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D2L acquires Degree Compass from APSU


Desire2Learn (D2L) recently announced the acquisition of Degree Compass, a predictive analytics technology developed at Austin Peay State University that helps students select the courses to take that will drive the successful completion of their degree program. By predicting student success based on rich graduate data and current student data, the Degree Compass acquisition strengthens Desire2Learn’s robust analytics offering by providing colleges and institutions with technology that increases graduation rates.

The Degree Compass application increases student success by providing students with academic advice from the very first day of school, monitoring progress and offering ongoing personalized course and degree path recommendations and reducing time-to-degree with better course selection.

The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) reported that 55 percent of US students graduate from a post-secondary institution. After the freshman year of study, just 77 percent of those students move on to their sophomore year. According to Complete College America, 60 percent of full-time undergraduates take approximately 8 years to achieve a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Degree Compass deploys predictive analytics to help address these staggering statistics.

"Degree Compass is transforming the higher education student experience,” said Desire2Learn CEO and President John Baker. “Using predictive models to determine ideal curriculum and the quickest path to degree completion, Degree Compass is a game-changer that will help guide students to academic success.”

Developed by Dr. Tristan Denley, provost and vice president of academic affairs at APSU, and the University, with a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Complete College America, Degree Compass is a Web-based, personalized course recommendation and academic advisement application. The technology helps students select course curriculum, choose a “major” and select programs that are most suited to their academic talents. Research from Complete College America shows the average student takes 20 percent more courses than required to fulfill their degree requirements so distilling hundreds of course-offerings into a personalized curriculum reduces the time necessary to achieve a degree and greatly optimizes a student’s chances of graduating.

"Degree Compass has helped institutions such as Austin Peay State University increase graduation rates,” Denley said. “We are excited to work with Desire2Learn to enable students all over the country to have access to that same personalized advice." 

Desire2Learn’s Degree Compass product will be generally available Spring 2013.