An Introduction to Academic Planning

Overview

Academic planning provides a student, and their advisor, with a means to collaborate regarding a curriculum path a student should follow.

Students are unique in their purpose for college, whether it be for a degree, certificate, or a skills upgrade, and Student Success & Engagement supports this individualism through the creation of customized academic plans.

  • Once a plan is created, SS&E will monitor this plan and match registration data from an institution's student information system against the planned courses, alerting both the student and academic advisor if there is no match.

At a typical institution, a student follows a published curriculum guide based on matriculation year and term. Oftentimes this curriculum guide shows requirements in a way that differs from the complexity maintained in the student information system.

Academic planning provides a student, and their advisor, with a means to collaborate regarding a curriculum path a student should follow.

Student Success & Engagement supports three methods for hosting Academic Plans:

Automated Academic Plan templates
The system will automatically create a blank Academic Plan Template for each Degree Program based on information in your SIS. Advisors and students use the templates to create individual academic plans

Manually Created Academic Plan templates 
System administrators may manually create and manage the Academic Plan template. Advisors and students use the templates to create individual academic plans.

Read-Only, Imported Academic Plans
Academic plans already created for specific students (not templates) can be imported from another system. 

Academic Plan Template

An Academic Plan Template can be thought of as a list of requirements that must be satisfied in order to achieve a certain credential, such as a degree. It is a standard template for what courses need to be taken when to meet the goal of obtaining the credential. In other words, it is a curriculum guide.

Benefits of managing Academic Plan Templates within SS&E:

  • Degree Program requirements are configured within your SIS, but generating curriculum guides is a cumbersome, manual process that often creates a static document. SS&E software puts a system around this process with the Academic Plan Templates feature, reducing the level of work required to provide and manage these guides.
  • SS&E provides a purpose-built, easy-to-understand interface so that students and staff can easily select courses from the Academic Plan Template to add to their Academic Plan.
  • SS&E will automatically perform lightweight, real-time degree auditing to ensure students and staff can easily see what courses are missing from the student's Academic Plan.  Note: SS&E is not a replacement for an institution's existing degree audit process that determines academic awards.
  • Academic Plan Templates provide flexibility to create customized Academic Plans when necessary, such as plans for part-time students, unique pathways, or plans for subpopulations of at-risk students.

A student's specific Academic Plan may, and likely will, change based on a number of factors, and this is where Academic Plan Templates come into play.

  • An Academic Plan Template is the 'standard' Academic Plan, while the Student's Academic Plan is the actual plan a student is progressing through.
  • The Academic Plan Templates can be used as a "roadmap" of sorts. Comparisons should be performed between a student's Academic Plan and their Academic Plan Template to ensure they are taking the courses they need to be taking in order to be successful.

Check out the article Academic Planning Enablement for instructions with screenshots detailing Admin area tasks to enable Academic Planning in your Student Success & Engagement system.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful

Articles in this section

See more
How to Contact Support
There are many ways to reach out! Click here for our support options.
Watermark Academy
Click to access the Watermark Academy for consultation, training, and implementation companion courses.