Red Deer Polytechnic empowers students with access to degree progress and pathways

Red Deer Polytechnic struggled with a common higher ed challenge -- systems that were not student-facing with easily accessible data. They wanted to give their students complete visibility of their degree progress and path to success, a tool that they would love to use.

However, RDP used a traditional degree audit system that required a lot of manual effort and since the data was difficult to decipher, the access was limited to two staff members at the institution. Without a student-facing degree tracker, they would have to pull these reports for students and disseminate the information as requested. The Office of the Registrar realized they needed a better way to track student progress that gives students the tools they need to succeed.

To make this shift, RDP chose Stellic’s online degree tracker where students can now build their course schedules, plan their completion plan term-by-term and track their progress towards completion in a seamless digital experience. From the moment students started using Stellic to track their progress, RDP received amazing feedback that signaled to their team they made the right decision.

“This is the best thing they could have done, I was so stressed about trying to find all the classes I have taken already, the ones I still have to take, my current GPA and my overall place in the course. It has made my life 10,000x easier.” - Student, Red Deer Polytechnic

Although the highest priority for the team at RDP was to improve student support with online degree planning and tracking, they realized there was a massive opportunity for improvements across the campus. Bringing degree progress out from behind closed doors also provides big benefits to advisors and staff responsible for Student Records. With access to student degree progress and proactive alerts, advisors can deepen their relationships with students and intervene when they fall off track. Departments and programs have a complete view of their degree audit, and degree processes like graduation clearance are much easier with instant access to reports.

"Stellic helps - number one: our students. Number two: our advisors provide deeper collaboration with advisees. And number three: our staff is going to base decisions on easily accessible and timely data.” - Jennifer Thomas, Associate Registrar, Red Deer Polytechnic

There are a number of ways community colleges like RDP, in particular, can see big dividends from a holistic, online degree planning solution. Here are three use cases that RDP is particularly excited about:

  • Transfer pathways: For schools with an extensive transfer network, Stellic's Pathways (a Stellic feature that enables schools to provide students with holistic templates for completing a program) are a great way to show students what those paths would look like and whether they are on-track for meeting the right requirements.
  • Exploration & what-if scenarios: Often schools like RDP serve as an entry point for students to be able to explore their options and get used to higher education expectations. With an online degree planner, nothing is set in stone and students have the freedom to play with different pathways and understand different what-if scenarios i.e. “What degrees are possible with these courses I’ve taken so far?” or “What does it look like if I get a part-time job next year?”.
  • Near completes: A big plus for schools like RDP when it comes to pathway templates is the improvement of completion rates. Schools can see all students who are close to graduating and reach out to them with an interactive, collaborative plan to completion that makes it easy for those students to see steps for success.
  • Course demand: With program data analytics, school leadership can see students’ planned courses and easily gather data on what course offerings are required to meet student and program needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the latest degree planning and tracking practices, we’d love to speak with you. Feel free to reach out to us by entering your email below and our team will get back to you.

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