A credit gap is defined as the number of credits not currently programmed or planned that a student would need to earn in order to end the term on-track to graduate. Credit gaps can be resolved by adjusting the current-term program or creating an explicit plan for when in the future a student will attempt to earn the credit.
This article will explain the process for using the credit gaps features of the Portal in order to identify specific areas where students have gaps and methods for closing those gaps.
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Set school credit metrics
The goal of setting credit metrics is to record the school’s general course programming sequence so that students who are behind in needed credits are flagged by the Portal. When setting credit metrics, enter the number of credits a student is meant to have in a given subject by the end of each term.
In order to set the credit metrics, 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.
Identifying and closing credit gaps in the Portal
If a student is missing credits needed for graduation - whether because the student has not attempted credits or failed prior attempts - an explicit plan should exist for when the student will attempt to earn the credit. This plan should prioritize closing credit gaps in the current term by adjusting the student’s program, but where that is not feasible, identifying what courses a student will take in the future and when. Recording these plans in the Portal, using course codes, helps manage a complicated process and simplifies future decision-making
Through the school dashboard
Dashboard > On Track In credits > 2022
This list displays all students in the 2022 cohort according to the number of credit gaps they currently have (On track, 0.01-1 credit behind, 1.01-2 credits behind, 2.01-5 credits behind, 5.01+ credits behind)
Selecting a student who has a gap will take you to their profile, where you can follow the instructions below
This process can be repeated for all cohorts from the On Track In credits mid level graph
Through the data grid
Select "Data Grid" along the left side of the Portal
As the grid is displayed by default, users can examine multiple columns to filter for relevant groups
Class allows you to examine only specific cohorts of students
On Track in credits allows you to filter out students who are "On Track" to get a list of students with credit gaps
With the list of students filtered, to examine a group of students individually, "Batch Actions" can be selected from the top, all students can be selected with the top checkbox, and "View Profiles" can be selected to go to the profiles for identified students
Once in an individual profile, the instructions below can be followed
Through the student profile
Clicking on any student's name takes you to their profile
The credit gaps panel will give a detailed breakdown of where a student stands in regards to each subject area. The tile colors correspond to where that student is in regards to each subject. A red tile with a negative number indicates a subject with a credit gap; the number in the tile is the number of credit gaps. A dark green tile with the number “0” indicates that the student is on track in that subject. A purple tile with a positive number indicates that a student may have a surplus in that subject area; the number in the tile is the number of potential surplus credits.
Click on a subject area tile to bring up the student's course history.
Use this feature to see which course in a subject's sequence the student has a credit gap in. Clicking the vertical ellipsis to the right of the course allows programmers to plan to "add" the course to the students program in the current term or plan ahead for a student to take that course in a future term
Add Courses to this term
Click “ADD TO THIS TERM” to resolve as many gaps as possible in the current term. In the pop-up box that appears, search for courses in the Master Program by subject, period offered, and course code. Courses that the student hasn't already taken and passed will be available to add as a plan on a current program. All other course actions will be grayed out.
Add courses to next or future terms
When it is not possible to resolve all gaps in the current term, add plans for resolving gaps in future terms. Click “ADD TO NEXT TERM” to follow steps to add courses to the immediate next term. Click “ADD TO FUTURE TERM” to add plans for resolving gaps in all subsequent terms. In "Add courses to future terms," use the dropdown menu to select a term.
Enter planned course changes in STARS / Powerschool
Other Tools > Program Changes > Export to CSV
Follow these steps once you have downloaded the CSV from the Portal
Open Student Schedule File Edit (not shown in image)
In the “Student Programming” menu of STARS Client, under “Update Schedules, ” select “Student Schedule File Edit”
In the “Upload” (green) section, click “Select file to Upload”. Then select the file containing the pending course adds and drops
Click the upload icon