What’s the Plan?
MyPlan promises to transform student academic planning
Rahul Devanarayanan had his sights set on a challenging double degree in Civil Engineering and Community, Environment, and Planning—with the goal of finishing his studies in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, his planning hit a snag. Trying to line up the parallel tracks just wasn’t working.
That was when Civil & Environmental Engineering Adviser Mariko Navin introduced Rahul to MyPlan, a visual, feature-rich academic planning tool launched to all students in January 2013. MyPlan was created by UW-IT with funding support from the Student Technology Fee.
Before MyPlan, students had to use several stand-alone systems to pull together information for their academic plans. Much work also was done with pencil and paper—a painstaking and error-prone approach in the University’s dynamic environment.
“With MyPlan, we were able to visualize all the courses Rahul needed and come up with a great alternative strategy,” Navin explained.
“MyPlan allows you to be very intentional about how you plan, in a way that’s easy to visualize, adapt, and share,” Devanarayanan said. “With MyPlan we were able to optimize my classes so my learning experience will be much more cohesive. Not only that, but with MyPlan I was able to figure out how to add two minors, in Mathematics and Urban Planning, and graduate in the same amount of time.”
“It’s amazing how much functionality MyPlan has,” Navin said. “It’s going to be totally transformative in the way we work with students to help them reach their academic goals.”
Early adoption of the new tool has been outstanding, according to Darcy Van Patten, UW-IT’s Student Program Director. So far, MyPlan has had nearly 32,000 unique visitors, with about 11,000 creating an academic plan.
“We modeled many of the features of MyPlan after modern travel and shopping websites, so students have a familiar interface,” Van Patten explained. Some notable features include robust course search, filtering and saving, integrated degree audit reports, real-time sharing of plans with advisers and detailed registration planning.
MyPlan is the first online tool to go live at the UW under Kuali Student, a next-generation student system that promises to dramatically improve the student experience. MyPlan is currently being adopted by Kuali member Indiana University, which is already working on enhancements that it will give back to Kuali Student, of which UW is a founding member.
“Eventually, we want to have integrated Kuali’s open-source platforms for admission, enrollment, tuition, advising, billing and accounts, and financial aid,” Van Patten said. “We’re adding features continuously. Next year, we will integrate MyPlan with the UW’s registration system to provide an improved academic planning and registration experience.”
“What MyPlan does is immense,” Navin said. “It lets students spend less time and energy on the logistics of their education—so they have more time for learning.”