A new online tool makes it easier than ever for students to stay on track for graduation.
Degree Progress keeps track of all the course requirements students need to graduate, checking them off as they’re completed.
“It makes everything clearer for students,” says Julie Shurtliff, academic advisor for the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. “It shows them exactly where they are, so they can see the big picture.”
The big picture can be complicated. In addition to required courses all students need to graduate, there are major and minor requirements to keep track of, as well as 40 credits needed at the 300 level, 60 from a four-year college and the list goes on.
“Workbench lays all of it out for you,” Shurtliff says.
Students log into Degree Progress through Centralink. If they’re freshmen, they’ll see their general education requirements. But as they progress, selecting majors, minors and degrees, the online tool adds their required courses and shows what classes they’ve taken and what requirements they still need to fulfill.
Workbench also shows their grades in each class and tracks their GPA.
“It breaks down exactly what you have to do,” Shurtliff says. “As you complete a requirement, you’ll see a check mark next to it.”
Now her meetings with students are even more meaningful, Shurtliff says.
“Now I can have deeper conversations with students, because I don’t have to spend so much time gathering all their information,” she says. “We can talk about why they want to go into psychology, discuss internships they might apply for.”
She suggests students access Degree Progress every time they register for classes or do any academic planning.
Transfer students will see what classes they took elsewhere and how they apply to CMU.
“It streamlines everything,” Shurtliff says. “Before, students had to lug around the big Bulletin and know where all their requirements were inside it. This is automated, and it keeps track of everything.
Students can expect to see more features added over time, including requirements for additional degrees and a planning tool for easy “click and drag” course planning.
“Knowledge is power,” Shurtliff says. “This is a powerful tool for students. Before, they had to piecemeal it all together. Now, it’s all in one place.”