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We build the Portal to make it easy for schools to identify students who are not programmed to end the term on track in credits. You can use the Portal to identify the credit areas where students have gaps, make course programming adjustments for the current term, and set course plans for future terms. The course plans you enter in the Portal can then be exported for easy upload into STARS and other systems of record. Understanding what courses students needs and ensuring they are scheduled appropriately helps to keep students on track for their graduation plans.
This article will provide an overview of the key features available in the Portal for course planning.
Happy exploring! As always, feel free to share your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a credit gap?
A credit gap is the number of credits not currently scheduled or planned that a student would need to earn in order to end the term on-track to graduate in a specific subject area. Credit gaps in the Portal are calculated based on comparing the expected number of credits a student should have earned in a given subject area against what they have actually earned at the start of each term. A negative number indicates a gap. A student would have a credit gap in a subject’s course sequence if they had previously failed a course or had never been scheduled for it.
How credit gaps relate to credit metrics in Settings?
The Portal uses a school's credit metric to determine how many credits a student should have earned in each subject area at the start of each term. By allowing schools to define their own general course sequencing the Portal can more accurately flag credit areas with issues.
To set the credit metrics for your school, go to Settings > Credit Metrics. When setting credit metrics, the number should represent how many credits a student should have accumulated by the end of that term in that particular subject area. The Total (44 Required) row should be set for the number of total credits a student should have accumulated by the end of each term. Once credit metrics are set, the Portal can compare the expected credits earned by the start of a given term, with the actual credits students have earned, and flag any gaps. For example, if a student at the start of their second year is expected to have earned 2 credits of Algebra, but they have only earned 1, the Portal will flag the student as having 1 credit gap in Math (represented as -1.). Note: Once you log your metrics, be sure to hit "Enter" or your metrics will not save.
Understanding credit gaps for a single students
The easiest way to understand how credit gaps are calculated is to take a deep dive into a single student. Learn more here!
Reviewing credit gaps for groups of students using the Credit Gaps Wizard
The Credit Gaps wizard was designed to make it easy to review and prioritize groups of students who have credit gaps. Learn more here!
Assigning course plans to address credit gaps
Credit gaps can be addressed by adjusting the current term programming or creating an explicit plan for when in the future a student will attempt to earn the credit. These actions can be taken in the Student Profile. Learn more here!
Uploading current term course plans to STARS
Once course additions and course drops are set in the Portal for the current term, an export can be generated for upload into STARS. Learn more here!