Freshman year, SUNY Oneonta students are confronted with the challenge of interpreting their Arrow Sheets for the first time. The aesthetically outdated system lists students’ gen-ed and major requirements, acting as a checklist of sorts for graduation. With pages upon pages of class listings, this non-interactive tool is somewhat unique to SUNY Oneonta, and certainly has its limitations.
Coming back from February break this semester students were introduced to a new audit program called DegreeWorks. For the spring and summer semesters, it will have a gradual opening, working in conjunction with Arrow Sheets. Starting in Fall 2014, it will become the sole degree audit tool used by SUNY Oneonta, as well as many other universities.
The new system is fully interactive, available immediately and carries a number of useful features to students. These features include “Look Ahead,” where you can add classes that you are considering and see how they fit into your road to graduation, “What If,” where you can see how your requirements would change if you added or changed your major and an interactive GPA calculator. One improvement is that students have faster access to course listings. The only issue? On the DegreeWorks class listing it does not list the CRN, a much needed update to the system.
The change comes as a result of a SUNY wide overhaul of the system, introduced in 2011 as a way to enhance student’s understanding of the process. So far, most students have found the new system and its features significantly easier to use and more functional than the arguably outdated Arrow Sheet.
Yet, as with all technology, DegreeWorks also comes with its fair share of glitches. As some students note, especially those with concentrations such as Pre-Med or the 3-and-1 FIT programs, not all of their requirements are listed on the program. Amelia Graj, a fashion 3-and-1 student, says “I still have to refer back to the Arrow Sheet to make sure the classes I’m registering for will actually fit in because DegreeWorks has many of my classes missing.”
Academic Advisement, the department administering the change, is offering walk-in workshops throughout March for students looking to learn more about the program and alert the department of glitches or errors. For more information or to report an issue in your DegreeWorks experience, visit the Oneonta Academic Advisement website or in person at 100 Netzer.
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