University of Utah Overhauls Retention Program
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The University of Utah has implemented a Web-based academic planning tool from redLantern as part of a revamped graduation planning system. The company's u.direct, formerly known as Degree Completion Planner, is an interactive advising tool that lets users build personalized term-by-term academic success plans. The Salt Lake City-based university, which has about 28,000 students, said it hopes to increase student retention, enhance graduation rates, and capture data on course demand through the new system.
"We are eager to integrate the u.direct tool into our advising process and begin working directly with students to approve plans and determine course needs," said John Francis, senior associate vice president for Academic Affairs. "We can utilize our existing degree audit data from redLantern's DARwin software to create semester-specific academic plans to help students stay on track for graduation." DARwin is the company's earlier release of u.achieve, its degree auditing application.
u.direct provides students with a customized path to meet their graduation goals. Faculty and staff build a program roadmap--a template of courses that will fulfill requirements for specific degree programs. Students can then view these templates and select courses they want to take as they develop a term-by-term, multi-year, academic course plan.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.