Trekking through the degree tracker

Planning classes and squeezing them into tight schedules in order to meet class and degree prerequisites is usually not the easiest task. But soon Boise State will make it a lot easier.

Sharon McGuire, vice provost for undergraduate studies, explained how Broncoweb (now called MyBoiseState) is modeled after the course catalogs per semester and how classes are listed as typically offered which is different from always offered.

McGuire explained there’s actually a coding method which students can utilize for better understanding.

“It (the class) will have the name of the course, the number of credit hours, the number of lab hours that meet (3-0-3), then after that it has the F/S or F,S,” McGuire said. “The slash means either/or, whereas the comma means and. So F/S means Fall or Spring and F, S means Fall and Spring.”

As confusing as this all sounds, there is good news.

“We are rolling out what we call the degree tracker,” McGuire said. “That tool will map for students what courses they need to take and when. It’s based on the information from the catalog that says when the course is offered.”

The previous confusion of classes saying they were offered then never becoming available was from inaccurate information, according to McGuire.

Boise State became aware of this while building the degree tracker.

“So we’re doing a major cleanup to make sure that the semester offered is accurate,” McGuire said.

McGuire said when the degree tracker becomes functional the inaccurate class information will be fixed.

The College of Business and Economics can already see these changes as their degree tracker is up and running. The College of Arts and Sciences is next and will be functional on Tuesday. The current time schedule for the rest of the colleges will be prior to registering for Fall 2014 (March-ish), according to McGuire.

“I think there’s just some cleaning up that needed to happen to make sure what we say we’re going to offer is actually what the system says we’re offering,” McGuire said.

These fixes will be for students who are under the 2012 catalog going forward.

“The students that are starting the 2012 catalog, their programs of study, all those courses that they have to take will be included in the degree tracker,” McGuire said. “The people in the earlier (catalogs) won’t be because their curriculums aren’t programmed into the system, but the courses (in MyBoiseState) will be fixed.”

The classes will be accurate and the F/S and F,S in MyBoiseState will also be cleaned up, because those codes still have a level of ambiguity for students, according to McGuire.

“It’s good for students to pay attention to what it says in the catalog and make sure we’re following that,” McGuire said.

About the author  ⁄ Cher Wada Koenig

Cher Wada Koenig

Cher Wada Koenig is a nontraditional student working on a double degree in sociology and communication. She joined the Arbiter team after taking a news writing class that sparked her interest for journalism. Cher also started the recurring 'Share with Cher' article, which will tackle your Boise State questions and publish answers! #SharewithCher