DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System)
DARS is an automated degree audit system licensed to and used by UW–Madison to analyze and report student progress toward the requirements of a UW–Madison degree. In L&S, DARS is the Document of Record of any individual student’s graduation; a DARS is saved as a record that justifies why L&S awarded that student’s L&S degree, major, and/or certificate award at the time of graduation. DARS also stores every alteration to undergraduate program requirements and is the record of all approved curriculum exceptions.
Because DARS is used to audit and award degrees, aggregated DARS data is warehoused and visualized in Tableau workbooks and reported in Tableau IDE for academic planning, assessment, and operations.
DARS audits are essential advising reports to plan enrollment in future terms and to identify educational opportunities and pathways through curriculum. DARS is integrated with the Degree Planner module of the Course Search and Enroll application that students use to register for courses and plan their four-year degrees.
When requesting a DARS audit, a student’s status and academic record are processed and applied to the requirements of that program, resulting in an audit that is specific to that student’s unique circumstances. DARS can also be run speculatively by students and advisors. Known as a “What-If” audit, this function of DARS makes it a valuable program selection tool. Using the Degree Planner, DARS will also apply a student’s planned courses in order to facilitate four-year degree planning.
Academic Information Management (AIM) in L&S Student Academic Affairs oversees the creation and encoding of DARS audits for L&S academic programs. AIM uses DARS to audit L&S students for their degree and major awards. AIM consults with academic departments and programs, University and College governance, and other campus partners (e.g. Office of the Registrar) to ensure that program requirements published in Guide are properly encoded in DARS. AIM should be the first point of contact for any questions about how L&S programs are encoded in DARS.