Skip to main content
CollegeSource Support

Program Matcher

 


The Program Matcher feature is designed to help expedite graduation for the student who has coursework completed, but needs to declare a major and complete a degree.

Many students change majors at least once during their college careers. For example, a student may enter college as a Communications major, but decides two semesters later into his junior year to switch to Political Science. The problem is that this new major has stricter requirements (i.e., more required pre-requisites and/or stricter GPA guidelines), which is where Program Matcher can be extremely helpful. Since the student cannot meet the guidelines of the stricter major, he/she is left unsure about exactly what major to switch to without “throwing away” much of the credit earned while completing the pre-requisites for the original program of study.

With Program Matcher, students quickly and easily see what majors would most likely accept most of their credits. In the example above, the major that accepted most of the previously taken credit turned out to be Journalism. Because Program Matcher allows the student to figure out which major fits already taken courses, he/she is able to graduate on time with the rest of his cohort, despite the fact that he did not finalize his major until junior year.

A summary of new configs for the Program Matcher are detailed at the bottom of this page.

uAchieve Self-Service collects and indexes every degree program at a school–every course for every program on campus is stored. Student coursework is compared against indexed programs from the current catalog. The lists of courses are not generated by running audits.

From the Audits menu, select Program Matcher:

NOTE:
Staff and student access to the Program Matcher in uAchieve Self-Service depends upon school permissions.

 

The Program Matcher screen is split into two scrolling lists in vertical panes. The left pane contains a list of Program Groups; the right pane contains a list of Programs Found. Each pane has its own respective filter field above it: by program group title (left) or program title (right):

Programs Found

Programs Found matches all degree programs at a student's school with the student's existing coursework to determine how they match based upon Hours AppliedHours Completed, and Total Hours Needed:

The student's current program is listed within the matches and is indicated with a green box border and bookmark icon ():

Logic
As of 4.4.1, Program Matcher's logic for determining the student's declared program is the same as that on the Request New Audit page: using the SDL within Self-Service (if implemented).

In the Programs Found pane, key in a program title to filter the results, if needed. Click the Run Audit button.

 

An alert bubble will momentarily appear over the user login information in the upper right-hand corner of the window. Click View Submitted Audits.

 

The Competed Audit Requests screen displays the most recent audit at the top of the list:

 

Click View Audit to see the complete audit.

NOTE: Due to memory requirements, Program Matcher may take some time while processing.

As of the 4.3.0.3 release, Program Matcher determines the Total Hours Requirement for the student's degree program based upon chart category encoding. Estimated hours are used for the number of hours required to complete the program. With this improvement, Program Matcher has a fallback: to look at the Max Hours setting on the Total Hours Requirement if the estimated required hours is zero (or is not set). This is helpful for clients with no Required Hours encoded at the Requirement level since encoding the Max Hours should not effect processing unless the Total Hours Requirement is part of a Summary Group. For more details, see Program Matcher Processing.

Program Groups

Program Groups pulls the common terminology from the Programs Found pane and groups them in descending order of common keywords found:

NOTE:
View all Programs
is highlighted at the top of the list, by default.

 

Each program listed in the Program Groups pane is a link. Selections in the Program Groups pane dictate the display of the list in the Programs Found list.

 In this example, "Psychological Studies" (Program Group link on the left) has "(4)" matches (displayed on the right).

(green star) New in 4.3.0.3 We have improved the way that Program Matcher creates groups based upon the skip keywords configuration to ensure that group titles contain no skip words.

Program Matcher Default COM

(green star) New in 4.3.0.3 We have created a fallback in Program Matcher to the default COM. See Program Matcher Settings.

New Configs

In 4.3


Default Evalsw

When running an audit from the Program Matcher, the Eval Switch (Evalsw) is set to D, with the new option in 4.3 to allow users to set to the default to other settings within the properties file, e.g., to "A" or "E."

Ignoring Courses Consisting Entirely of any Wildcard Character or Spaces

As of the 4.3 release, the Program Matcher ignores courses that consist of any combination of wildcard (asterisk *) and spaces. Examples include the following:

  • *
  • ?
  • #
  • '  ' (space)

NOTE:
Wildcard characters (*) should not be hard coded and should instead be pulled from the COM table.

Ignoring Courses With User-Defined Condition Codes

A new property setting in the 4.3 version of Self-Service tells the Program Matcher which courses to ignore during matching–those with user-defined condition codes assigned. (The condition code must be on the student's course and are case-sensitve). For example, a course assigned condition code of AB will match both A and B only.

No matching will occur to user-defined condition codes, and the user will be alerted per the screenshot:

Not Matching on Courses With Failing Grades

In the 4.3 release of u.achieve Self-Service, the Program Matcher will not match on courses with failing (F) grades. Therefore, these courses with no credit assigned (GPA value of 0) will be excluded from the Program Matcher.

Read Current Year/Term When Indexing Courses

Previous to the 4.3 release, the current year/term was generated from the current date by taking the current year and appending a term code. With the new release, we have added a property code to Program Matcher with the option to read COM.CURYT for the current year/term when indexing courses.

Requirement List Functionality for Non-Matching on Valid Degree Programs

New in the 4.3 release, we have implemented Requirement List functionality in the Program Matcher to address non-handling of degree programs with requirements located in linked programs. This improvement also addresses non-indexing of those requirements with a null value for RQTYPE where it should. This functionality provides another way to pull in a list of requirements. While the use of markers is dynamic, this approach is static.

Admin can log into Self-Service Program Matcher and kick off a new index via the Re-Index Now function:

Return Only DPROGs With Specific TYPE_CODE

Previously, the Program Matcher only returned programs with a DPSTATUS (i.e., W, T, P, A) shown in the web drop-down menu. We found that institutions prefer different drop-down options for Program type to include different settings used for what-if scenarios in their encoding setups. Therefore, with the 4.3 release, the Program Matcher only returns degree programs with a specific TYPE_CODE.

Look up the Program Type in the u.achieve Client for the degree program of interest--BA-PSYCH in this example:

When you configure your Self-Service installation to not show programs with the PRG Program Type, these programs will not display in the Program Matcher.

Timeout Length

The timeout length for Program Matcher threads can now be set in the selfservice-audit.properties file as opposed to being hard coded.

  • Was this article helpful?