DegreeWorks Isn’t Working

by Kim Dickson
SC Staff Writer

East Stroudsburg University has become increasingly digital within the past few years. Most class assignments, quizzes and content are all on D2L. And some classes are entirely based online. This can be beneficial in some areas because it’s easier for professors to keep track of things and it’s easy for students to get class information when they aren’t in class.

I have had many English classes where we met in a classroom but did our work entirely on the computer; I never once handed in a hard copy of an assignment in those classes. That’s the way technology is going though, and being an English major with an aspiration of becoming a journalist I have to get used to things being digital.

Technology also has its glitches because if you are supposed to hand in an assignment online at a certain time and your internet is down there is nothing you can do about it. ESU has taken the online aspect of school a little further after developing a Web site called DegreeWorks. This site guides you through college; well it’s supposed to.

The site will list your major, GPA, advisor, and the entire list of classes you are supposed to take throughout college in order to graduate on time. If you follow the guidelines DegreeWorks provides you with, everything will go fine, right? That’s not exactly the case for some students.

I personally have had a lot of trouble with DegreeWorks. I started my senior year this semester and when I checked my DegreeWorks page to see if everything was running smoothly I was shocked to see that ESU had me as an Education major when I left that major my sophomore year.

DegreeWorks was showing me that I was extremely behind in my classes when I knew I wasn’t. I changed my English concentration my sophomore year to Professional and Media Writing, but the school still thought I was in the teaching program.

I actually still get e-mails to this day about meeting my portfolio requirements and to join tk20, which by the way I have asked numerous times to be taken off the of the e-mail list.

I met with my department chair and asked what could be done to change this problem. It turns out I’m not the only one with this issue, many students here at ESU are experiencing the same issues that I am because of the new DegreeWorks system. I had to go to Enrollment Services to hand in a change of major card.

Luckily, I was able to have someone change my DegreeWorks information right there in front of me and within a day or two all of the information was changed to my correct major on the Web site. Some students and advisors don’t pay close enough attention to the DegreeWorks guidelines, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t taking the correct classes.

It’s important for everyone, especially seniors planning to graduate this May, to keep a close eye on the site to see if anything is incorrect. If there is a problem you can talk to your department chair or go to Enrollment Services. The last thing anyone graduating needs to worry about is DegreeWorks telling them they didn’t meet their requirements when they actually did.

A former student, Shannon Carlsen, graduated last May and got an e-mail over the summer from her advisor saying that she didn’t meet the requirements because of what DegreeWorks was showing.

Shannon actually did meet her requirements, the problem was she took a class that was substituted for another class. “I was getting ready to graduate, but everything took long to get approved and changed so I was stressing out,” says recent ESU graduate Shannon Carlsen, “I didn’t think I would be able to graduate on time, or if my graduation would be approved because DegreeWorks kept saying incorrect things like missing classes which I had already taken.”

Nobody needs the added stress before, or even after, graduation about finding out you didn’t meet all your requirements. Talk to your advisor and department chair if you have taken a class that was substituted in for another one.

They are the ones that keep track of this information and when they come across your file they will know that DegreeWorks is incorrect. They have the final say in your graduation status, not DegreeWorks.

There is a disclaimer on the DegreeWorks Web site right before you enter saying that the site does not show updated major requirements if they have been changed. So if you do have a problem with a change in criteria for your major talk to Enrollment Services, and don’t get stressed out because everything always works out in the end.

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