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Degreeworks provides new, improved advising system

By Savannah Christian
On October 7, 2011

In the upcoming Spring 2012 semester, students will be given the opportunity to schedule their courses through a new program called Degreeworks.

University Registrar Paige Bussell offered details on the "much better" advising system.

"The Degreeworks program will replace the current degree evaluation program that is currently used through students' MyLeo accounts," she said.  "It will still be accessible through MyLeo.  You will be able to see what courses are needed to complete your degree, perform GPA calculations and plan for future semesters."

There have been complaints during previous semesters about the current advising system, but Bussell said Degreeworks will present a positive change for the students.

"The current degree program has been confusing and difficult to maintain through the current system," Bussell said.  "The new program will be easier to upgrade and understand."

Junior radio/television major Caitlin Barbee recently transferred to Texas A&M University-Commerce and has not yet adjusted to the advising system.  According to Barbee, the problem lies not with the people at the university, but the system.

"I haven't necessarily been advised," she said.  "We were basically sat down in a room and given instructions on how to sign up for classes. I wasn't really given any idea of what I needed to be signed up for and what order things needed to be in."

Although Barbee has not been regularly advised on how to use the system, she said she is given assistance any time she seeks it.

"When I have a question I just ask Dr. [John] Dempsey or Dr. [Tony] Demars," she said.  "They usually tell me what to do.  For instance, I was in the wrong class at the beginning of the year and I went to him and he got it taken care of quickly with just a few emails."

The Degreeworks program will offer a change to the students in areas such as accessibility, navigation and features.

"The degree evaluation is designed to be a more user-friendly environment and is much easier to understand," Bussell said.  "The degree evaluations are outlined so that students will know exactly which courses are being used and which courses are still needed to complete their degree.  This system is much better as it offers a much easier to read layout and has many more features including a planning tool and GPA calculator."

The system will also serve as a step in the direction to solve the student/advisor relationship.

"Degreeworks also includes a planning tool so that advisors can help plan out a students' courses in the semesters they need to complete them," Bussell said.

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