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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Students, advisers grapple with new SAPR”

    Students and advisers have noticed some problems with the new Student Academic Progress Report two weeks after its introduction, forcing them to use both the new and old program for course planning and registration.

    Julie Reed, an academic adviser for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said students have been concerned because they noticed the new Degree Audit and Reporting System SAPR, an automated degree audit program available on Student Link, was not accurately reporting students’ completed requirements, grade point average or earned units.

    “”We feel bad for students because they’re panicked when they don’t need to be,”” Reed said.

    One of the problems was that degree requirement substitutions, like Advanced Placement credits substituting for general education requirement, weren’t on the DARS SAPR, Reed said.

    She also said the DARS SAPR wasn’t calculating courses in which students received an “”E”” into their GPAs, which is more problematic because it could cause students to think they have completed a requirement when they haven’t.

    The DARS SAPR replaced the On Course SAPR as the official record for degree requirements for students and advisers on March 13, according to the UA Student Link Web site. The DARS SAPR has a new appearance and more features and academic information than its predecessor.

    Reed said although the midsemester debut of the DARS SAPR came during priority advising and registration, one of the busiest times for advisers, it was necessary so students and advisers could discover any problems.

    Alex Lau, a junior majoring in journalism and media arts, said he thought it may have been better for the UA to switch to the new SAPR a few weeks before priority registration so students could become more familiar with it before registration.

    Lau said he brought both versions of the SAPR to his advising appointment this week and said he found out that some of his transferred credits didn’t appear on his DARS SAPR under the requirements they’re supposed to fulfill.

    “”I liked reading it better, it’s just that my classes weren’t there,”” Lau said.

    The new program’s problems aren’t a cause for concern for some students.

    “”I kind of know what I need to take. It’s not a problem,”” said Tom Rose, an economics junior.

    Rose said he prefers to keep track of his degree requirements himself, rather than using the SAPR, because the SAPR can take a while to load on Student Link and is confusing to read.

    Advisers are alerting any problems they find on the DARS SAPR to the office of the registrar, which is “”tackling them one-by-one,”” Reed said.

    Celeste Pardee, curriculum associate for the registrar, said the creators of the DARS SAPR were aware that there would be discrepancies between the DARS and On Course SAPRs and they are working to fix them.

    Students and advisers are being asked to report any problems they find, Pardee said.

    Pardee said the problems are a part of implementing any new tool, and that only “”widespread reporting”” by students and advisers will alert the DARS team staff of the problems.

    Pardee added a notice will be posted on Student Link alerting students of possible discrepancies between the two SAPRs.

    Reed said advisers will probably continue using both the DARS and On Course SAPRs for advising and senior degree checks this semester, but all new substitutions, exceptions and waivers to a student’s degree requirements will only appear on the DARS SAPR.

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