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Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs University Advising Center University Honors Program

Undergraduate students incentivized to complete Degree Planner

Yesterday, SMU in Four sent email communications to undergraduate students on the Common Curriculum regarding Degree Planner from smuinfour@smu.edu. Student communications were staggered – with tailored communications being sent to declared major students and pre-major students.  

Copies of the communication is below. 

January 18, 2023 

Dear Students – 

Use the new Degree Planner tool, located on your my.SMU Student Dashboard, to plan your path to graduation! This new tool will help you plan not only your upcoming semester, but all courses you will take throughout your college career.    

All undergraduate students on the Common Curriculum (CC) are required to complete Degree Planner by 03/20/2023. [Declared Majors] As a declared major you will complete your degree plan for all declared degree programs and CC requirements prior to Fall 2023 enrollment to avoid enrollment delays. [Pre-Majors] As a pre-major you will complete your degree plan for all CC requirements (Foundations, Breadths, Proficiencies & Experiences) prior to Fall 2023 enrollment to avoid enrollment delays.  

Complete it early for a chance to win some fantastic prizes! The sooner you complete your degree plan, the more raffles you are entered into. Raffle prizes include $25-50 Starbucks, Amazon, Uber, and Visa gift cards. You can also win SMU swag such as baseball caps, sweatshirts, hoodies, and more! Students who complete Degree Planner by 11:59pm on:  

  • January 27 (Friday) will be entered in three raffles.  
  • February 10 (Friday) will be entered in two raffles.  
  • March 10 (Friday) will be entered in one raffle.  

Visit smu.edu/degreeplanner for help getting started or watch the student dashboard video below

—————————————————————————————-

Faculty and staff communications regarding Degree Planner were sent on Friday, January 13th. As promised, Records Offices and advisors will receive email templates to use to encourage student completion in the following weeks. 

Faculty and staff advisors who have the most students complete Degree Planner by the priority deadline of March 20, 2023 will win a $100 Amazon gift card. 

Any questions, comments, and/or concerns can be directed to SMU in Four. 

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Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success

Office of General Education publishes a schedule of student outreach efforts

Throughout the Spring 2023 semester, the Office of General Education will host a variety of student outreach events in the form of pop-ups and workshops to answer questions about the Common Curriculum, University Curriculum, and the new Degree Planner tool in my.SMU.

Pop-Up Tabling Events

Can’t stop by the GenEd office? No problem. We will come to you! Pop-ups are an opportunity to quickly stop by our table and ask questions related to your degree plan, general education requirements, proficiencies and experience, petitions, the Second Language Requirement, and much more. Upcoming pop-up dates and locations include:

Fondren Library by Starbucks

  • January 25, 2-4pm
  • February 15, 2-4pm
  • March 8, 2-4pm
  • March 29, 2-4pm
  • April 12, 2-4pm

Meadows Owens Arts Center, in the Taubman Atrium

  • April 5, 1-3pm

Caruth Hall- Mary Alice and Mark Shepherd Jr. Atrium

  • April 19, 10am-12pm

Common Curriculum Workshops

Why does SMU have general education requirements? What are Proficiencies and Experiences? How and when should I satisfy each requirement? Workshops dive deeper into your Common Curriculum questions and provide in-person support in completing your Degree Planner. Join us for these one-hour working sessions. Upcoming spring 2023 workshops dates include:

Laura Lee Blanton, Blanton 110/112

Sign up for a Common Curriculum Workshop via SMU Connect.

Any other questions, comments, or concerns? Contact the Office of General Education, sign up for an appointment with a team member, or stop by our office in Laura Lee Blanton Suite 102.

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Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success

Sharing details of Degree Planner student adoption campaign

Degree Planner, which launched in November, is a new tool that allows Common Curriculum (CC) undergraduate students to plan progress toward their degree and aid SMU in course scheduling and seat planning to permit timely graduation. All CC undergraduate students (except those graduating in May 2023) are asked to complete Degree Planner before fall enrollment begins this spring. While we want all students to establish a degree plan, SMU in Four is targeting a completion rate of 75% by March 20th.

Student adoption campaign details

Beginning next week, CC students will receive regular communications from SMU in Four requesting they complete Degree Planner. We share details of our plans below so you are aware and can encourage their completion via your own means.

Degree Planner can be completed independently within my.SMU. Pre-major students need to plan their general education and graduation requirements (Foundations, Breadths, Proficiencies and Experiences) in Degree Planner to be counted as complete. Declared students must plan their degree course and CC requirements for each declared major in Degree Planner to be counted as complete. In mid-February, minor requirements for students who have declared their minors will begin to automatically populate in their Degree Plan too. Students can then adjust these requirements as they would like.

To incentivize students, there will be three rounds of giveaways. Raffle prizes include $25-50 Starbucks, Amazon, Uber, Visa gift cards, and SMU swag/apparel. Students who complete Degree Planner by 11:59pm on:

  • January 27 (Friday) will be entered in three raffles.
  • February 10 (Friday) will be entered in two raffles.
  • March 10 (Friday) will be entered in one raffle.

Each school’s records office will be asked to contact any undergraduate CC student who does not complete Degree Planner by March 20 to ensure completion before Fall 2023 enrollment commences.

Faculty and academic advisor incentives

Faculty and staff advisors will also receive incentives whose students complete Degree Planner. The advisors who have the highest percentages of their assigned advising load on March 20 will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Outreach templates will be provided to advisors later this month to encourage their own nudging.

Remaining Degree Planner advisor workshops

Workshops are planned for undergraduate faculty advisors and academic advisors to learn the new Degree Planner. Each session is identical and will be conducted via Zoom. A meeting notice and Zoom link will be sent 1-2 days after completing the registration form. Available workshops:

  • February 8, 3-4 pm (Wednesday)
  • February 9, 3-4 pm (Thursday)

For more information on how to assist students with Degree Planner, please visit the Degree Planner Navigation for Advisors Wiki page. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact SMUinFour@smu.edu.

 

Brittaney Wilson

Undergraduate Degree Counselor; Degree Planner Adoption Team

 

Dallas Forbes

Undergraduate Degree Counselor; Degree Planner Adoption Team

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SMU in Four

SMU in Four Year-one Progress report available

The SMU in Four team releases the year-one progress report on SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

Updates are provided on early-alert mechanisms, undergraduate academic advising, technology enhancements, and gateway & introductory courses. Plus, student retention and graduation numbers are shared along with goals for year two of the five-year initiative.

In September, a copy of the year-one progress presentation was shared with the SMU community and is also available online. Questions regarding the report or presentation may be directed to smuinfour@smu.edu.

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Office of General Education SMU in Four University Advising Center

Another thing to be thankful for! Degree Planner is coming

Degree Planner is coming this fall
It’s another thing to be thankful for! To aid undergraduate Common Curriculum students in their progress toward degree, the SMU in Four team is leading the development of a new tool called Degree Planner within my.SMU.

This tool will help students and advisors develop and sequence a personalized path to on-time graduation. The new tool will launch later this semester, so take a sneak peek today.

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Office of General Education SMU in Four University Advising Center

Known issue with Schedule Builder in my.SMU Student Interface

SMU in Four, Office of General Education, and the Registrar want to raise awareness of a newly discovered bug in my.SMU student interface called Highpoint.

When adding a class with a related component (lecture/lab combos) in Schedule Builder, the required component is not being pulled into the shopping cart or the enrollment transaction when directly enrolling from Schedule Builder.

Other institutions have already reported this to HighPoint, the software vendor of the Schedule Builder tool, and SMU has also added a note to the published issue that we would like a patch to fix this as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, the Registrar has developed a workaround for SMU students to utilize:

Option 1: If the student manually adds the classes to their shopping cart from Class Search, it will work.

Option 2: Workaround steps to follow within Schedule Builder.

 

  1. Go to Advanced Class Search
  2. Search for the course with lecture/lab combos like SPAN 1402 for Spring 2023 in Class Search
  3. Select the section you want to enroll in by selecting the 3 dots
  4. Options will appear. Select Enroll from the dropdown list
  5. The related Class menu page will load. Select Required Laboratory Section. Once you select the required laboratory section, the continue button will no longer be greyed out. Select Continue

Confirm enrollment options for the waitlist and select save.

We apologize for the need for a workaround during the enrollment period. Our hope is to work with the vendor to address the software issue as soon as possible. Should you have any questions, please reach out to your academic advisor.

Categories
SMU in Four

SMU in Four year-one progress shared with campus community

SMU in Four – SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – is the University’s comprehensive approach to improving SMU’s retention and four-year graduation rates. To this end, our QEP advances student academic success through its essential form: progress toward a degree. On September 28, the SMU in Four team shared updates on early-alert mechanisms, undergraduate academic advising, technology enhancements, gateway and introductory courses. Student retention and graduation numbers were also shared along with goals for year two of the five-year initiative.

“SMU in Four has already made tremendous advances toward improving the mechanisms and tools that support our students in their first year. These enhancements not only improve service levels to our students but also help us realize SMU’s academic quality goals in the areas of retention and graduation” said Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU provost and VP for academic affairs, in a statement. “These efforts were made in spite of challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I would like to thank the over 60 team members for contributing to this important work.”

Review the year-one progress presentation below and learn about year-two goals.

Download a PDF copy of the slide deck.

A forthcoming Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges year-one report will be made available in November to the campus community on the smu.edu/smuinfour website. Questions about SMU in Four can be directed to smuinfour@smu.edu.

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SMU in Four

SMU in Four releases new Early Alert Reporting Guide to campus community

SMU in Four is SMU’s comprehensive approach to improving retention and four-year graduation rates. To this end, SMU in Four advances student academic success through its most essential form: progress toward a degree. Sometimes students encounter academic, personal, and professional challenges that do or have the potential to slow their progress.

Our university community should be aware of the primary early-alert report location which will trigger university intervention and outreach to support student success.

As part of SMU in Four, we are implementing a new tool to assist SMU faculty and staff. SMU in Four Early Alert tool provides five, primary reporting locations for early-alert scenarios depending on the topic. They include SMU reporting mechanism of my.SMU Advising Notes, Caring Community Connections, Financial Aid, Student Success and Retention, and StarRez Notes. This guide is to help faculty and staff alert the correct university office, representative, or resources.

Download or request a laminated copy be placed in campus mail to your attention by emailing smuinfour@smu.edu.

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SMU in Four

Year-one progress and Common Curriculum degree planner

 

September 9, 2022

 

Dear Campus Community –

Welcome back for the fall semester! We’ve completed the first year of SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), SMU in Four, our comprehensive initiative to improve four-year graduation rates and retention. Thank you all for your contributions to important aspects of the QEP. We could not do it without you, after all, retention is a collective effort. We write with updates on the initiative as we look ahead to year two.

Leadership & Membership: First, the initiative is now co-directed by Dr. Molly Ellis, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of Faculty Success, and Dr. Dustin Grabsch, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education & Academic Success.

Next, in preparation for the new year, we would like to share the year-two membership rosters for all SMU in Four pillars/teams. For the 2022-2023 Academic Year, the chairs of each SMU in Four Pillars and Teams are:

  • Early Alert Pillar: Dr. Sue Bierman & Audryanna Reed
  • Academic Advising: Josh Beaty
  • First-Year & Gateway Courses: Dr. Paige Ware
  • Faculty Steering Committee: Dr. Paige Ware
  • Student Steering Committee: Dr. Dustin Grabsch
  • Technology Team: Curt Herridge
  • Assessment Team: Dr. Molly Ellis
  • School Implementation Teams: Dr. Sheri Kunovich

Join Us for a Progress Presentation: We will all gather at key moments throughout this five-year initiative. Our first will be the SMU in Four Year-One Progress Presentation for the SMU campus community on September 28, 2022 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. Please RSVP and join us in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Auditorium. We will update the campus on our progress and goals for year two.

Undergraduate Degree Planner is Coming: To aid undergraduate Common Curriculum students in their progress toward degree, the SMU in Four Technology Team is developing a new tool called HighPoint Degree Planner within my.SMU. This tool will help students and advisors develop and sequence a personalized path to on-time graduation. HighPoint Degree Planner will not only benefit students and advisors but will aid academic departments in data-driven course scheduling and seat capacity planning. The new tool will launch to students on the Common Curriculum in November 2022.

In preparation, SMU in Four School Implementation Teams will be asked to work with academic departments to verify their degree plans within the HighPoint system. Instructions will be sent to department chairs (or a designee) to verify in September/October. Training and support sessions will be provided to the campus community and by request. Read more about the Common Curriculum HighPoint Degree Planner.

If you would like to stay abreast of updates related to SMU in Four, we invite you to subscribe to our blog or check out our updated website.

Sincerely,

 

Molly Ellis

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Office of Faculty Success, Office of the Provost

 

Dustin Grabsch

Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education & Academic Success

Student Academic Engagement & Success, Office of the Provost

 

 

Categories
SMU in Four

New tool in development to aid undergraduate Common Curriculum degree planning and progress

SMU in Four – SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – is the SMU’s comprehensive approach to improving retention and four-year graduation rates. To this end, our QEP advances student academic success through its most essential form: progress toward degree. The strategies in the QEP build upon existing University practices to integrate three important levers, which will be activated across academic majors and student-support resources to address the needs of all SMU students and ultimately lead them to greater levels of success.

SMU in Four is developing a new my.SMU tool called HighPoint Degree Planner. This tool will permit Common Curriculum students to plan courses for the attainment of their degree and aid SMU in course scheduling and seat planning to permit timely graduation. Common Curriculum students are those who matriculated in the fall 2020 semester or after. In the coming months, academic departments will be asked to verify their degree plans while advisors & students will be provided with training resources and opportunities.

What is Degree Planner and why would I use it?

HighPoint Degree Planner helps students & advisors develop and sequence a personalized path to on-time graduation. All data used within Degree Planner is real-time as it leverages my.SMU’s system. As a student adjusts their academic plan and complete courses, the Degree Planner recognizes those changes and makes the appropriate adjustments. Students can run a “What If” degree plan if they are considering another academic plan; major and/or minor. Degree Planner should help students stay on track and give guidance when adjustments are made to the academic plan.

Degree Planner is a planning tool for a student’s degree plan while the Degree Progress Report (DPR) is the authoritative source for graduation requirements.

How do I use Degree Planner?

With the implementation of Degree Planner, students & advisors can develop a degree plan to graduation. Together, advisors & students evaluate and update the plan each term and then move the degree plan into a Course Schedule and Shopping Cart for enrollment when the registration periods arrive each term. Specific training information will be available in mid-October 2022.

When is the implementation of Degree Planner?

SMU will be asking departments to review their degree plans in September so that updates can be made when degree plans are rolled out to students in November 2022. Details will be sent to academic departments via SMU in Four School Implementation Teams.

Questions about Degree Planner can be directed to SMU in Four via the smuinfour@smu.edu email address.