New program will help students plan academic goals in spring 2020


An Academic Senate Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17 begins with a roll call. Vice President of Academic Affairs Jean Shankweiler said with the use of a new program for students to map their college courses for each semester they are at El Camino, they will gain a better understanding of what’s required to transfer. Mari Inagaki/The Union

Under a new online system, students will be able to make semester-specific educational plans to track their progress on fulfilling transfer or certification requirements, officials said.

The Program Pathways Mapper (PPM), which will launch in spring 2020, will allow students to plan ahead and learn about required courses. This new initiative is one of several under the Enrollment Management Plan, which was discussed during an Academic Senate Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Jean Shankweiler said the goal of the Enrollment Management Plan (EMP) is to help El Camino College identify and examine whether programs are going to help students reach their goals.

“We want to set a goal for enrollment because that’s how the school gets paid from the state,” Shankweiler said. “So that helps us figure out how many classes we should be offering.”

Another criteria that would help students and colleges is to make the success rate in classes higher.

“Instead of only 80% of the students getting an A, B or C, if 90% got it, then students would complete and we’d have more enrollment,” Shankweiler said.

Similar goals are also outlined in the EMP so that ECC administrators can decide what they are going to do in the coming years, Shankweiler said.

In the EMP for 2016 to 2019, ECC added a winter session and increased online instruction. For the future, ECC wants to improve programs that will help students, Shankweiler said.

While the PPM will benefit students directly, faculty will benefit from a calendaring program that will allow them to reserve rooms using an online system.

“So if somebody wants to have a meeting in a room, you can use this software to do that,” Shankweiler said. “It also allows us to schedule events that aren’t necessarily school events. So if somebody wants to come on campus and use one of our rooms for something, then we can schedule it that way.”

Starr Mickels, 26, communication studies major, said the PPM and other initiatives under the EMP will benefit students but mentioned that it needs to be advertised well.

“I feel there will be a benefit if there is a way you guys can get the word out,” Mickels said.

However, Mickels also mentioned that it is important for the college to also let students know about these changes.