DARS, the Degree Audit Reporting System available to registered students online, has updated and improved their system.
The redesigned DARS is more user-friendly and includes new features to help aid students in understanding the requirements for their major and advise them in planning their coursework.
Some of the new features include improved visuals, faster loading times and new print options. It now has a simpler format consisting of drop down options, compared to the old tab-oriented menus. These options display various classes that meet the requirements needed in a student’s particular major, and show available academic options.
DARS reports are now updated 23 times a year, to assist students in gaining an accurate perspective of their academic standings.
The new DARS includes a “What-if” option that gives students the opportunity to explore the various degrees offered at Temple. It allows the students to ask “what if” they changed majors and shows how their past and current classes would apply to an alternative major. For students that are considering a different major, DARS is able to automatically show how requirements for graduation would change. It also shows what taking on an additional major would entail. A “What-if” DARS audit can be obtained from an adviser and used by the student while planning the rest of their academic career.
The DARS program keeps track of a student’s registration, currently enrolled classes, transfer credits and academic history at Temple. The program runs degree audits and reviews what requirements students have completed and the requirements that still needed to be completed for graduation. This information on DARS is drawn from the Integrated Student Information System and automatically updates as a student progresses toward their degree. If there are changes in grades, majors or deposits paid they will be reflected when your DARS is updated, generally by Wednesday of each week.
DARS is accessible to students online through OWLnet, the Web site where students can also pay their tuition, check grades, view current grade point averages and register for classes. Using DARS can be a convenient way for students to find reliable academic advice when it may be difficult to schedule an appointment with an actual advisor.
“Using the DARS system is much better than going to an adviser. Eligibility for classes begins at midnight when I wouldn’t be able to get in touch with an advisor to ask questions. The DARS suggests classes and the new setup gives a map of information that helps me understand what I need for my major. If I want to find out about a particular requirement I can just click and see what that’s about,” said Sharon Ruedeman, a broadcasting student.
Some students enjoy the convenience of the updated DARS but still wonder how accurate it is.
“I think the new DARS is more straightforward but the requirements are not always clear. If you’ve kept track of what you need from the beginning, an adviser isn’t always necessary,” said jazz composition major Marc Kaplan.
Still, some students find the DARS confusing and hard to use. Students have also found that it sometimes gives information that appears to be incorrect or that differs from their adviser’s information
“I would rather see an adviser because my DARS have been wrong, and the one time I looked it said I needed a class that they said I didn’t have to take” said Ann Imperato, a communications student.
Student Ty Schollaert believes the DARS system can be updated further with additional options.
“The new DARS are actually a lot easier to understand than before. However, when looking at my completed credits, it wasn’t clear if it was counting the courses in progress. Also the bottom of the page gives three different numbers regarding my credits and I wasn’t sure what that really meant,” Schollaert said.
For more information regarding DARS visit www.temple.edu/DARS.
Carolyn Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.