The DARS Program – an automated process for tracking a student’s degree plan – will soon be fully available for students to use as an alternative to the standard degree tracking system, PACE.
“The DARS program is very similar to the PACE degree program which has been in place at this university for at least ten years now,” registrar associate Justin Vick said. “All you have to do to use it is enter your Sam ID and PIN number, click submit and then you’re able to pull up your degree plan.”
The system was developed by Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to help students, faculty, advisors and administrators understand what requirements a student has fulfilled and which requirements he or she needs to fulfill to graduate.
Vick said the group adapting the program for student use was trying to make it look as much like the original degree plan as possible.
“We don’t know its estimated time of arrival just yet, but it will do a variety of things that PACE didn’t do,” Vick said.
The program considers a student’s course work at his or her institution, transfer courses and courses in progress when producing an audit report.
Students using the DARS will have access to their major GPA, their minor GPA and their remaining hour requirements.
“Students can also check total hours, advanced hours and writing enhanced hours,” Vick said. “It also automatically applies courses to different areas if needed.”
During the process of introducing students to the program, Vick said he has only heard a few complaints from students that could be solved easily.
“I’m the tech guy who deals with the program and enters in all of the degrees,” he said. “The only problems I ever really hear about have to do with logging in, and those are pretty easily solved.”
The DARS Web site includes separate links for professors and students. To view or use the program, visit http://www.shsu.edu/~reg_www/dars/index.html.
For more information, contact Vick at (936) 294-1587.