Civitas Learning to help students on journey to success

When students seek help in classes, think about withdrawing, apply for the next semester or decide to switch majors, that information is stored, but it’s not easily accessible and the information doesn’t benefit students. Yet.

Civitas Learning is coming to Del Mar College, and it will organize information, which will help students in the registration process, as well as in their personal journeys as they take classes, according to Augustus Alfonso, the chief information officer at DMC.

The first step in the process is called Civitas Illume, a predictive analytics system that will organize things such as what students do in their journey to succeed, he said.

“What difference does it make if, let’s say, a developmental education student is (helped) repeatedly by the Student Success Center” and they succeed? Alfonso said.

Illume will help identify areas where students need to go based on what students like them have already done, he said in the case of the developmental education student. This will also occur for every other student in their major at DMC. It will help students identify services already available to them, but it will narrow their choices down to those that have helped others in the same position to succeed by looking at patterns in saved data.

Illume is scheduled to be activated in the summer, Alfonso said, but the Information Technology Department isn’t done after that.

Civitas Degree Map is next, and “this thing can really make a difference in student success,” Alfonso said.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.24.04 PMContributed photo

Civitas Illume will help identify areas where students need to go based on similar college career paths have already completed.

Illume will prepare the data, but Degree Map will use the information further by giving students access to everything on their file in regard to classes taken, classes needed and more.

“Do you know how long it will take to graduate and how much it will really cost you?” Alfonso said. “If I’m advising, I’m limited to the academic plan in front of me” right now.

Degree Map will give students and their advisers that information and more, such as: how close a student is to earning a degree, how many credits remain in that degree or in another prospective one, how many credits are “in progress,” what credits are on their transcript that don’t apply to their major and it will even offer a side-by-side comparison with other majors for students who might consider changing.

It gives you all the information before you make a decision and “it will empower advisers to be more informed,” Alfonso said. “Students can ask about important decisions … advisers can assist students outside their discipline … It will be a more personalized, informed advising process instead of an attempt.”

Sessions regarding Degree Map will occur after Illume goes live. These sessions will determine when Degree Map will be activated based on the success rate with Illume.

“There’s so much opportunity for student success,” Alfonso said. “We just need to do better with services we already have.”

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