Spring 2017 Marks the First-Time Use of Degree Works in NEST

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Published November 17, 2016
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The Montclarion
In general, professors agree that Degree Works is more user friendly. Photo Credit: Dan Evans
In general, professors agree that Degree Works is more user friendly. Photo Credit: Dan Evans

In general, professors agree that Degree Works is more user friendly.
Photo Credit: Dan Evans

Registering for classes last year was one of the toughest problems of a Montclair student. To help combat the issue, the registrar has adapted a new program called Degree Works.

When asked why the change was made, university Registrar Leslie Sutton Smith said, “Degree Works is the degree audit tool that comes with this system. The previous degree audit tool came with our legacy student information system. Because these tools work together, we needed to implement Degree Works, in addition to the registration system. The university made the decision to change to the Ellucian products (reflected in NEST) many years ago, as our existing systems were outdated and we needed to upgrade to better serve our students and the university.”

Degree Works can be accessed through a student’s NEST portal. According to the Montclair State website, Degree Works “provides a comprehensive set of web-based academic advising, degree audit, and transfer articulation tools to help students and their advisors negotiate curriculum requirements.”

Degree Works also shows an audit. The audit shows all the classes you took, are currently taking, and should take in the future. This makes it easier for students to keep track of their classes. This feature particularly stood out among students.

“I love how I can actually see what classes I need to take to reach my degree. It helps a lot,” said junior psychology major Rachel Opdyke.

Although Degree Works is helpful, registration for classes must still be done through NEST. End of semester grades are also available to be seen on Degree Works.

There is a “what if” section of the system that shows a student what would happen if they were to decide to switch their major. Students can use this to decide how hard/ simple it would be to change from one major to another, add a minor, or even change a minor. It shows the classes that can carry over to the other major and the classes a student would still need to take.

Many students are nervous to begin registering this year.

“I hope this new system makes it easier than last year. It took me forever to register and the site kept crashing,” said junior communications major Kylie Bayer.

Others have already found the new system quite helpful. “As a freshman it’s nerve racking to register for classes for the first time but Degree works actually helped. It made meeting with my advisor and seeing what requirements I needed easier,” said undeclared freshman Nicole LeClaire.

Sutton-Smith has high hopes for the future. Sutton-Smith said, “We are hopeful that students and their advisors will quickly grow accustomed to this tool. So far we have received positive feedback.”

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