Geneseo has implemented a new degree-auditing software called DegreeWorks to help students and advisors during registration and pre-graduation planning. This will replace the WebCAPP system, which had several problems for students and advisors.
“[Web]CAPP has been limping along,” professor of physics and Dean of Curriculum and Academic Services Savi Iyer said. “There were some known bugs that we haven’t been able to fix.”
One of the major advantages of DegreeWorks is its visual layout. Unlike WebCAPP, DegreeWorks has clear checklists that list every requirement necessary for a student to graduate. Instead of either “yes” or “no” written next to requirements, there are green check marks, amongst other marks. Another important feature is that prerequisite and course waivers will be shown separately from regularly completed courses in the system.
“The big thing is that it’s so much easier to read than WebCAPP,” Iyer said.
The new program will not be available to students until May at the earliest. For the time being, students won’t have access to WebCAPP or DegreeWorks, although advisors and department chairs will have access to their students’ DegreeWorks audits.
“Students will have access [to DegreeWorks] as soon as possible,” Iyer said. “DegreeWorks is something that [State University of New York] central wants all 64 campuses to have. We’re actually one of the early cohorts to adopt this.”
Starting this fall, students will meet with their advisors to make sure they are on track to graduate. According to Iyer, about 50 percent of students didn’t show up to their pre-grad checks. To curb this, there will be pre-grad checks at 65 credits and 95 credits with holds being placed on the accounts of students that don’t meet with their advisors.
“The transition is not going to be easy,” Iyer said. “It’s not complicated to use, but we’re also transitioning [pre-graduation checklists] to DegreeWorks.”
Another feature of DegreeWorks called “look ahead” allows students to enter courses that they want to take and see how it will affect their degree progress.
“You can submit a list of planned courses and run the audit to see where these courses will fit in and for what requirements,” Iyer said. “That’s something we didn’t have before.”
In addition to looking ahead, DegreeWorks will also allow students to do a “what if” analysis. With this feature, you can enter any major or minor and check your degree progress as it relates to that. Although there was a similar feature in WebCAPP, according to Iyer, it was severely flawed.
One of the most important features for underclassmen is the degree planner. This eight-semester planner will allow students to map out which courses they want to take and when they want to take them.
Iyer noted that one specific feature that students will find useful is the grade point average calculator. Students can figure out what kind of grades they need to reach their desired GPA at the end of their college coursework.
According to Iyer, the purpose of DegreeWorks as a whole is to make it easier for students to self-advise. This should allow for less confusion and fewer headaches during registration.
“I think it’s going to be a good product,” Iyer said. “Students are going to like it.”