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An overview of what scheduling solutions exist

As a Registrar, you are well acquainted with scheduling; be it rooms, faculty, exams, courses, and degree plans. Even more, you are likely already working with some of the software solutions that help you do it. However, the last time you had a conversation with one of your peers from another institution and they mentioned their scheduling software, you may have wondered,

“wait, can you clarify what sort of scheduling software you’re using, and to schedule what?

If that’s you, you are not alone. A 2016 AACRAO survey showed that the difference between course scheduling, degree mapping, and student scheduling remains unclear to many in Higher Education. Let’s layout the differences between these.

Scheduling with sticky notes

What is a course scheduling solution?

Course scheduling solutions are used by administrators (that’s you) to optimize course schedule offerings by taking into consideration the constraints of teaching faculty and the availability of campus space. Based on your room inventory and class rosters, these software solutions are able to automatically suggest the optimal allocation of your classes, maximizing for space efficiency. All this is done while accommodating the various policies and workloads of departments and faculty. 

Common benefits cited by users are the improved use of classroom space, internal process efficiencies, and better use of available time blocks.

Anticipated ROI from Couse Scheduling Software

Anticipated ROI for Course Scheduling Software, AACRAO Class Scheduling (aka Timetabling) Practices and Technology survey, page 12

With SECTION Class Scheduling, you can eliminate spreadsheet-based schedule planning processes and duplicate data entry. Access faculty teaching schedules and requests from a single dashboard that enables you to monitor and control the many section development steps often distributed across departments and offices, including planning, reviewing, scheduling, revising and confirming. This however, has little to do with degree planning.

What is a degree planning solution?

Degree planning solutions help students plan their degree and know what sequence of courses they need each semester to take in order to graduate on time. Some degree planners also include degree audit functionality, which gives a student visibility over their current academic standing and how it impacts their pathway to degree competition. These tools allow students and their advisors to keep students on track, while highlighting the remaining courses and the requirements needed to graduate.

What is the difference between course scheduling and degree planning? While course scheduling is focused on optimizing faculty and facility resources, degree planning is focused on helping students stay on track to achieve degree completion. 

Once students know which set of courses they need to take each semester, the next step becomes finding a working scheduling combination, given most courses have several to numerous class section options available. This is when a student scheduling solution is needed.

What is a student schedule solution?

Student schedule planning solutions are used by students and advisors to generate conflict-free schedule combinations that take into consideration academic and personal constraints. This is done by filtering preferences, pinning desired classes, and blocking out unavailable time slots. This simplifies the frustrating sequential trial and error approach to schedule planning and registration that Student Information Systems’ (SIS) currently offer by enabling students and advisors to easily visually navigate to an optimal schedule.

What is the difference between degree planning and student scheduling? While degree planning is able to provide students with audited course-level recommendations, student scheduling is able to provide section-level timetable combinations.

Many Registrars cite improved student experience, more punctual class registration, and improved degree completion as a reason for implementing a student scheduler. 

Table showing Anticipated ROI for Student Scheduling Software

Anticipated ROI for Student Scheduling Software, AACRAO Class Scheduling (aka Timetabling) Practices and Technology Survey, page 15

Check out REGISTER Student Scheduling to see how we’ve integrated catalog data and degree planning data into one easy solution that can be used to create conflictfree schedules for students. Furthermore, administrators (that’s you) can benefit by having visualized analytics that support course scheduling in SECTION by monitoring student search and enrollment activities including course supply and anticipated demand, common course conflicts, student persistence and enrollment heat maps. 

LAKELAND, Fla.–DIGARC, the leader in higher education software, announced the recipient of its Higher Education Technology Scholarship.  The scholarship was awarded to Alonso Parker in partnership with Florida Polytechnic University.

Alonso Parker freshman at Florida PolyScholarship recipient Alonso Parker

Florida Polytechnic University selected Alonso for the scholarship based on outstanding records, academic honors, and his involvement in helping the community. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded for one year and may be renewed up to three years based on the student’s academic progress.

“We are proud to award this scholarship to such an extraordinary student who not only achieved the highest academic standards, but also has an interest in computer science,” said Richard Becker, Chief Executive Officer of DIGARC. “We congratulate Alonso and look forward to following his success and the great things he will accomplish.”

Alonso Parker is a freshman at Florida Polytechnic University, an institution dedicated entirely to STEM. He is also a Florida resident who attended high school in central Florida.

“I am thankful that DIGARC is supporting the community in such a personal way. I am excited to be a part of the STEM program at Florida Poly, so I can pursue my interest in computer science,” said Parker.

DIGARC established the scholarship program in partnership with Florida Polytechnic University Foundation to support students of diversity in central Florida who want to grow and succeed in the technology sector.

“DIGARC is a remarkable partner and supporter of Florida Polytechnic University, and the company’s ongoing efforts make a significant difference in the lives of many of our students,” said Kathy Bowman, Vice President of Advancement at Florida Polytechnic University and CEO of the Florida Polytechnic University Foundation. “This scholarship will take that support a step further, by providing essential financial support to talented students who are positioned to fuel the future of Florida.”

ABOUT DIGARC

DIGARC is a leading provider of higher education software technology and services, providing a unified platform that helps educators engage students through the power of Connected Curriculum™. Serving nearly 800 institutions of higher education, the DIGARC portfolio is designed to offer curriculum management, student scheduling, administrative schedule planning and student academic pathway exploration, enabling engagement between educators, administrators, and students. DIGARC is based in Central Florida, with offices in Orlando and Lakeland. For more information about DIGARC, visit www.digarc.com or call 866-328-9012.


 
 

A college degree is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Unfortunately, colleges increasingly have a problem with student persistence. In fact, nearly a third of students at four-year institutions don’t have a degree after six years.

One reason is that there are more underserved communities attending college with fewer resources, increasing the likelihood that students won’t graduate. According to the Pell Institute, just 11 percent of students from the low-income group earned bachelor’s degrees within six years compared with 58 percent of students who came from the highest-income group. How can we help students control costs so they’re more likely to graduate?

Institutions may not be able to address every barrier to graduation, but they should tackle matters they can control. Read about four strategies for supporting student persistence:

1. Improve information aimed at transfer students

Transfer students are one of the fastest growing segments of enrolled students, with 40 percent of students transferring at some point in their college careers. Institutions should ensure their website and the experience it delivers reflects transfer-friendliness and makes it easy for students to find degree pathways, match their interests with a degree program, and calculate transfer credit scenarios to reduce the number of lost credit hours.

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LAKELAND, Fla.–DIGARC, the leader in higher education software, announced that Richard Becker has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Becker succeeds Angela Selden, who has joined American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: APEI) as CEO.

“We are thrilled to have Richard lead the next chapter of growth at DIGARC,” said David Kennedy, Partner at Serent Capital. “Richard has an exceptional track record of driving transformation and growth in SaaS technology companies, success working with higher education clients, and building businesses with a culture rooted in high performance and innovation.”

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Take advantage of early bird discounted $395 registration and $100 certification for Acalog or Curriculog through Jan. 30 for the 7th Annual DigarcU User Conference in Tampa. Registration increases to $595 and certification to $150 on Jan. 31! Registration closes Feb. 12 so don’t delay.

Create Connections with your colleagues with palm trees, sunshine and the scenic Hillsborough River as the backdrop. Come early or stay late to enjoy all the area has to offer including Busch Gardens, world-class beaches, Broadway shows and more!

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We know budgets are tight, so what better way to help ensure your trip to Tampa in March than complimentary registration to the seventh annual DigarcU User Conference?

DigarcU isn’t just a place to connect and learn from our staff—it’s also a great opportunity to showcase your knowledge about industry trends and how you use DIGARC software at your campus. We encourage to share your helpful tips and tricks, case studies, success stories or any experience would benefit your peers during a 45-minute presentation at a time that works best for you between March 9-11, 2020. Submission deadline is Sept. 25, 2019.

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by Natalie Auth, DIGARC Lead UX Designer/Developer

If you’ve spent any time around computer software, smartphones or technology in the past decade, you’ve likely heard the terms UI and UX. People will say things like “Wow, this app has a really cool UI!”, or “I think the UX could be improved on this website.” But what do they mean? What is the UX? Is it the same thing as the UI?

User experience, or UX for short, is actually a very broad concept that encompasses everything about the interaction of a person (or user) with a product, and the product doesn’t even have to be software-related. This most obviously includes direct interaction between a person and a product, but it also involves the user’s first discovery of the product, when they need help with it, or even when they talk about it to other people.

Imagine the UX of a park bench, for example, and how you might be happy to find one in the middle of a long walk; how, once you sat on the bench, you wished it were in the shade; and then how you told a friend about the bench later. All of these things relate to your overall experience, or UX, with the bench.

User experience design, on the other hand, means something very specific in the software design and development world. We still refer to user experience design using the term UX, but we are really talking about a methodology of designing products and services in a human-centric way. We look at the specific tasks and objectives that a real person is trying to accomplish, and then we build software to meet those needs in an intuitive and efficient manner. UX design is a multi-disciplinary practice with roots in fields such as human-computer interaction, psychology, graphic design and more.
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NEW ORLEANS—DIGARC, a leading provider of curriculum management and student success solutions for higher education, announced today at the Ellucian Live conference in New Orleans that it has acquired Visual Schedule Builder (VSB). VSB empowers students and advisers in planning academic schedules to increase credit hours taken while reducing time to graduation.

VSB enables students to simplify scheduling and streamline registration by creating a visual calendar based on course requirements and preferred times. Students narrow schedule options based on degree plans, schedule restrictions and section preferences. By visualizing schedules that satisfy pathway requirements and personal preferences at the point of registration, institutions increase student retention and accelerate success efforts.

“We’re thrilled to expand DIGARC’s focus on student pathways and student success,” says Angela Selden, CEO of DIGARC. “With VSB’s innovative scheduling, advising and registration platform, students increase the number of courses and credits per term, increase adherence to their degree plan pathway, complete courses in order and graduate on time.”

By monitoring student search and enrollment activities, institutions with VSB’s analytics tool can access otherwise unavailable preference data that supports planning and resource allocation, including course supply and anticipated demand, common course conflicts, student persistence and enrollment heat maps. Institutions with DIGARC’s SECTION schedule planning tool will be able to operationalize these insights from API-enabled integration with VSB to have transparent and efficient class section schedule planning from request to approval.
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ORLANDO—Today at its 6th Annual DigarcU User Conference, DIGARC, a leading provider of higher education technology solutions, announced a new software solution called EXPLORE. The easy-to-implement interactive website modules enable students to research programs, careers, transfer information, costs and more, without leaving an institution’s website.

“We’ve helped higher ed institutions modernize their website experiences since we launched the first online catalog management system in 2001,” says Angela Selden, CEO of DIGARC. “EXPLORE continues that history of innovation now in areas that accelerate enrollment and support student success.”

Colleges and universities can implement the pre-built, highly configurable EXPLORE modules on their websites with minimal IT involvement, improving their recruitment efforts without significant time investment or cost for application development, data collection or maintenance.

“With the insight gained from EXPLORE, institutions can create more effective communications across the student life-cycle, providing students meaningful value in their college selection process and beyond,” says Craig Maslowsky, VP of EXPLORE.

EXPLORE joins three other DIGARC Connected Curriculum™ solutions—the Acalog academic catalog management system, Curriculog curriculum management system and SECTION schedule planning system.
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LAKELAND, Fla.—More than 160 higher education institutions from coast-to-coast gather in Orlando from March 17 – 20, 2019, for the 6th Annual DigarcU User Conference. Over 270 DIGARC software users will obtain certifications, enjoy thought leadership sessions and connect with fellow education professionals at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Orlando.

DIGARC software users and DIGARC staff will lead sessions from March 18 – 20 on digital transformation, higher ed technology trends, DIGARC software best practices and more. Attendees can also experience new DIGARC solutions in demos and deep dives.

“We’re always focused on innovation and developing new capabilities for DIGARC users,” says Angela Selden, CEO of DIGARC. “Last year, we announced our new SECTION and SELECT products and this year we’re planning another big announcement to enhance the way our customers connect with students.”

Ranging from small private colleges to large public universities, from community colleges to for-profit institutions, the diverse attendee list includes professionals from various disciplines including provosts, VPs, registrars, along with technology, marketing and enrollment.

“This is my sixth DigarcU and each conference has gotten better,” says Deb Dewent, Assistant Director of Instructional Support for Grand Rapids Community College. “I look forward to connecting with my colleagues and hearing about best practices for DIGARC software. Plus, I love coming to sunny Florida in March.”

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