Mastering Your Degree Audit
What is a degree audit?
Remember the good old days in high school, when every term you would get a report card? Well, that report card has now changed into a degree audit, a collegiate souped-up version of a high school report card.
Academic advisers use the degree audit to help college students track their academic progress as they move towards completing their undergraduate degree.
This invaluable online academic advising tool is readily accessible for student use. Have you made your acquaintance yet? Perhaps, one of the greatest challenges faced by most college students is interpreting and satisfying their college’s graduation requirements.
Theoretically, you and your degree audit should become “bosom buddies” by the end of your first semester. Thinking about changing your major, course schedule, taking a course Pass/Fail, and/or withdrawing from a course?
Then you need to have a detailed discussion with your academic adviser about the consequences of making those kinds of decisions.
WHO ELSE USES THE DEGREE AUDIT?
Faculty use it to monitor how you’re doing in class. Academic advisers use it to guide your course selection each semester. The Registrar uses it to certify you for graduation. What, in fact, does a degree audit basically tell you?
- Which courses you need to take;
- Which courses you have taken;
- Your degree (B.A. or B.S.) graduation requirements;
- Your overall degree progress including your major, minor, electives, transfer courses, your grades and grade point average;
- Academic red flags.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES OF A STANDARD DEGREE AUDIT:
- “What if…”: allows you to see how the courses you’ve already taken apply to different majors and minors.
- “Look Ahead…”: allows you to see how courses you would select will fulfill your degree requirements.
- “Educational Planner…”: helps you and your academic adviser create a semester by semester road map to achieve your college and career objectives.
- “G.P.A. (grade point average) Calculator”: allows you to set personal academic goals.
- “Graduation Calculator”: allows you to speculate on the grades you will need to achieve certain academic goals.
- “Term Calculator”: anticipate the g.p.a. you can expect to earn for the semester.
- “Advice Calculator”: offers advice on how to raise your g.p.a.
Speak with your academic adviser to learn about the benefits of your campus’ degree audit format.
Special Note: Contents of degree audits do vary from campus to campus
In order to maximize the benefits that your degree audit may offer, undergraduates need to collaborate regularly with their academic and faculty advisers.
If you’re having “personal chemistry” challenges with your academic adviser, then change advisers. You have the right to do so. Avoiding your academic adviser will only limit your choices, options, and, in many cases, potential opportunities.
As you move through your undergraduate experience, keep your eyes on the prize – Graduation!
A Word to the Wise...
An Academic Pearl of Wisdom
Whenever a college student faces an academic and/or social challenge, they often ask a peer or a friend first for advice.
And that’s okay.
However, resolving the issue to your best advantage often requires consulting with an academic advising professional as well.
Your academic adviser knows the campus academically, administratively, and socially.
And what they don’t know, they can point you to the person who does know. Include this strategy in your current plan for college success.
Disclaimer Reminder: A college student's first line of inquiry should always be with their campus academic adviser. College Success Life Advising Sessions provide additional problem-solving options to undergraduate and graduate students for further exploration on their individual campuses. Students should always consult their assigned adviser not only during the course selection process but periodically to keep apprised of programmatic changes, testing requirements, course additions/deletions, GPA modifications, etc.
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