DegreeWorks tool launches

Tech is making an effort to simplify students’ registration efforts with a new online program, DegreeWorks. The Registrar’s office has recently decided to upgrade to a new program.
Under the same operating system as Banner and Buzzport, DegreeWorks is a program that aims to assist students and advisors in academic organization, academic performance and to plan future academic coursework.
“[The Registrar is] really committed to improving the technology of our business processes, practices and updating for the 21st century while staying in line with the strategic vision of Georgia Tech,” said Robert Simon, assistant registrar.
DegreeWorks is a web-based program that allows students and advisors to view all past, present and future coursework. Like degree checklists distributed by academic advisors, DegreeWorks plugs in a student’s specific coursework and allows the student see what is completed and what is not. Course options to fulfill a requirement are listed, and a link to each course description is available.
Based on a student’s program, he or she can also view how an additional major or minor will affect his or her current schedule. Future installments to the program include a graduation planner and online petition degrees.
“I’ll definitely need it to keep track of classes. I’ve actually been needing something like this because I’m a co-op student. This program will help me decide what to take and when to take certain classes,” said Russell Ralston, third-year ME major.
By being able to plan out future coursework, DegreeWorks will allow students to view their necessary classes and their prerequisites for degree programs.
In Spring 2011, the Registrar plans to release other parts of the program like advisor training and a curriculum planning assistant. Once all 36 programs agree to use the program, DegreeWorks will increase advertising and add links to its site on other Tech sites like BuzzPort.
Alabama and UGA are among several other universities who have this program for students.
“I think [DegreeWorks] is going to help the student-advisor relationship a lot. What the advisor sees is what the student sees,” Simon said.
One feature that the advisor and the student share is the notes feature. The feature allows the advisor to record thoughts on a student’s course decisions or other academic decisions. It is also a feature that the student has access to and can add his or her own notes.
The program is in its beginning stages and will gradually add on new features throughout the next several semesters.
Currently, 27 of the 36 campus departments at Tech have agreed to implement the program into their department. The students and advisors within these 27 departments can now use the new online program.
Several different organizations, including the Board of Regents and SGA, are footing the initial costs for the program. Tech’s Athletic Association has contributed as well. Usage of the program will be free to all students and advisors.

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