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IU Northwest students can track degree progress, compare academic scenarios and more online

For those who have enrolled since 2010, the degree audit function in OneStart is like having 24/7 access to advisors

Monday Jan 14, 2013

Indiana University Northwest students have a number of resources available to them through the university’s OneStart system, such as the ability to view their latest grades and unofficial transcript, keep up with their financial aid tasks, and even chart their courses for upcoming semesters.

Students who enrolled at IU Northwest in Fall 2010 or since now have another tool at their fingertips to help them track their academic progress in greater detail. Effective immediately, those students who log into their OneStart accounts can begin using tools under the tab, “My Academics and Grades.” These tools include: “View My Advisement Report” and “What if Advisement Report.”

In “View My Advisement Report” students who have enrolled since Fall 2010 can see how their courses, transfer credits, tests and other special credits apply toward the academic requirements of their major. In “What if Advisement Report” they can choose scenarios and evaluate how their current classes fit into an alternate plan of study.

“Though face-to-face meetings with an academic advisor remain an invaluable asset, the new tools in OneStart provide 24/7 access to information not previously available unless a student had an advising appointment,” said Mary Beth Mitchell, the research analyst/programmer who programmed the tool for each of the degree programs. “These tools essentially enable students to run their own degree audits without having to make an appointment with their academic advisors.”

However, Mitchell said it would be beneficial for students to see their advisors first for initial instruction on how to use the online degree audit tool.

The online degree audit is a kind of virtual checklist, Mitchell said, but the bonus is that it can be altered to help the student imagine and plan for various academic scenarios. A student can simulate a program of study and compare how the requirements for various degrees match up with courses already taken.

“You may be thinking of changing your major and wonder how that change would affect your progress,” Mitchell said. “You can use this component to request a simulated, or ‘what if,’ advisement report based on an alternate program of study.”

To do this, first create a career scenario, then a program scenario, and, optionally, add courses from the online catalog. Next, submit the request and then review the online audit to consider how the classes fit into your simulated degree program.

The features are now available for all undergraduate degrees and will soon be available for minors, certificates and graduate degrees.

Deciphering transfer credits are a bit trickier, Mitchell said, and learning how they transfer into a particular major may still require the help of an advisor who would have to input the credit.

For training on how to use the OneStart tools to manage your degree progress, contact your academic advisor.

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