Update Advising Tools


Our campus computing services department works tirelessly to serve the needs of our students, our staff, and our faculty. Did you know that they often help students with their personal computers? Whether that be repairing broken parts, recovering lost data, or replacing defective machines. They’re second to none.

But in the spirit of excellence, it’s good to continue to re-address any service or tool offered by the department. We need to constantly be asking ourselves, “Does this serve our students, staff, and faculty well?”

One of the areas we believe might warrant an overhaul (and in turn, institutional support for those who would do the programming and design) is the MyNorthwestern site. This great tool has embedded in it many important resources; we would suggest that …

  • The general organization and aesthetic be reviewed for consistency and easy of navigation.
  • The adoption of all departments to review and assess their individual MyNWC tools.
  • And perhaps the redesign of specific resources.

One resource that we feel needs particular attention is the Degree Audit page. This is a tool that helps students plan their course of study and helps advisors mentor their students throughout their tenure here at Northwestern.

Successful tools are intuitive, clear, and concise. Flourishing tools are flexible and aesthetically pleasing. We would categorize the current Degree Audit page as simply “functional”.

Suggestions for Northwestern

Below is an example of what the current degree audit page looks like; a mockup of a typical Sophomore in the Worship Arts program. If you scroll through you’ll notice quite a bit of superfluous information (i.e. “If you’re an education major, you might need …”) that doesn’t pertain to this particular student. And the aesthetic doesn’t mark any information as important, therefore nothing is important.

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We would love to see a more modern feel that …

  • Summarizes the most important data, the journey of the student
  • Uses common nomenclature
  • Removes extra information that doesn’t pertain to the student
  • Enables the student to continue planning out their course of study

Below is an example of what this might look like.

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Strategic Plan

Goal 1.3 – Advance the quality and reputation of the academic programRaise the reputation of Northwestern as a leader in Christian thought, scholarship, practice, and artistic expression.