Degreeworks program to replace CAPP

At some point during the 2013 spring semester, Oswego State will be discontinuing its use of the CAPP Degree Audit program. CAPP is the program that the university currently employs to allow its students to view their progress toward earning their degrees.

The new, high-performance program that Oswego State will be switching over to is called Degree Works, and it is being implemented SUNY-wide. Oswego State is among the first of the SUNY schools to switch to the new program. The CUNY system has begun using Degree Works, as well as most of the universities in Georgia.

CAPP Degree Audit works to track students’ progress toward degree completion. According to Jerret LeMay, Registrar of Oswego State, the university has been using CAPP for about seven years. Students can do so by generating a “CAPP Report,” which will show them what degree requirements that they have not met yet. Students can also look at previous CAPP Reports that were created for them during any previous semester. Students can access their CAPP Reports (both past and new) by logging on to their myOswego accounts and clicking on the “CAPP Degree Audit” link under the “Student Records” tab.

As soon as a student is enrolled in any class that has credit attached to it that will meet a requirement of their degree, their CAPP Report will show that they have met the requirements associated with that class, even though the class may still be in progress. In this way, as long as the student passes and completes the classes that they enrolled in at the beginning of a semester, the CAPP Report that they generated at the start of the semester will remain the same until they enroll in new classes.

The new program that is being implemented in the place of CAPP Degree Audit, Degree Works, works in a different manner than CAPP does. Degree Works gives users the option to view their degree audits with or without their in-progress classes.

Also, instead of reporting only the required amount of credits and the credits the student has actually met, as CAPP does, Degree Works also reports how close the student is to completing their degree (in regards to both credits and requirements) in the form of percentages.

Degree Works offers a more interactive approach than students have come to expect from the rather straight-forward CAPP Degree Audit program. With Degree Works, students can see in advance how their degree audits would change if they were to change, add or drop majors/minors by using the “What If” tool within the program.

Using the “Look Ahead” tool in Degree Works, students can add courses that they are considering enrolling in to see how the courses would affect their degree audits if they were to add them. Students can use this tool without actually registering for any classes, and at any point throughout the semester, not just when it comes time to enroll in new classes. Degree Works offers advice for any unmet conditions that students may have regarding completion of their degrees.

With Degree Works, when students’ requirements are listed, each requirement is linked to offered sections of classes that would fulfill a particular unmet requirement with course descriptions to supplement the section offerings.

“Two of the main motives for making the switch to Degree Works are cost savings initiatives and seamless pipelines,” LeMay said. “The major short-term benefit is familiarity of the environment that students will attain when using Degree Works. The central long-term benefit is that students can see how far along they are at one school compared to where they would be at another school,” LeMay said.

The only challenge that may come of switching from CAPP to Degree Works is learning how to use a new program.

“It’s new [to us] so there may be some bumps along the way, which is to be expected,” LeMay said. “We have been trying to broaden our review to try to minimize these particular disadvantages concerning the program.”

Degree Works will be available to access from the same menu that CAPP was in myOswego, and will be available before registration begins for the Fall 2013 semester.