Faculty promoting new Graduation Planning System to students

Rachel Hagenbaugh

Faculty members continue to come up with ideas to promote the use of the new Graduation Planning System, or GPS, which will be fully functional by fall 2011.

Deborah Barber, executive director of degree planning, said Facebook and Twitter pages were set up the week of July 17 for the GPS program. The goal is for students to use these pages to post questions they have about the program. Barber said once a student posts a question, one of the three faculty members assigned to monitoring the page will answer within 24 hours.

“The idea is to make the Facebook page a modern FAQ page,” Barber said. “Students can get their questions answered by looking at what other people have asked.”

Postcards targeted to students who do not have to attend First Year Experience were mailed July 5. Students who are exempt from First Year Experience include transfer students and students older than 21. Over 3,300 postcards were sent to explain the use of GPS and why it was important, Barber said.

Handbooks were made to guide students and advisers through the new system. Barber said they expect the online, 30-page student handbook to be completed the week of Aug. 24.

One of the promotional strategies is to use Gus, the college student mascot for GPS, Barber said. Magnets of Gus will be passed out to students at various school events. Cardboard cutouts of Gus will show up around the various campuses.

Barber said Gus helps make the GPS more student-friendly.

“This is a serious plan we’re trying to promote,” Barber said, “but we also want to have fun with it to get students interested.”

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Rachel Hagenbaugh at [email protected].