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Graduating The College 101: Degree Mapping and Academic Advising as The Main Tool

by Roman Mashchak
The first steps in life of the person are one of the most impressive milestones. We can imagine that proud and exciting look of the parents watching their child making the first steps. Of course we share this pride, we understand how many efforts these steps cost both the baby and the parents. We can imagine the numerous failures preceding this success, numerous tears following each fall, tremendous amount of efforts following each other. But every success has its own recipe. Each time a child was supported by the instructions, kind words, strong hands, and warm heart always ready to comfort and cheer up.
Same approach is applicable in many spheres of life. When a student starts his road to gaining the degree, he is in the labyrinth not knowing which way will lead him to his goal. And he will desperately need a thread to guide him to the way out. Academic advising could be this guide.
And here are the reasons how it can help:
  1. It helps to understand the academic requirements needed for your major.
  2. It ensures you attend the right classes
  3. It informs you about existing policies and procedures in the college
  4. It gives you a deeper understanding of your major and the opportunities of its gaining
  5. It helps in planning your education process
  6. It explores the future steps
  7. It keeps on track your progress
  8. It makes a connection between your educational process and future success
All these points may seem just the part of the proper planning. However when you open the catalogue, you may find yourself excited about several courses. And you'll be eager to dive into these interesting subjects. What academic advising does- it keeps you from picking the subjects from curiosity, but helps to make a proper choice.
Failing in choosing the proper subjects and credits may lead you to the following:
  • You'll fail to graduate on time
  • In its turn you will waste your time on learning useless subjects
  • You won't join the workforce on time and at the certain age when you'll be expected to be an expert, you'll just get acquainted with your profession. This would certainly slow down your career.
  • Your student debt will only grow with each semester
Not all the colleges provide a proper level of academic advising. Many of them are using degree mapping as a planning tool for students. Degree maps are a visual representation of the path students will take toward successful and timely completion of their chosen course of study. Degree maps function as a suggested guide and must be used in conjunction with the course catalog and the degree audit.
But with the degree maps and academic advising you will encounter a few pitfalls. Academic advisors may not have enough time to devote it to one student. Also as many of academic advisors are the professors, they may be biased in helping to choose the proper subjects. From the administrative point of view, that's students, who are responsible for timely academic advising. When you forget to make an appointment, you will just miss this opportunity. Students may just not know how often these meetings should happen and which are the cases, when a student may bother his academic advisor.
To avoid all these inconveniences, you may choose an innovative tech solution - Prepler. The database of the tool contains all the information about different courses and their properties. It knows the pre-requisites for a certain course and major, knows the number of grades required for each of them. It may also provide the alternative courses, which may save your time and efforts. It also knows the availability of each course. Taking all these data together Prepler make all the planning for you, providing the most suitable options and tailoring the schedule for your needs. It sets the right expectations based on facts and numbers. Besides it may help a student to track the progress.
So if you're looking for a thread, Prepler is the one, which will pull you out of the maze.

Colleges on Prepler