Q1: What is the Degree Audit project?
A1: The 'UM Achieve' degree audit project is the implementation of degree audit software purchased from CollegeSource. The software provides both degree audit and program planner functionality.
Q2: Why has Students Affairs embarked on this project?
A2: Enhancing the student experience and supporting student persistence and academic success are the guiding principles behind the implementation of 'UM Achieve'. Ensuring staff, faculty and students have the highest quality tools to deliver an exceptional student experience will contribute to supporting those guiding principles.
Q3: What does 'UM Achieve' do?
A3: 'UM Achieve' provides support for:
- grad checks,
- program planning,
- communication of degree requirements,
- in-depth planning to allow for early detection of missing requirements, and
- reporting on specific characteristics of student groups.
Once implemented, 'UM Achieve' degree audits will provide students and advisors with easy-to-read reports on progress toward degree completion. Alternative planning scenarios, called "What-ifs", are also provided for students who are considering a program change. Additionally, the 'UM Achieve' program planner will allow students to map out their remaining courses and plan their registration in future terms. These functions provide resources for academic advising.
'UM Achieve' is a highly customizable product. Each Faculty, College and School will work with the encoding team to create a display that is meaningful and clear for their students. The software for 'UM Achieve' is robust.
As well, it allows for communication in the form of comments, which have various privacy settings – communication may be between advisors and/or between advisors and students.
Q4: What does the implementation of 'UM Achieve' mean for Academic Advisors?
A4: 'UM Achieve' is a tool to assist with advising. Academic and other campus advisors will be able to use accurate, up-to-the-minute information from Aurora (the system of record for student information) to assess student progression – this is done by checking registration and academic history against academic calendar rules.
There are a number of benefits and advantages to using 'UM Achieve' that will allow advisors to work more deeply with students. If you have any questions about how to use 'UM Achieve', please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Degree Audit Implementation Team. The names of the team members are found above.
Q5: What does the implementation of 'UM Achieve' mean for students?
A5: Students will be able to create a registration plan and track their progress toward their current degree program, or they can test out other options through a "What-if". Functionality included in 'UM Achieve' will allow planning for the future as students work in tandem with advisors. Students will have degree progression information at their fingertips, so they will be able to learn more about their requirements and ask informed questions. Some 'UM Achieve' features, like Audits and "What-ifs" can be used by other student service areas, contributing to a well-rounded advising experience for students.
Q6: What is the difference between an Audit and a 'What-if'?
A6: An Audit is a snapshot in time that uses data from Banner to assess degree progression/completion for the program that the student has declared. A "What-if" is another type of audit that assesses degree completion for any other program the student may wish to pursue.
Q7: Will advisors continue to use paper degree/grad check sheets?
A7: The goal is for academic advisors to become comfortable and confident in using 'UM Achieve' at their own pace. However, in time and with experience, the aim is to move away from the paper-based process currently in use at the University, to the use of 'UM Achieve' to complete degree and grad checking.
Q8: How will 'UM Achieve' be implemented?
A8: The 'UM Achieve' project is a collaboration between Academic Advisors, IST, the Registrar's Office and the office of Student Academic Success. 'UM Achieve' is being developed in phases.
In the fall of 2015, three pilot programs were built with the rules found in the academic calendar for the 2015-2016 academic year. The encoding team from the Registrar's Office met with Advisors from the three faculties and established a process to develop a collective understanding of the rules for these degrees. This knowledge was combined with an understanding of the programming required to develop the specific degree audits.
This process will be continued until all programs have been encoded. Maintenance will be required each year as program and course changes are made.
Q9: How will 'UM Achieve' handle substitutions and waivers?
A9: 'UM Achieve' has the functionality to initiate, approve and track waivers and substitutions. Process and protocols will be developed with advisors and students in mind. Exceptions can be recorded using the comments feature, creating clarity for the student and any advisor who works with the student.
Q10: Can I run an Audit or "what-if" for students who are not in my Faculty, College or School?
A10: Yes. For example, an advisor in one degree program can run an Audit or "What-if" for a prospective student coming from another academic unit, such as U1.
Audit: An assessment in UM Achieve that indicates how far along a student is in the completion of their degree. The degree requirements, as defined in the Calendar, are encoded into 'UM Achieve'.
Banner: The software that runs Aurora and the system of record for student information at the University of Manitoba.
Batch: A reporting process that runs a set of audits on specific characteristics of student groups.
CollegeSource: The vendor from which the University of Manitoba purchased the software for the degree audit project.
Encoding Team: Based in the Registrar's Office, this team is made up of two Functional Analysts, one Business Analyst, and one Advising Analyst. The encoding team will work with academic units to build the requirements of programs into UM Achieve.
Program: The requirements to obtain a degree (with a particular major if needed) as listed in the University of Manitoba's Academic Calendar.
What-if: An optional audit in 'UM Achieve' where a student can "test-drive" other programs. Students and advisors can request completed and in-progress courses be used toward a different program/major/minor/concentration or combination of these. What-if audits enable users to see how far along a student may be in alternative programs.
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