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New tool helps students track degree progress

Oct. 2, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Undergraduate students at Western Michigan University now have a powerful tool to track their academic progress toward graduation.

The Progress to Degree system enables students and advisors to generate electronic reports that evaluate a student's academic history against the requirements of a selected undergraduate degree program.

"Students can choose to run an evaluation for their chosen major or for another major or minor," says Registrar Barbara McKinney. "They can run a limitless number of what-if possibilities, and the results are generated almost instantaneously.

"Progress to Degree, which has been in development since 2006, is not a response to WMU's new Western Edge commitment to eligible students, but it will be a valuable aid in fulfilling the Western Edge goal of meeting graduation requirements on schedule."

Students can access the tool in GoWMU, the University's secure intranet portal, under Progress to Degree. The new tool will support the advising process, reducing time spent on record keeping and increasing time spent on planning. To maximize the effectiveness of advising appointment time, students are encouraged to run a Progress to Degree analysis and review the results before meeting with an academic advisor.

"Progress to Degree is a resource to aid, but not replace, academic advising or the graduation audit process. All students must still file for an audit to apply for graduation. All degree requirements will be verified by graduation auditors, and students will be notified of the results," says McKinney.

Progress to degree is available for undergraduate students who entered WMU since fall 2004, for whom academic records and applicable degree requirements are available in the system.

The Registrar's Office predicts this tool will be available for graduate students in 2008.

Students with questions about Progress to Degree should write to registrar-progress@wmich.edu.

For more information about the Western Edge, visit www.wmich.edu/edge.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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