Support Tool Spotlight: CatTracks
Dec. 12, 2017
What is CatTracks?
Sometimes, when asked, I have given the answer that it is a degree evaluation tool. However, that answer is a little too simplistic. Really, CatTracks is the official graduation tool for Weber State University.
You may think that the terms “degree evaluation tool” and “graduation tool” are synonymous, but there is a distinct difference. As a graduation tool, CatTracks’ primary function is to serve as the official source to determine if a student has completed all the requirements for their program of study.
Therefore, the programing of the requirements in CatTracks must match the requirements in the catalog. Also, any changes to CatTracks must follow the same policies and procedures for curriculum changes.
How does CatTracks know which courses meet requirements?
CatTracks has a sophisticated algorithm to determine the best fit for a course in relation to the requirements. Some courses can meet several requirements, and CatTracks will evaluate which the course fits best.
You may have thought, “Isn’t CatTracks an advising tool?”
The answer is, yes! One of the primary purposes of advising is communicating what classes a student should take to complete their requirements to graduate. CatTracks assist advisors and students to see which courses meet the requirements, along with built in tools to plan future enrollments.
The benefit of CatTracks is the advisor and student are seeing the same information that we are looking at in the Graduation Office to determine if the student has completed all the requirements for graduation. If CatTracks says that a student has completed 100% of the requirements, we post their degree.
It’s also a communication tool.
CatTracks can also be used to communicate essential information to the student related to their degree progress. CatTracks allows departments to send advising notes to the student and make exceptions to requirements when appropriate. Other advisors, administrators and, most importantly, the student can see these communications, helping ensure that everyone is on the same page when discussing the student’s degree progress.
CatTracks has been an invaluable tool to the university. It has helped us be more accurate with our advising and displaying degree requirements. Moreover, it is the key to our ability to graduate close to 2,000 students the Friday after grades are due.
So, what is CatTracks? It is a graduation tool that is essential to helping our students succeed.
Do you have questions or comments about this article? Please contact Casey Bullock at caseybullock