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March 22, 2007

Groundbreaking FlightPath audit report system unveiled

ULM unveiled FlightPath, its unique automated degree audit report system Wednesday, March 21.

The program is designed is to assist students and advisors to review progress toward degree in either a yearly format or by types of classes. By visualizing progress to degree, students and advisors will also readily see what is remaining for graduation. The program also shows all courses taken with grades, credits, etc. Users can do a “what if...” and place themselves in any degree to see how their credits apply to those offered at ULM.

The advising component allows advisors to recommend courses, make comments, and track how the student was advised. Since the program is an online program, access is significantly broader than in the past. If students change majors, any advisor across campus will be able to access their records and thus provide a seamless transition from one advisor or department to another.

“This is a wonderful retention tool for students and advisors alike, since it provides an immediate response to exploring majors on campus,” said Barbara Michaelides, director of university retention. “I have been involved from the beginning and reviewed programs sold for this purpose. In my opinion, what our programmers have created is far better. It provides both a visual and textual representation of progress toward degree that will be useful to all. Students will benefit from having this information at their fingertips…This is definitely a proactive, effective use of technology.”

The project was developed by ULM programmers and the coordinator of Advising Support and funded by a grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

After reviewing programs available for purchase and visiting universities using these programs, ULM’s administration decided to move forward with a “home-grown” version containing an advising feature not otherwise available. The team began work in June 2006 and had a controlled release of the beta version in the fall semester of 2006.

SGA, CAB, and Student Life and Leadership will begin marketing the program to students next week, once the initial release has been monitored by the programming team.

“Our web programming and Student Success Center staff have done a terrific job designing and implementing an easy to use, intuitive degree audit system,” said Eric Pani, associate provost. “FlightPath is another tool that will help students and advisors alike as they work together to achieve student success at ULM.”

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