Plan. The full benefits of SEP Plans will not be realized until most FTIAC students in the institution are utilizing the tool, which should take about four years. While the accuracy of the data will build over time, at least two years of data is needed for reporting purposes. We are hopeful that in the future, following necessary system upgrades, Davenport will be able to allow students to schedule courses directly from their SEP Plans.

DU advisors have been trained in SEP and are able to respond to student questions. DegreePlan and SEP Plan training tutorials for students are available at LibGuides ACES 100 course.  Empower U has informational SEP tutorials available for staff and faculty to view. Advising and Registrar’s Office have worked collaboratively to provide students with the necessary tools and tutorials to create their SEP Plans successfully and take full ownership of their academic path.

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