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Tech looks to software for easier advisement

By Jordan Kerley
On November 15, 2012

Tech is looking into new software that in the future will help students and advisers with registration.
DegreeWorks will give students the tools needed to be successful and progress through their college careers in a timely manner when it comes to registering for classes.  

"What DegreeWorks does is it maps out or plots a student's curriculum for their degree," Robert Hodum, associate vice president for enrollment management and student success, said. "It gives students a good balance at what is needed to graduate."
This system will be a great tool for advisers to look at because it can assure them they are advising a student correctly.
The system will allow students to see which classes are needed before they can graduate. It will also tell the student if there is anything special about the class, such as requirements needing to be met or classes only offered in the fall or spring semester.
Tech has a mandatory advisement policy and has heavily relied on advisers to help guide students in the right direction to graduation.
"Nothing has been purchased yet, but there is a committee that has looked into the possibility of purchasing the system and will get back together after Thanksgiving to make a recommendation to the provost and the president about how things should proceed," Hodum said.
Eagle Online is a Banner product offered by Ellucian, which is currently used by Tech.
If DegreeWorks is purchased, it will just be an additional module of banner and will generate its own tab so students can access the product on their accounts anytime.
Before the product could be implemented, Tech's academic policies and different catalogs for different majors and years would have to be programmed into the system.
"Tech should have had this five years ago when I started," Tiffany O'Connor, senior, said.  "It would make looking up classes and knowing what is needed to graduate more efficient so that students can graduate when they are supposed to."
If Tech decides to purchase the system, there are three options, which vary in price range and implementation time.
The first option Tech can take is to purchase DegreeWorks alone and learn how to enter all the catalogs to all the majors and all the academic policies.
The second option is that once purchased, Ellucian will come and show how to enter the catalogs for one year and leave.
 The last option is to have Ellucian come in and build the system themselves.
According to Hodum, DegreeWorks would cost between $100,000 and $200,000 and would take a minimum of six months to build the system, depending on which option Tech purchases.

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