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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

New degree planning tool to be released winter quarter

By Rachael Buselmeier

 

In an effort to address Western’s ongoing problem with bottlenecking, the registrar’s office will introduce Degree Works, a new program to alleviate this issue, winter quarter.

Degree Works will allow students and faculty to look at classes they have already taken and those they will need to take in order to complete their major

It will also feature various tools to ease this process.

Sophomore Sage Fairman hopes the new program will help her as she plans her own degree through Western’s Fairhaven program.

“Following my own path through Fairhaven, I’m not sure exactly what I need to take, it’s kind of what I want to take,” Fairman said, “The classes I want to take aren’t always available.”

The new program will arm students and their advisers with a slew of tools to plan their future, registrar David Brunnemer said.

If there are multiple options for classes to fulfill a degree requirement, Degree Works will provide a full list of options within the program and their class description.

There are tools within the program to write notes about potential course options.

Illustration by Shannon DeLurio.

Green indicators will show students areas where they are on track to complete their degree and red indicators will highlight areas that you need to work on, Brunnemer said.

Freshmen can use the “What If” tool to test out countless majors and get a more tangible sense of requirements.

Each department will have the ability to edit class lists. If there are new substitutions or other options, they will be reflected quickly in Degree Works, Brunnemer said.

Brunnemer described the program as “efficiency in all marks.” Advisers across campus have been testing the program for accuracy before it is launched.

In using Degree Works, the registrar’s office hopes to implement efficiencies and eliminate paper from the degree planning process.

“This is going to radically change things,” Brunnemer said.

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