Administrators preview degree audit system

The much-anticipated degree audit system – which gives students the ability to track their progress toward their degrees without the help of an advisor – cleared another hurdle Tuesday.

DegreeWorks, an online program that calculates which courses a student must complete in order to graduate, was previewed on Tuesday for various University administrators. The system officially launches at GW in March.

“Having a comprehensive listing of the degree requirements can reduce student confusion, reduce time-to-degree, assist students with the selection appropriate courses at registration and elevate the level of interaction between students and advisors,” said Doug McKenna, an associate in the registrar’s office who has taken the lead on bringing the audit program to GW.

A committee of faculty members and administrators created to compile student, parent and other reactions to the University’s advising system found that students wanted a clearer way to track their progress toward completing a selected major without having to schedule a short meeting with their academic advisors, he said.

“Students and advisors can make better use of their time together, talking about career goals, interests and plans rather than spending the entire session looking over the student’s transcript to track degree progress,” McKenna said.

The program will officially launch in March – though it will still be considered an experimental phase – using only students in the School of Business and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who matriculated into GW this fall.

Depending on the response from students and advisors who use the program, some undergraduate schools within GW will begin using DegreeWorks on a rolling system.

Graduate and professional schools may receive the technology at a later date, depending on the overall outcome of GW’s experiment with the program.

“There is a lot of excitement on the part of advisors and students who have seen a demonstration of the application,” McKenna said. “The schools have been very receptive and enthusiastic to begin working on the implementation.”

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