(Available starting with release 7.5.10)
Providing access to academic planning information gives students visibility into their academic career path and helps to gather demand for courses to improve schedule predictability and efficiency. However, navigating the program rule structure and options available to complete a program at an institution can be highly complex and confusing. Ad Astra's approach to this problem is to provide Program Templates (road maps) to narrow the choices within a given program, and then make recommendations to targeted students based on the templates. These recommendations are provided through Academic Plan Messaging in the form of a customizable academic plan email message, and can contain recommendations for one or multiple terms, depending on configuration. A student can follow a link from within their academic plan message to edit elements of their plan.
The Academic Plan Message system was created with two primary academic planning use cases in mind.
1.Future Schedule Planning
In this case the institution wants to provide insight to students into their academic career and to get feedback as early as possible to help create better future schedules.
2.Current Schedule Advising
In this case the institution wants to advise students on courses to take from a current, existing schedule.
There are several features introduced to support the academic planning process. These include:
oGenerate current and future planned courses through degree audit for students
oSend informative email messages to targeted students with recommended plan data
oCustomize the content, format, and appearance of the plan messages for students
oStudents may follow email links to make graduation profile (availability; graduation goal) and plan (term and course selection) changes
Using the features included in the system, here is an overview of the standard process required to support the use cases highlighted above:
Future Schedule Planning
1.Create a Planned Courses sandbox run using the "Create Recommended Schedules" option to generate course recommendations for selected terms.
This process will create recommended course selections based on program templates regardless of the current schedules/offerings.
2.Create a plan Message Campaign, selecting the Planned Courses sandbox as the source, and identify the target student population.
3.Send email messages. Email may be sent to some or all students, or an advisor may send a student's plan to themselves for discussion purposes.
NOTE: Alternatively you could use the "Sandbox" and select a Simulated Registration (or Sectioning) sandbox as the source data.
The Planned Courses sandbox in this scenario will not create new student planned course recommendations, but will simply use the courses from the source sandbox data and assign them to the selected term for the students. Using an existing sandbox as the source limits the planned course recommendations to the existing source schedule. This eliminates courses that are not offered in that term, or that are conflicts for the student, from the recommendations.
Current Schedule Advising
1.Import sections for the upcoming term.
2.Create a Simulated Registration (or Sectioning) sandbox run to generate student planned courses for the current term.
3.Create a plan Message Campaign, selecting the Simulated Registration sandbox as the source.
The term and student population are already imbedded in the Simulated Registration sandbox.
4.Send email messages. Email may be sent to some or all students, or an advisor may send a student's plan to themselves for discussion purposes.