Transferring to a four-year institution can be a challenging process for students. It often involves visiting multiple offices to gather and provide information, attempting to decipher which credits will transfer and navigating degree options and requirements.
Northern Arizona University is taking a novel approach to this process with its revolutionary new online tool called JacksPath, which charts a clear pathway for transfer students.
The tool launched in November and transforms the way NAU recruits and supports transfer students. Upon visiting jackspath.nau.edu, students can follow the step-by-step instructions to answer questions about any prior earned credits, their preferences for how and where to earn their degree, and the degree options they would like to pursue. JacksPath then calculates their progress toward completing their degree, including which degree requirements students have already met and which remain. A personalized report shows individual degree progress, recommended courses to take and even a projected graduation date.
“We asked former transfer students what could have eased their transition into a four-year institution,” said Andrea Stalker, a project manager and business analyst for NAU’s Office of the Registrar, who has been leading a small team for nearly a year to develop the tool. “We then worked with several departments across campus to turn their suggestions into a reality. The result is a highly dynamic system that really streamlines the transfer process.”
The tool is applicable to those transferring to NAU from both two-year and four-year institutions, with enhanced functionality geared toward those seeking to transfer from an Arizona community college.
“NAU’s innovative partnerships with dozens of community colleges across the state are an increasingly popular way for students to earn credits toward a four-year degree while saving on tuition expenses,” Stalker said. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports that nearly a third of all Arizona students graduating with a four-year degree have attended a two-year institution.
In addition to more clearly defining a student’s transfer plan, JacksPath also provides a wealth of useful information on tuition and financial aid, career planning, campus resources and student support.
“The more students use it, the more it gets to know them and can tailor that information directly to their needs,” Stalker said.