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Degree Compass program gains national attention

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Contributed by Public relations and marketing

Desire2Learn recently announced the acquisition of the Degree Compass system from APSU.

Degree Compass is the new course recommendation system available to students on the D2L website. This system was inspired by the predictive result systems of websites such as Netflix, Amazon and Pandora, and was developed by Tristan Denley, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Using a combination of data to pair students up with courses that are best for them personally, the system attempts to ensure the best academic progress and success for each individual. By utilizing this tool, Desire2Learn aims to be even more effective in providing a personalized learning experience and improving college graduation rates.

“Degree Compass is transforming the higher education student experience,” said D2L CEO and President John Baker in an APSU press release. “Using predictive models to determine ideal curriculum and the quickest path to degree completion, Degree Compass is a game-changer that will help guide students to academic success.”

Degree Compass begins working on a student’s first day of school, monitoring success and giving recommendations accordingly.

Degree Compass uses information about each student’s past academic progress and its own predictive models to determine which courses he or she should take next, based on the appropriate program of study and with respect to the best sequence of courses that program has to offer.

It then uses its grade records from thousands of previous students to modify its recommendations so that the user is presented only with courses in which he or she is likely to make the best grades possible.

Research gathered by Complete College America shows that the average student takes 20 more courses than are necessary to fulfill degree requirements.

The Degree Compass provides students with degree path recommendations, reducing the time-to-degree with its superior course suggestions and greatly improving each student’s chance of graduating.

Degree Compass has earned  national attention in the past six months and also played a vital role in Tennessee’s Completion College Innovation Challenge.

This resulted in a $1 million grant from Complete College America and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to begin implementation of Degree Compass at three other Tennessee campuses, with hopes for even more growth and usage nationwide in the future.

This kind of personalized advice might be very helpful to students at universities all over the country. Degree Compass is meant to provide radical improvements to the higher education experience, giving each person the best curriculum for them personally based on their academic talents, and vastly improving the probability of success for each individual.

About Chaseton Donahoe, Staff Writer

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