Ad Astra Apps Product Journey

For the new applications delivered on the Ad Astra platform, we’ve adopted an improved, more agile product release strategy. This change allows us to quickly build innovative applications and features while maintaining the familiar elements and functionality you've come to love and expect.  We will continue our regular release process for Astra Schedule.  

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The development shift for the Ad Astra platform allows us to iterate faster than ever before, and we’re excited to share what we’re working on with you. This product journey will be updated weekly to keep you up to speed on all the progress taking place with our new applications and is divided into the following three sections:



Up Next

Faculty Information UI
When scheduling faculty for an upcoming term, wouldn't it be great to know details about your instructors to ensure the best fit for a section? We're adding instructor records to have quick "at a glance" information with both high-level and detailed information.
Credit/Contact Hours
When making schedule changes, we know it's important to have the credit and contact hours for a section available. We're adding these important editing capabilities to Align.
Tuition and Fee Waiver
We're adding the ability to view and select a tuition and fee waiver to make important scheduling changes in Align.


Working on It

Schedule App
A new app is coming your way! The first phase of the Schedule add will allow users to view all activities on a monthly/weekly/daily calendar.
Section Write Back to Banner
We're adding the ability for section modifications made inside Ad Astra to be pushed back to Banner. This will create a more streamlined experience for Ad Astra users and keep both systems up to date with the latest changes to the schedule.
Identify Available Space
This enhancement will allow users to identify available spaces when making edits to sections. Users will be able to filter rooms by attribute, location, and availability to help create a conflict-free schedule.
Pathway Sequence Tagging
With pathway sequence tagging, institutions will be able to provide descriptive tags for individual requirements within a pathway to indicate which are general education, major requirements, or electives.
Momentum Year
Momentum Year metrics identify whether students are completing specific first-year requirements. This enhancement will allow users to view Momentum Year metrics at a student and aggregated level. We're helping your students build early momentum so they can meet key first-year benchmarks.
Create and Edit Meeting Patterns
When making scheduling decisions, it's important to have standard meeting patterns to avoid scheduling off-grid and creating scheduling waste. With this enhancement, you can create new meeting patterns to access them when editing section information for a course.
Enhanced Editing Fields for a Section
There is a lot of crucial information needed when making a scheduling decision. We are adding the ability to view and edit the special approval code field for Banner. In addition, the ability to view and edit the comments text viewable to a student on a section will be added.


Now Available

College, Department, or Program Views
This enhancement will allow users to view data on the Ad Astra platform by college, department, or program. This will allow users to quickly see the most important data in familiar terms.
Pathway Sequence Tagging
With pathway sequence tagging, institutions will be able to provide descriptive tags for individual requirements within a pathway to indicate which are general education, major requirements, or electives.
This feature will recognize cross-listed sections in Align and Monitor, allowing users to see the demand for these sections more accurately and the ability to view which sections have been cross-listed together.
Financial Health
With Financial Health from Ad Astra, you can gain insight into the financial sustainability of your academic programs and courses.
Pathways Catalog Versions
Predict calculations have been enhanced to account for Pathway catalog terms, ensuring we're properly assigning course demand for students based on their specific Pathway version.
Student Exclusions
This feature allows admin users to adjust settings to exclude students by Campus, Student Type or Student Level to accurately reflect Predict results.
Section Details and Collaboration
We've enhanced our sections in Ad Astra to include the necessary fields you need to update your schedule. Also, we've brought collaboration to sections! You can use the comments feature inside a section to ensure everyone's in the loop when making critical section changes.
Modality for Monitor
By adding modality to Monitor, you'll easily be able to tell at what rate your various types of section offerings (on-ground, online, or hybrid) are filling. This insight will help you understand how your students' modality is impacting your campus regarding section distribution.
Roll Forward Admin Setting
We are adding the ability for Ad Astra Administrative users to create a roll forward term directly in the Ad Astra platform settings. This eliminates the need for a formal request and allows for building out future term recommendations quicker. This new feature also preserves all workflow statuses, comments, planned addition/removed recommendations.
Create a Section
We're adding the ability to create a new section within the Ad Astra platform.
Edit Sections
We're adding the ability to edit section details with Ad Astra. Examples of options you have editing capabilities for include meeting pattern, instructor, and room.
Enhanced Reporting
We're making the analysis data from Align and Monitor available for reporting in Ad Astra. With this data, we will be releasing an ever-growing list of reports starting with course offering and Pathway analysis reports.
New Ticket Submission in Ad Astra
The ticket submission experience is being updated in Ad Astra to create more consistency for our customers and support staff.
Modify Simulated Student Populations
Users can edit the simulated student population, which allows institutions to account for changes not represented in historical trends.
View Student Populations
This feature allows users to view students and their general data to ensure accuracy when running a Predict analysis. In addition to actual students, users can also see the total number of simulated students by type (new, transfer, returning, departing).
Pathway Health
Understand how Pathway design is striking an appropriate balance between course choice and sustainability. Pathway Health expands on Cohort Enrollment Health by looking at course sharing across Pathways and course choice within Pathways.
View and Manage Pathways
View and manage your Pathways in Ad Astra to help ensure you're paving the way for students to get the courses they need when they need them.
Enrollment Health by Campus
Support your institution’s completion promise with Cohort Enrollment Health, by measuring the fragmentation created in your pathways by your student's campus preferences.
Degree Velocity
Understand the impacts on student success before their graduation. See your different student groups' trajectories towards graduation in-order to spot opportunities for targeted interventions.
Course Change Tracking
As you make updates to your courses, we are logging those changes and making it easy for you to see when and why changes were made to meet the needs of your students.
Visualize the Risk of Student Time Conflicts
To help ensure you're meeting the needs of your students, we're highlighting courses that have a high risk of section time conflicts and providing visibility into alternate times.
Session Timeout for Astra Schedule
In Astra Schedule, there are times when the system times-out and allows users to continue working. Unfortunately, all the work performed after the time-out isn't preserved. With Session Timeout, you'll receive a warning that the system is nearing a time-out. To keep working, simply dismiss the alert. Otherwise, you'll be directed back to the login screen.

This feature was made available in the 8.9.2 release.
Course Group Analysis
We’ll improve our demand analysis by considering the choices students have historically made for course groups and applying that to our demand predictions for upcoming terms. By doing this, we'll paint a clear picture of which courses in the offered course group will have higher demand and require more capacity.
Measuring Student Demand for Course Based on Their Pathway
When measuring demand for a course, it’s critical to understand which students require the course for their pathway, and which students have satisfied that requirement already. We’re adding all of your students’ pathway progress to our demand analysis so you can ensure all students have access to the courses they need when they need them.
Simulating Transfer, Returning, and Departing Students
Just like what we're already doing for new students, we'll also simulate transfer, returning, and departing students, which will continue to improve our demand analysis and help you better prepare for your upcoming terms.
Automatic Student to Pathway Association
A core building block for our analysis requires us to properly analyze a student’s pathway progress. To ensure accurate results when analyzing course demand, we’re automatically assigning your students to their Pathway based on attributes you define so we know what classes they may need in upcoming terms.
This feature will allow you to export Align, Predict, and Monitor course data to an external file for your own use.
Campus Groups
Campus Groups allows you to see campus-specific Align and Predict recommendations and Monitor registration information combined into groups that you define.
Measuring Demand Per Campus
As we're forecasting student demand, we'll also take campus preference into account. This will enhance our predictive analysis by properly dividing up the demand for specific courses based on the campus where they're taught.
Student Course Load Customization
We'll add more flexibility in determining your students' ideal load for demand projections. With this ability, you'll be able to tailor the results to match your specific student populations better.
Course Demand Visualizations
In Align, we're adding visualizations of your course data to paint a clearer picture for your end-users. These visualizations will show where they can make an impact and positively affect course availability for your students. You'll not only be able to see historical demand over recent terms but also projected demand for the term in focus.

We're also delivering visualizations that will display enrollment for each section of a course. These charts highlight which sections have low or high enrollment making it clear where you can adjust to better meet your students' needs.
Simulating New Students
To accurately forecast your incoming students, we are adding a simulation of new students to our demand analysis. These simulated students will be counted in our demand projections, and you’ll even be able to see the simulated students represented when browsing courses.
Data Recovery
Your piece of mind is our priority. That's why we're leveraging all appropriate measures in the AWS platform to allow for recovering data at any point in time.
Section Details
When planning changes to your course schedule, understanding the details about your sections is a critical part of that process. We’re in the process of adding section detail information to your courses within Monitor and Align. This will make it easier to understand the current state of your schedule and help you make small tweaks that make a big difference for your students.

Our goal is to share the following data points for each section:
  • Start date
  • End date
  • Start time
  • End time
  • Days met
  • Part of term
  • Room (bldg. + room #)
  • Section code 
  • Instructor
  • Meeting type
  • Campus
Manage Users in Ad Astra
From Settings, you’ll have the ability to manage your users in Ad Astra. Going forward, you’ll be able to view all users in your system, see their email address, and what type of user they are. Also, with the proper user type, you’ll be able to invite new users, change their user type, and even delete users. This will help you easily manage your user base as needed.
Monitor Is Now Campus-Specific
In Monitor, you can now view a course’s details by campus, as well as design custom filters that allow you to build campus-specific course lists. This allows you to focus on enrollment for one or multiple campuses. Don’t worry - if you need to see enrollment progress for a course across all your campuses, you can do that too.
Exclude Sections From Analysis or Course Views by Meeting Type or Part of Term
When running an analysis to determine student demand for a course, it may be important to exclude certain sections to ensure the calculations are accurate as possible. You're now able to do that by Meeting Type or Part of Term. When sections are excluded from the analysis calculations, they're also excluded from the user interface. This will help reduce clutter and allow your users to focus on the sections that need their attention.

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  • Check out the new Up Next and Working On It sections we have added to this article to help keep you up to date on what we are working on! 


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