March 23, 2016 By Carl Straumsheim
Academic advisers at the University of California at San Diego will this fall be able to tell on a scale from zero to 10 if the student sitting in front of them is on track to graduate within four years.
The university is in the process of rolling out its Time to Degree Early Warning System, which uses predictive models to determine if students are in danger of taking longer than four years to graduate. By combining historical data with data gathered from students as they progress in their studies, the university says, the system could one day be able to automatically suggest helpful programs and services to students who show signs of veering from the path that led former students to graduate on time.
At launch, the system will be fairly rudimentary, looking only at data such as grade point averages and units completed. But as it grows to include different kinds of data, the university hopes to one day offer what it describes as “the academic equivalent of preventive medicine.”