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Degree Navigator tool becomes temporarily unavailable less than 1 week before course registration

<p>According to the Office of Information and Technology, Degree Navigator stopped working as a result of a software issue and it should be operational again by Thursday.</p>

According to the Office of Information and Technology, Degree Navigator stopped working as a result of a software issue and it should be operational again by Thursday.

The Rutgers Degree Navigator tool became inaccessible to students sometime Wednesday morning, displaying an error screen during login attempts. The Rutgers University Police Department’s “Text to RUPD” service also went offline for an unrelated reason but came back up by 5:40 p.m.

An official statement by the Office of Information Technology said the inaccessibility of Degree Navigator was caused by a software issue, and it should be resolved by Thursday.

“OIT staff are working with the vendor to resolve the issue, and are confident that the issue will be resolved prior to the start of web registration,” according to the statement. “The Office of Information Technology apologizes for any inconvenience this disruption may have caused.”

While no timeline was given for the “Text to RUPD” system restoration, students were alerted in an email that it was operating again.

“The University Police Department has been alerted to an unplanned service outage of the 'Text to RUPD' system,” according to a statement emailed to students. “Until the system is fully restored, non-emergency requests for public safety services can be made only by phone at the numbers provided below. For a Police, Fire or Medical Emergency — please obtain an outside line and Dial 9-1-1.”

The system was first implemented in February 2016 after lobbying from the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), The Daily Targum reported

Students who used the system could text a complaint or request assistance by texting instead of calling RUPD.

After its launch, Rutgers assisted New Jersey in rolling out a statewide police-text program, allowing different municipalities to also take advantage of the system, according to The Daily Targum

Degree Navigator is a service University students can use to track their progress with core requirements and through earning a degree or minor. The site also allows users to check their progress on hypotheticals, such as how many classes they would have to take if they wanted to change their major or add another minor.

According to the service’s website, students can also determine how individual classes may affect their major or ability to graduate. 

Most departments also keep Degree Navigator updated with their programs, so students can look at offered courses for different degrees. With course registration starting later this week, students have issued complaints about not having access to the site. 

The service is provided to Rutgers by Decision Academic, an advanced academic advising and curriculum management solutions provider, according to their website. The company originally released their Navigator Suite in 1994.

According to Degree Navigator’s “Getting Started” page, users can access the site using Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater, Netscape Navigator 6.0 or greater or Firefox 1.5.

Internet Explorer was released in 1999, Netscape 6 was last released in 2002 and Firefox 1.5 was released in 2005. According to Degree Navigator’s User’s Guide, static details have not been updated since May 2006. 

Static details do not include any information about majors, minors or courses.

While Degree Navigator can assist students in determining which courses they need to graduate, they should still speak to an advisor, according to the site.

According to the website, “Your Degree Navigator report will help you to forecast degree completion and is used for planning purposes only. It is not an official transcript of your academic record, nor does it constitute a contract between you and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Verification of college and degree requirements can only be certified by an academic advisor.”

Nikhilesh De is a correspondent for The Daily Targum. He is a School of Arts and Sciences senior. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.

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