The Enrolment Services division is working with all Faculties and Schools across TRU to systematically improve the way students and their advisors can map paths to graduation. The implementation of Degree Works, a comprehensive academic advising software, will roll out over the next two years for advisor use, and student use will be available by Fall 2020.
Students have identified academic advising as a priority for improvement in every Student Budget Consultation for the last four years! This continued importance reflects the critical impact of academic advising on the student experience. Over that time, key issues have included a lack of timely service, a lack of consistent service and advice, and a (real or perceived) inaccuracy of advice. These have been further connected to difficulty planning for and accessing needed courses.
Academic advisors have been working hard since concerns were raised, and students are seeing improvements. Timely service is no longer an issue, and satisfaction with advising has consistently risen since 2015. However, the underlying system for how a student, with an advisor, can plan a degree has needed major upgrades. That’s where Degree Works comes in.
TRU has been working to implement Degree Works since March 2016, but has fallen significantly behind its original schedule to have advisors using it by January 2017. A small and dedicated group of staff has struggled to map TRU’s complicated (and often outdated) open degree program structures into the software. At the same time, these staff must perform ongoing maintenance and support for the system, and simply do not have the necessary resources. Unfortunately, a request for those resources was denied in the last university budget.
Nonetheless, the Degree Works team at TRU remains dedicated to their important work, and the University Registrar has made the following commitments:
- Requesting budget support for a new Audit and Articulation Officer position to support the Degree Works system (decision pending)
- Implement Degree Works for Faculties/Schools on or before this timeline, including student use by Fall 2020
Degree Works will provide important planning tools, but has and will also provide other benefits such as better aligning course delivery and information on websites, the Academic Calendar, etc. The impact of these commitments are largely dependent on the success of the budget request for the staff position to support the work. Fortunately, the University Registrar reports that this position is a high budget priority for his division. The Student Caucus will report on final decision when it is available.
To stay up-to-date on all of TRU’s responses to your priorities, check out the Student Budget Consultation webpage!
Full Response on Academic Advising
For more information, contact:
| Alex McLellan
University Governance Coordinator
Student Budget Consultation Survey 2019