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DMACC tool helps students plan careers

Online program tracks course work to help students earn degree

Des Moines Area Community College recently added an online planning tool that aims to help students more efficiently earn a degree called Degree Works Planner.

“This online planning tool will save students time and money, making sure they only take the courses they need to achieve their goals,” DMACC Director of Enrollment Services and Registrar Rachel Erkkila said. “It allows students, their advisor and their professors to communicate in one location about a student’s educational plan.”

The Degree Works Planner is a free resource for all DMACC students.

Studies show that around 40 percent of four-year students haven’t completed a degree after six years.

DMACC’s Degree Works Planner software helps students create a semester by semester course specific plan to achieve their goals.

“It’s their total degree plan in one location including courses, course substitutions and transfer courses,” Erkkila said. “Our goal is to help students graduate on time with the degree they are pursuing.”

DMACC Program Chairs, faculty and advisors can view, create and edit student plans.

Degree Works advantages include:

• A semester-by-semester plan for full-time and part-time DMACC students

• Saving students time and money because they don’t take classes they don’t need

• Ability to customize student education plans

• Better planning for graduation or transfer to a four-year school

• Clear communication between students, advisors and Program Chairs

“I have really enjoyed using this planning tool with students,” DMACC Mortuary Science Program Chair Kevin Patterson said. “It helps students stay on track and enables advisors and faculty members to guide them. In addition, it makes it easy to help students visualize their plan of study if you need to make an adjustment to an education plan.”

DMACC students can watch a video that describes how to use the Degree Works Planning Tool at

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