“Degree Works” software to help students

Travis Danner
Opinions/Managing editor
Most students at Las Positas College are aware that the school has a shortage of counselors. Soon, technology may make that problem a thing of the past.
For the past five years, LPC has been studying the implementation of software called Degree Works which will aid students in monitoring their academic progress. The software would allow students to develop their academic goals even without access to counselors.
The software was discussed at a Nov. 28 Academic Senate meeting and the school plans to focus group the new software beginning in the spring 2013 semester. The implementation of the software is being overseen by student record evaluator John Armstrong.
According to the software’s web page, Degree Works “provides a comprehensive set of web-based academic advising, degree audit, and transfer articulation tools to help students and their advisors negotiate (their) institution’s curriculum requirements.”
If the software is implemented, students will be able to log on and gauge where they stand academically. They will be able to see how close they are to specific degrees and certificates.
The software may also help LPC with another proposed change. The school is debating whether to automatically award degrees to students who qualify for them. As it sounds now, this creates a complicated situation for advisors who would have to search through confidential student records to determine who qualifies for degrees.
Degree Works would allow students to judge for themselves if they want to achieve certain degrees.
The implementation of the software, according to the Degree Works web page, when combined with traditional counseling services could allow “students receive the academic advice they need to succeed and your advisors gain new capabilities to help them counsel their students more successfully.”

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