Washburn to update declaration of major process

Jeannie Cornelius, director of academic advising, helps Chris Bowers, a senior history major, choose his classes for next semester. The new system for declaring a major may make it easier for students to learn what classes they need to graduate.

Anzhelika Tolstikhina

A conversation took place Tuesday, March 1 in the Vogel Room in Memorial Union to discuss the objective goals to retire the current process of major declaration while launching a new and improved version.

Later, on Thursday, March 3, the public met again in Kansas Room to discuss the upcoming changes with Bob Stoller, director of academic advising, Jeannie Cornelius, an academic advisor, and Alan Bearman, dean of university libraries.

Both of the discussions briefly introduced the new system of major declaration, which will closely resemble the old system that the university happened to deviate from. The new program will be consistent with Kansas Board of Regents institutions’ ideals.

Guest speakers identified areas of needed improvement and specified the importance of the declaration of major process itself in terms of enhancement of student success. A significant part of the conversation was dedicated toward development of student understanding in regard to major/minor requirements, required workload and expectations as well as about specific entrance requirements for programs such as the Nursing School or the physical therapy assistant program.

Another goal that was discussed was a decrease in the number of changes in majors. The decrease will be implemented by requiring students to have conversations with faculty members in the department they are interested in before they can declare their new major.

The correct attachment of Ichabods to their department advisors is one of the main goals of the new system that will serve to increase on-time graduation.

“Students can make better decisions, and through that they can save time by not changing their major so frequently to graduate on time,” Bearman said.

After the system officially launches, My.Washburn will implement Degree Works along with Degree Audits programs of major declaration that will replace the existing CAPS.

“While today’s system is passive and relies very much on already completed requirements without telling a student much of where they headed, Degree Audits will help students in developing a graduation plan and Degree Works will make sure to automatically attach a student to their department advisor.,” Bearman said.

Students will have a chance to find out more information about the new system of major declaration starting at the New Student Orientation during the upcoming summer.

Depending on the progress of the new arrangement, Degree Works and Degree Audits electronic systems are planned to be implemented in 2017.