New DARS system in the works

The Bradley University Registrar’s Office and Office of Computing Services are working on updating the DARS system for students.

The DARS system is a document that lists academic curriculum for every major or minor that a Bradley student opts to pursue.

The Registrar’s Office, which works on university scheduling and record-keeping, has taken up the project with the Office of Computing Services, a branch under Information Resources and Technology.

“The university is upgrading the [current] degree audit system,” Assistant Registrar Angela Butler Magsombol said. “It will function very similarly to what we have now, but with enhanced features.”

While a variety of changes will be made to the interface, degree audits will still be accessed through Webster.

“There are colors on the new degree audit – a visual enhancement – audit runs are stored so you can refer back to them, comments by students and advisors can be logged, exceptions can be viewed, and sections within the degree audit can be open [or] closed as needed,” Magsombol said. “We are also anticipating for the degree audits to pull up with improved speed when requested.”

Current students will be grandfathered into the system, and new students will be entered into the new program automatically.

“It’s good that it’ll be faster, although in the scheme of things, waiting 10 seconds isn’t that big of a deal,” senior health science major Sam Wilkins said. “Right now, it’s also a ton of words to look at. I guess it’s not that hard to read, but it’s a lot of scrolling to figure it out. I wish it was more explicit.”

Currently, degree audits are run through the online program “Darwin.”

U.Achieve is the name of the CollegeSource product that Bradley is upgrading to as the newer version of Darwin. CollegeSource is the same company that runs Darwin, according to Magsombol.

Still, students said they believe there are additional things that could be improved with the impending updates.

“It could be beneficial if they could structure each section with grouping together the pluses and minuses – the classes you’ve completed and what you haven’t completed – rather than having them all combined,” Wilkins said. “I feel the need to keep double-checking everything to see if I need anything still or if I’m good.”

As of right now, there are still many steps that need to be implemented before the new DARS system is ready such as department testing, finishing the project’s components and programing the new Core Curriculum into u.Achieve.

“We are inching closer to getting it tested and finalized,” Magsombol said. “This is a major conversion in the making and we expect u.Achieve to better serve our students, faculty and staff.”

The new system is expected to be implemented by June 1.