Lane’s Enrollment Services department is currently beta testing software that would track students’ degree progress in terms of learning, experience and cumulative credits.
Dean of Enrollment and Management Systems, Helen Garrett, said the software DegreeWorks, is meant to offer students easy access to up-to-date information about their academic progress over MyLane, assisting academic advising.
“This tool will put the resources in students’ hands,” Garrett said.
DegreeWorks would give students the ability to independently plan without facing the problems they currently have when changing majors or finding out where they stand academically.
“I have to look for and write down what classes I am going to take for the next four years,” said Esau Gavett, a full time student in his second term at Lane. “(Lane’s) website is a f—ing mess. I’m paying two grand to come here and with all the technology there is, I think this should already exist.”
Beth Landy, a Business and Elementary Education counselor, as well as an instructor for Career and Life Planning classes at Lane, called the software powerful and accurate.
“Students won’t be taking classes they don’t need. This excites me as a counselor for students to be able to use this,” Landy said. “Academic advisers could focus on more complex issues. I think it will increase degree completion, and I think students will be leaving with less debt.”
Advisers can use their time more efficiently, she added.
The budget for the project is $150,000, with one-third of the funding coming from the student enrollment fee and the remainder coming from a Title III grant, a five-year federal grant meant to address low rates of retention, graduation and transfer. The grant’s window opened in 2009.
Despite the support, there will still be impediments to moving forward. All key administrators in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in 2012 have either left Lane to accept a position elsewhere, retired or shifted to another assignment at Lane.