Thompson Rivers University

Degree Works to launch on-campus

August 24, 2016

A new software program to assist advisors in tracking student progress will be implemented campus-wide starting this fall to help students seamlessly progress toward their desired credential.

Used by many Canadian and North American post-secondary institutions, specifically those operating Banner as their student information system, Ellucian Degree Works (referred to at TRU simply as Degree Works) has become an industry-standard tool for improving the academic advising experience and increasing student retention and completion rates.

The implementation of Degree Works began with Open Learning (OL) programs. Since 2012, OL program advisors have used this tool daily to help students navigate program requirements and progression and to perform graduation audits.

“We have learned a great deal and have a growing team of knowledgeable staff who will now play an important role in expanding the use of Degree Works to campus programs,” said Michael Bluhm, associate vice-president strategic enrolment and university registrar.

“We are aiming to have Degree Works functional and internal users comfortable with it by January 2017. At present, we are preparing to submit our program curriculum documents to Ellucian so it can configure our rules into the Degree Works system. Configured programs will then come back to us for testing, beginning in September through to November.”

Next Steps

Academic departments will be involved in two important steps during the implementation process to ensure that departments are confident that curriculum rules are set up accurately.

First, in the coming weeks, the Degree Works implementation team will reach out to academic departments prior to TRU’s submission of curriculum to Ellucian. The team recognizes that many curriculum documents may not be available through late August, as vacations wrap up and preparations begin for the start of term. The next opportunity for review of these documents will be after TRU receives the programs back from Ellucian. Again, the Degree Works implementation team will be in contact to set up some time this fall for review of these scribed program rules.

Second, later in the fall, there will be Degree Works orientation and training sessions for all who will need it. Please watch for more about this from the Degree Works implementation team.

More Information

Michael Bluhm
Associate Vice-President Strategic Enrolment & University Registrar
Thompson Rivers University

Eric Youd
DegreeWorks Project Team Lead
Student Systems Support Team

Marjorie Budnikas
Assistant Registrar, Articulation, Audit & Graduation

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