Degree Navigator replaced

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  • Degree Navigator will be replaced this month by new Academic Advisement software.
  • Academic Advisement is a degree planning program that will be integrated with the CheckMarq system.
  • The new software offers increased efficiency and compatibility with CheckMarq.

Students will say goodbye to Degree Navigator this month when it is replaced by Academic Advisement, a degree planning program that will work seamlessly with the CheckMarq system.

It's meant to assist students with class selection and planning. Advising for spring 2009 classes begins Monday.

"(Academic Advisement) is a greatly improved product," said University Registrar Georgia McRae. "Because it is integrated with the CheckMarq system, it offers us some of the capabilities that were lacking with Degree Navigator."

Academic Advisement is scheduled to be available before the end of this month to support spring 2009 advising, according to the Information Technology Services Web site. Students and advisers will receive notification when it is available.

Degree Navigator was implemented for student use in October 2006, said Dan Smith, senior director of ITS.

The Academic Advisement software will allow students to view unfulfilled course requirements and place those courses into a planner for future registration, McRae said.

Changes made in CheckMarq will appear in Academic Advisement in "real-time," McRae said. Degree Navigator used to be updated nightly.

The university also has the ability to create its own advisement reports with Academic Advisement, McRae said.

Using Degree Navigator, the university had to work with Decision Academic, the vendor, to make any customized reports. The vendor often could not respond as quickly as needed or program university requests into its product, McRae said.

"(Degree Navigator) was simply not an integrated product," McRae said. "It was more difficult to maintain and manage and would never allow us to fully integrate our student services within CheckMarq. Students will find Academic Advisement very user-friendly and more compatible with all the other features in CheckMarq."

McRae said students will be able to access Academic Advisement directly from the student self-service center in CheckMarq, which was upgraded in July. Degree Navigator required a separate login.

Academic Advisement is a part of PeopleSoft, a larger software suite. The university implemented the software during the 2003-'04 academic year. It upgraded from PeopleSoft 8 to PeopleSoft 9 last summer, Smith said.

Matt Webber, a senior in the College of Engineering, said he rarely used Degree Navigator. He said the program was not too hard to use, but that the layout needed improvement.

"The layout (of Degree Navigator) was cluttered," Webber said. "It was not very easy to read because there was lots of information in one spot."

Joe Gacioch, a junior in the College of Communication, thought Degree Navigator was fairly easy to use, and that it broke down courses very well. He used Degree Navigator a couple of times to make sure that his college credits taken in high school transferred to Marquette.

Gacioch praised Degree Navigator for its "creative layout."

Lindsay Adams, a junior in the College of Communication, said she believes the new Academic Advisement program will allow students to take the initiative and independently manage their credits more easily.

More information about Academic Advisement can be found here.

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