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Student to Student: You can also use Degree Works ...

Contributed by Vikki Levine on 10/15/19 

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Submitted on behalf of Isabel Brooke, IC student, Office of the Registrar

Have you ever felt that a dark, winding, forested path is a good metaphor for your college career? Does it ever seem like ICC stands for I'm Completely Confused? Has the notion of a 4 year plan ever made you cry?
... yeah, same. But let me be the first to tell you, student to student, that a foggy haze need not cloud your educational direction. Despite what it may seem, the tools, resources, and help you need to succeed exists.

For example: Degree Works. Even though this semester just recently started, registration for Spring '20 classes is from November 5th - November 14th, and knowing what requirements you have left to complete before graduation will help you plan out next semester and after. You can access Degree Works a few ways -- I always get to it through apps.ithaca.edu, but it's also accessible from the menu on the left in HomerConnect. From here, you'll be able to see the courses and requirements you have to complete before you can graduate.*

There’s a legend on the left hand side of the screen once you log in and it’s pretty self explanatory, but one thing to note: the blue double squiggly line means that something isn’t right -- don’t panic, but if you see that symbol anywhere on your report be sure to see your advisor as soon as possible to get it sorted out.

Now that you’re in Degree Works, besides your major/minor requirements I'd also recommend looking out for your ICC requirements and, if you're in the school of H&S, making sure you have an approved plan for completing your Complementary Liberal Arts requirements. Mysterious words like "attribute," "theme," and "perspective," and acronyms like "ICIC," "CLA," "QL," and "III" sometimes do more to confuse than to clarify, but seeing all the requirements laid out visually in Degree Works goes a long way in making sense of it all. If you plan it out and play your cards right the ICC is actually pretty accommodating, but it's all about foresight and planning. That's what Degree Works is there for.

And, speaking of foresight, the "What If" and "Look Ahead" buttons that you see in the top left corner once you log into Degree Works can help you figure out how to make sure you're getting the most out of your education. I'm not just saying that because I have to! Last fall, as a junior, I was able to add a minor on top of my two majors and still graduate on time because I ran a What If analysis through Degree Works and noticed that I had already completed half of the minor requirements when I was an exploratory student during my freshman year.

If you’re thinking about picking up a second major, adding a minor or a concentration, or even doing a second degree, the What If tool will help you figure out exactly what courses you have left to take and how your earned credits will apply to those programs. To process a What If report, enter a set of your desired majors/minors combination into the “primary” and “additional areas of study” sections, click “Add,” and then click “Process What-If” at the top of the page. That report will show you exactly how your current credits would apply to your “What If” program and it’ll show all the requirements you would have left to complete. And don’t worry, there’s nothing permanent about this report – if you want to change your major or add an area of study to your actual degree, you can only do that through Workflow. So, it’s worth trying as many major/minor combinations as you like to make sure you’re in the program best suited for you.

But there’s more! The default format that your Degree Works report shows up in is “Student View,” but if you click the dropdown menu under “Format:” in the top left corner you can choose to view your “Graduation Checklist” as well as your “Registration Checklist.” Those formats don’t have any new information, but I like the “Registration Checklist” view especially because it filters out all your completed requirements so you only see the courses you still have left to take.

You can also use Degree Works to figure out exactly how much you can slack off and still get the GPA you want. Use the “GPA Calc” function in the top left of the screen right next to the default “Worksheets” screen. The “Graduation Calculator” will use your current GPA, your remaining credits, and your overall required credits to tell you the minimum GPA you need to average to meet your desired GPA. The “Term Calculator” will pull your current courses and allow you to predict the grades you’ll get in those classes so that you can figure out what your likely GPA will be for the current semester. The last option from this screen, the “Advice Calculator,” can tell you the GPA you’ll need to average in your remaining semesters to graduate with your desired GPA. 

While you’re in Degree Works, you should note the status of your ePortfolio requirement. Because students typically take their capstone course in the Spring semester of their Senior year, this box will probably be one of the last to get checked off. But this is important: even when your portfolio is completely filled out you aren’t done! You need to request a review of your portfolio by emailing ICCePortfolio@ithaca.edu. Only after your portfolio is reviewed and approved will that box be checked off.

*Side note for Seniors: don’t forget to apply for your degree! You should have gotten an email from “mydegree” a few weeks ago with instructions – the deadline to apply for May 2020 graduation is November 8th. Not sure if you applied yet? You can check on the Degree Works home screen by looking at the “Applied to Graduate?” box in the middle column of the top row.* You can also check on Homer Connect; if you’ve applied, it’ll say “Active” next to “Graduation Applications” on the home screen. If the permanent address you have on file with the school is in the city you want to have listed as your hometown in the commencement program then you do not need to fill out the hometown form at the end of the application. Also note that this application for your degree has nothing to do with walking at commencement in the Spring. All students with a graduation date between December 2019 - December 2020 will receive an email in the spring with information about walking in May. So you don’t need to worry about that just yet, but make sure you have applied for your degree by November 8th.

*Side note for the side note: Are you a senior studying abroad in the Fall ‘19 or Spring ‘20 semesters? If you are, you should contact the IT service desk at servicedesk@ithaca.edu to temporarily change the number associated with your Duo authentification account so that you can still access homerconnect to apply for your degree.

The point is, Degree Works is there to help you. And so is the Academic Advising Center. And so are we! If something doesn’t look right in your Degree Works, you can always call the Registrar’s Office at 607-274-3127, or email us at mydegree@ithaca.edu. Be your own advocate -- but we’re here to help!

 

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