Degree Designer

What Is It?

Building on the Degree Designer takes a dramatic leap forward in functionality. The Blue Jay Degree Designer is an automated advisement system that manages Student/Counselor communication, provides dynamic and interactive Ed Plan, Semester Plan and Schedule building as well as rich reporting of Student Trends, Success Analysis and Program Effectiveness.

The Blue Jay Degree Designer effectively interfaces with SIS, Degree Audit , and Transcript Articulation systems. The Blue Jay Degree Designer can take a student from the initial counselor meeting (or group counseling session) all the way to a fully approved Ed Plan and Semester Plan, and then track the student’s progress, continually reporting their progress to all interested departments (including off campus departments) and with the Optimizer, provide perfect course schedules to keep the student on track. The system can even warn the student of limited availability of their classes before your catalogs are sent to the printer.

The Blue Jay Degree Designer can automatically process incoming transcript data when building an Ed Plan so a student is always aware of not only just what is required of them, but how much they have already completed.

The Degree Designer also allows students to be personally tracked by individual counselors, through its messaging system. Complex decisions can either require human approval before they become accepted or the decisions can be defined in a set of automated rules to increase your counseling department’s capacity to provide assistance. All information is saved electronically and can be mined for useful statistics either by our own reporting engine or through industry standard tools such as Crystal Reports. We can even setup Sister/Feeder College relationships with districts so that students who have declared “Transfer” as one of their goals can have their Ed Plans and progress sent ahead of them to the school that they intend to transfer into.

What Technologies Did I Use?

Degree Designer was built entirely in Java. Using Tomcat as the app container, and MySQL and MSSQL for the back end (it used a custom ORM called libBlueJay, this was developed before Hibernate was a viable solution). It also comprised of a suite of command line utilities to merge data from legacy Student Information Systems. The interface was 100% valid XHTML with sparing use of JavaScript and no 3rd party plug-ins (Flash) or pop-ups. On this project I was the architect, developer, system administrator graphic designer and content author.