New MyUI tools aim to help students with long-term planning

MyPlan and Sample Plan, new academic tools available on MyUI, were created to help students with planning their paths to graduation.


Katie Goodale

Jill Trumm, Associate Director of the Academic Advising center, discusses MyPlan during the MyPlan and Sample Plan lecture in the Big Ten Theater at the IMU on Sept. 26, 2018. Sample Plans provide example four-year plans for most majors, while MyPlan will provide a new viewing tool for students looking to plan their path of study at Iowa. (Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan).

Elianna Novitch, Politics Reporter

New tools geared toward assisting University of Iowa students in long-term academic planning launched on MyUI earlier this fall.

The new tools — Sample Plans and MyPlan — work together to help students with developing multiyear plans for their paths to graduation.

The new tools come a year after Schedule Builder launched on MyUI. Schedule Builder is a tool that helps students build conflict-free schedules based on their preferences, and it provides one-click registration.

“We really wanted to be able to equip students with tools to build successful plans in order to maximize their time here at Iowa,” said Jill Trumm, the associate director of the Academic Advising Center.

The Registrar’s Office worked to develop Sample Plans, which are example plans of study that outline recommended coursework and sequence of coursework for different undergraduate programs. Currently, Sample Plans are offered for most majors, and officials hope to soon offer them for minors, certificates, and graduate programs.

“The goal is that students can look through [Sample Plans] and be able to have conversations with their advisers with more information than they had before,” Registrar services coordinator Becky Keogh said. “I really hope that students take advantage of it and are able to have higher-level conversations with their advisers about what their interests might be and how they can map it out.”

Sample Plans can also be helpful for exploring what coursework is like for students’ declared majors or for majors they might consider, Keogh said. Sample Plans is publicly available so prospective students can also use the tool.

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Trumm said Sample Plans works well as a starting point for MyPlan, which allows students the ability to create a customized plan of study that integrates their degree requirements along with other items, such as internships or study abroad, to create a comprehensive view of their time at the UI.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for students to chart out their academic plan of study, but they can also incorporate all kinds of things on their MyPlan that aren’t academic related,” Trumm said. “It really creates a comprehensive plan that can churn out the student’s entire journey here at Iowa, and I hope allows students to maximize their four or more years here so that they can … make meaningful choices that will help set them up for success after they graduate.”

Lead application developer Bill Evanson and senior application developer Becky Tjelmeland said in an email to The Daily Iowan that having these tools and information available in MyUI simplifies both registering and planning courses for students. Evanson and Tjelmeland managed the development of the applications.

“The power of Sample Plans, MyPlan, and Schedule Builder is using the three tools together. We knew Schedule Builder would have a big impact on how students register for classes in that it … simplifies the registration process,” Evanson and Tjelmeland said in the email. “MyPlan together with Sample Plans are geared toward long-term planning … We think there are a lot of benefits to students to be able to easily and visually map out the courses they need to take throughout their academic career.”

The three planning tools were developed as a strategic initiative budget opportunity that addresses the UI’s initiative to create technological tools and cohesive four-year success messages that empower students to chart their course, as specified in the UI’s Strategic Plan for 2016-21.

“I definitely see this as enhancing the work that academic advisers do with our students,” Trumm said. “… The technology allows us to streamline some of the processes that may have taken up a lot of our appointment time and opens up more space for a qualitative conversation between the student and the adviser.”