Step four: set up course groups, degrees, and specializations

Degrees are the academic awards that you give to students who complete a course of study at your school. They include everything from your standard 2-year, 4-year, and graduate degrees to post-secondary awards and certificates. Degrees can include Specializations, better known as Majors and Minors.

You can track a student's progress towards her degree by viewing her degree audit. By adding course groups to your degrees, you can use the degree audit to track how she's faring with your degree course requirements.

Course groups serve a variety of purposes:

  • They define course requirements for your degrees and specializations.
  • They let you define a group of courses as equivalent to one another for the purposes of course prerequisites.
  • They let you create a group of courses to which you can attach a fee.

Here's how people typically handle this part of academic setup:

  1. First, they add their degrees and their basic requirements.
  2. Next, they create course groups, keeping their degrees in mind as they do so.
  3. Finally, they go back to their degrees and add course groups for the degree course requirements.

A couple things...

One, if you have complex degree requirements, they may take some time to set up. If you wish, you can proceed with other setup tasks (adding courses in terms, enrolling students, etc.) before finishing Degree Audits—in fact, you can set them up at any point.

Two, remember that the degree audit helps you make a decision about a student's in-progress Degree. If the student has already graduated, there's no need for an audit! Therefore, there's no need to build audits to cover historic students/degrees. Instead, only build them out for the years in which you still have students pursuing degrees. For example, if everyone who came in under the 2005-2006 year has already graduated, then don't build out that degree. If you still have students working on their 2011-2012 Degree, work on that one instead.

Read more about Course Groups, and then have a look at Degrees and Specializations.

If we imported your legacy academic data, please review the degrees we imported for you. If your legacy system contained degree audits, we likely did not import any of that information owing to its incompatibility with Populi. You'll therefore need to start working on course groups (remembering not to worry about historic degree requirements!). If we didn't import data for you, just start adding course groups and degrees.

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