Student Programs Tab - Curriculums and Areas of Study

Overview

Program Degree

Students who attend college often declare groupings of coursework that earn them a certain credential, which is represented by the pursued program/degree.

For example, in two-year institutions the coursework is mainly referred to as the student's Program, such as Accounting. While completing the coursework within a Program earns the student a Credential (eg. a certain Program/Degree). 

  • A credential represents the combination of a specific program and degree.
      • For example, a student may earn an Associate of Accounting Degree credential, by completing the required coursework in the Accounting program.

Areas of Study

In addition to the student's Program/Degree, many students also declare one or multiple additional Areas of Study.

Depending on the individual institution, additional areas of study can be referred to as a Major, Minor, Concentration, and/or Specialization. These declarations are used to track a student's additional area of focus, in addition to their pursued program/degree.

  • Major, Minor, Concentration, Specialization represent different types of areas of study, and they are most likely used differently by different institutions.
      • For example, some institutions may only offer students to declare a major/minor with specializations, while other institutions may only use concentrations.
      • Another institution may only use majors and minors without offering any specialization or concentration tracking/recognition.
      • From our research, it is rare that institutions use both concentrations and specializations since these are usually synonymous.

Curriculum

A Curriculum represents the student's additional areas of study.

The curriculum is what ties the student Person ID to the student's declared areas of study. These may include majors, minors, concentrations, and/or specializations, depending on the individual institution areas of study offerings. 

  • For example, a student's curriculum may include a double major of math and biology with a minor in music. Another student's curriculum may include a major in math with a concentration in music. Another student may have two curriculums, each with a different declared major/minor.
  • The determination of what is included within a curriculum depends on each individual institution and how they define and assign areas of study within the SIS.
  • Within a curriculum, each area of study is required to be associated with a rank when imported from the SIS. How an area of study is ranked within a curriculum determines if it displays on reports.
  • Only primary and secondary areas of study that are ranked with 1 or 2 can be filtered upon and displayed in report results.

Utilizing curriculums, majors, minors, concentrations, and/or specializations requires that either Watermark Professional Services staff or institutional staff setup new data feeds for importing the curriculum and areas of study data via the SIS Import process. Institutions with a support plan may utilize their plan to assist with these changes.

Areas of Study

Major

A major represents the student's main area of coursework either within the student's program or within their overarching degree, earning the student a major credential.

Minor

A minor provides a similar structure for a lighter group of coursework, earning the student a minor credential.

Concentration

A Concentration is typically defined as a structured plan of study within the student’s declared major(s). Concentrations often represent a specific group of courses that are within the student's major, earning the student recognition for their focus on a specific specialized concentration.

  • For example, a student may major in Accounting, with a concentration in Managerial Accounting. Or a computer science student may major in Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity.

Specialization

A Specialization is typically defined as a structured plan of study that represents a specialized area of study. Specializations often represent the students completing specific coursework, earning the student recognition for a specific area of specialized studies.

  • Since the definition of specializations is almost synonymous with the definition of concentrations, it is likely that institutions will either use specializations or concentrations, rarely both. This depends on how each institution defines a student's focused/specialized area of study in their SIS.
  • By design, specializations are not included in reporting (on the Person report source) or in administration (on the Areas of Study Administration pages).

Features and Functions

With the addition of Curriculums and Areas of Study, these can be used by institutions to further distinguish between different groups of students for communication and outreach purposes. 

  • With the addition of areas of study, primary and secondary degree and program information was moved from the Student Profile tab to display on the Student Programs tab. This consolidates imported primary/secondary degree/program data with the imported areas of study information so that everything displays together on the Student Programs tab.
  • Consolidating Program, Degree and Areas of Study data on the Student Programs tab also leads to standardization across the SS&E web app and the Watermark Student mobile app. With this change, the information will all display on the Student Programs tab both in the student view (mobile app*, web app) and on the staff view (web app). *the mobile app only displays a student view, it does not matter if the logged-in mobile app user is student or staff.
  • The addition of areas of study adds additional student filter and reporting options, seen here.

UI Changes

Student View/Staff View

A student view displays for a logged-in user that is ONLY assigned a student role.

A staff view displays for a logged-in user that is not a student or is assigned both a student and a non-student role.

Student-facing and staff-facing UI changes around areas of study on the student record are as follows:

Student Profile Tab

The student's primary degree/program information moved to the Student Programs tab. This consolidates all the student's academic information importing from the SIS on the Programs tab.

Student Programs Tab

The programs tab displays all the various degrees, programs, and areas of study that the student has declared based on the data imported from the SIS. This information displays on the Student Programs tab in three separate sections:

    1. At the top, a student will see their Primary Degree Program and Secondary Degree Program information.
    2. In the middle, a student will see their assigned Curriculums.
        • A curriculum can represent one or many areas of study, depending on the institution.
        • At max, each student may be associated with up to three curriculums.
    3. At the bottom, the student's Program history will display past degree program information imported from the SIS.

Primary Degree Program, Secondary Degree Program

A student's primary degree, primary program and secondary degree, secondary program information will display at the top of the Student Programs tab.

Curriculums

The curriculums section displays all optional majors, minors, concentrations, or specializations that are associated with the student Person ID and offered at the individual institution. This information is imported from the SIS on the new curriculum and areas of study data feeds.

  • Curriculums are optional and depend on what data is included in the SIS Import process.
  • Each curriculum may include up to four different area of study types; within each type there can be an unlimited number of the same type of study with a different rank (for example, a double major). This depends on the individual institution offerings and what each student has declared to pursue within their areas of study.
  • A student may only be assigned up to three curriculums. These are the student's optional primary, secondary, and tertiary curriculum, imported on the Transcript data feed.

The following is only relevant for staff views. By design:

  • Student Filters can search on all four types of areas of study within all curriculums.
  • Reporting is limited to search only within students primary and secondary curriculums, and only on areas of study with a type of major, minor, or concentration with a rank of 1 or 2.

Program History

The program history section displays the student's program degree history, including the start date, end date and program status for each entry. This data is imported from the SIS on the Person Degree Program data feed.

Student Filters

Student Filters are used to create student sub-populations for sorting, mass communication, bulk actions, and other outreach activities.

The following fields are included in the Student Filter options yet will only display when enabled via Person Type Filter Settings Administration.

  • By default, the following student filter options are disabled.
  • Our recommendation is to enable additional student filter options only after verifying that the corresponding data feed is implemented and importing the relevant data from the SIS.

Majors Include

  • Returns students with any of the active majors selected.
  • Will search for a student with the specified major within all their curriculums.

Majors Exclude

  • Returns students that do not have any of the active majors selected.
  • Will search for a student without the specified major within all their curriculums.

Minors Include

  • Returns students with any of the active minors selected.
  • Will search for a student with the specified minor within all their curriculums.

Minors Exclude

  • Returns students that do not have any of the active minors selected.
  • Will search for a student without the specified minor within all their curriculums.

Concentrations Include

  • Returns students with any active concentrations selected.
  • Will search for a student with the specified concentration within all their curriculums.

Concentrations Exclude

  • Returns students that do not have any of the active concentrations selected.
  • Will search for a student without the specified concentration within all their curriculums.

Specializations Include

  • Returns students with any of the active specializations selected.
  • Will search for a student with the specified specialization within all their curriculums.

Specializations Exclude

  • Returns students that do not have any of the active specializations selected.
  • Will search for a student without the specified specialization within all their curriculums.

Reporting

Person Report Source

The following curriculum and areas of study related fields are included in the Person report source:

  • Primary Major
  • Primary Minor
  • Primary Concentration
  • Secondary Major
  • Secondary Minor
  • Secondary Concentration

These fields are also available on additional report sources that link to Person-based report source fields.

  • The above fields are included in the Person report source fields whether or not an institution has enabled the corresponding data feeds and is importing data from the SIS that populates these fields.
  • Specializations in all curriculums and tertiary curriculum data are excluded from reports by design.

Per above, reporting is limited to only search within students primary and secondary curriculums, and only on areas of study with a type of major, minor, or concentration with a rank of 1 or 2.

  • For example, selecting "primary concentrations" in the person report source will only filter on and/or return results for an area of study with a type of concentration that is assigned a rank of 1 within the students primary and/or secondary curriculum.
  • A primary concentration displayed on a student's tertiary curriculum will be excluded from reporting by design.
  • In addition, if a student has five minors associated with their primary or secondary curriculum, reporting can only filter and/or display the student's minors that are associated with ranks 1 and 2. By design, the student's minors associated with ranks 3, 4, and 5 will not display on the report.

Watermark Student Mobile App

Under the Menu option in the mobile app, the Programs area will display all (max three) curriculums and areas of study information in addition to the degree, program information.

Administration

Areas of Study Administration includes the following administrative pages that allow viewing and editing of majors, minors, and concentrations within Administration.

  • Specializations are excluded from administration by design.

Connect - SIS Import Data Feed Definition Additions/Changes

The following data feed definitions have been added to the SIS Import Definitions to support importing Curriculums and Areas of Study data from the SIS.

Transcript

The Transcript data feed includes three new fields representing the student's (max three) curriculums as follows.

  • The transcript data feed is what assigns a specific curriculum to the student Person ID.

Position

Name

Type

Required

Description

1

primaryCurriculumId

varchar(255)

N

Represents the students’ primary areas of study curriculum (primary major and associated studies). Must match an entry in the curriculum data feed.

2

secondaryCurriculumId

varchar(255)

N

Represents the students’ secondary areas of study curriculum (secondary major and associated studies). Must match an entry in the curriculum data feed.

3

tertiaryCurriculumId

varchar(255)

N

Represents the students’ tertiary areas of study curriculum (secondary major and associated studies). Must match an entry in the curriculum data feed.

 

Curriculum

The Curriculum data feed was added to connect a student transcript (academic term) with the student's curriculum, eg. areas of study represented by a specific curriculum.

  • A curriculum represents the student's areas of study which vary at each institution yet may include majors, minors, concentrations, and/or specializations. 

Position

Name

Type

Required

Description

1

id

varchar(64)

Y

The unique identifier for this curriculum.

2

startTermId

varchar(64)

Y

The term in which the student began this curriculum. Must match a record in the academic calendar data feed.

3

endTermId

varchar(64)

Y

The term in which the student finished/ended this curriculum. Must match a record in the academic calendar data feed.

4

active

boolean

Y

Whether or not the curriculum is currently active (ongoing).

 

Area of Study

The AreaOfStudy data feed was added to represent the areas of study that an individual institution offers.

  • Areas of study will most likely vary by institution yet may include majors, minors, concentrations, and/or specializations.
  • Examples of areas of study are a Math Major, a Music Minor, a Medieval Art Concentration, or an Astrophysics specialization.

Position

Name

Type

Required

Description

1

id

varchar(64)

Y

The unique identifier for this area of study.

2

name

varchar(512)

Y

The name of the area of study eg. “Math Minor”.

3

areaOfStudyTypeId

varchar(64)

Y

The associated area of study type for this area of study. Must match a record in the area of study type database table

4

active

boolean

Y

Whether or not this area of study is actively being used.

 

Curriculum Area of Study

The CurriculumAreaOfStudy data feed was added to represent which areas of study are being pursued within a specific curriculum

  • Within each specified curriculum, every area of study associated with the curriculum is ranked.
  • There can be an unlimited number of areas of study ranked within a specific curriculum. However, it is unexpected that a curriculum will include more than 3 "ranked" areas of study of the same type.
  • In most cases, students will most likely be associated with up to two areas of study of the same type within the same curriculum. For example, a double major in a student's primary curriculum, or a double minor in a student's secondary curriculum.
      • Something important to mention is that the curriculum and areas of study data displayed on the Students Programs tab in the UI represent how this data is included in the SIS, and this  depends on what is offered  by each individual institution.
      • For example, at one institution a student may have only one (primary) curriculum assigned to their person record with three different majors assigned to the specified curriculum (eg. each of the areas of study are of type major, and they are ranked 1-3). While at another, or even at the same institution, another student may have three (primary, secondary and tertiary) curriculums assigned to their person record, where each curriculum is only associated with one major (eg. each curriculum will be associated with a different area of study that is of type major and rank 1).

Position

Name

Type

Required

Description

1

id

varchar(64)

Y

The unique identifier for this curriculum area of study.

2

curriculumId

varchar(64)

Y

The curriculum that this area of study is in. Must match a record in the Curriculum data feed.

3

areaOfStudyId

varchar(64)

Y

The area of study that is being included in the curriculum. Must match a record in the AreaOfStudy data feed.

4

rank

numeric

Y

The rank within the other areas of study for the same area of study type.

For example, the first minor is ranked 1, the first concentration is ranked 1. The second minor, second concentration are ranked 2 etc.

 

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