DARS Resources - Reading and Understanding the DARS Report
The DARS report generally shows degree requirements in the same order they appear in the College catalog or on a program planner sheet. The following topics explain the components of the DARS audit report.
The top of the report displays information about the student (name, student number) and the major for which the audit was run (Banner program major code, title of program, catalog year/term). There may be a message such as an announcement about upcoming registration dates, withdrawal deadlines, etc. Next there is a line stating whether all requirements for the program have been completed or not.
DARS uses a standard system of eight characters to represent courses: four characters for the subject area and four for the course number. Many Tri-C departments are abbreviated with less than four letters, so DARS inserts a space or two between these subjects and numbers. Departments with four-character abbreviations have no space between the subject and course number. Examples:
Some requirements allow the student to choose from many courses in a given subject, so DARS may use “wildcards” or ranges – examples include:
Requirements are separated from each other by a pair of lines. Each requirement has a title line that identifies the name of the requirement and shows the completion status. “OK” means that the requirement has been completed. “NO” shows that the requirement is not yet met – more courses or credit hours must be taken.
Some requirements consist of several parts or subrequirements. For example, a program may require that a list of courses be completed, and an additional elective must be chosen from another list. The report will generally show these subrequirements numbered “1” and “2” as shown below:
When subrequirements are used, there will be completion status indicator at the left of the subrequirement number. A plus sign (“+”) shows the subrequirement has been completed. A minus sign (“-”) shows that the subrequirement is not yet met – more courses or credit hours must be taken.
Some subrequirements may be listed as alternatives to each other. For example, a requirement may require the student to take a particular course or to take a different option. The report will show a subrequirement number for the first option and the word “OR” rather than a number for the second option:
In the example above, the student can complete subrequirement 1 either by taking HLTH1100 or instead by taking two credit hours of PE. Each of the options shows the completion status indicator to be “-“ since neither of the options has been completed yet.
Sometimes when there are multiple subrequirements, some may be required while the others are optional:
The student needs nine hours overall; six hours must be taken in composition and/or literature so subrequirement 1 is preceded by letter “R” to show it is required. Subrequirement 2 is not necessarily required – if nine hours are taken from courses listed in subrequirement 1, no additional hours are needed. Marking subrequirement 1 with the “R” tells DARS that even if nine hours are taken in courses listed in subrequirement 2 (e.g., nine hours of SPCH), the student has not met the Communication Requirement because the required composition and/or lit has not been taken.
If a requirement or subrequirement has not been met, the report will include a line beginning with the word “NEEDS.” This message informs the student how many courses or credit hours must be taken to fulfill the requirement.
The courses or subject areas that fulfill a requirement (or subrequirement) are shown in a list. For example, the report may state that 2 courses must be completed, followed by a list showing those two courses. In some cases the list may show more choices than the number of courses or credit hours that must be completed – this means the student can choose the required number of courses or credit hours from any of the courses in the list.
Certain degree requirements may state that particular courses cannot be used. In those cases the report may display a “NOT FROM” list to remind the student of the courses that won’t count for this requirement.
A “SELECT FROM” list may indicate that one of the courses on the list is required, while the others are choices:
- 5) Sociology 1010 and one additional course in Sociology
or Anthropology (Special Topics cannot be used here)
NEEDS: 2 COURSES
SELECT FROM: SOC 1010REQ ANTH**** SOC ****
In the example above, two courses are needed. The “SELECT FROM” list shows SOC 1010 is required by adding the letters “REQ” that course. The second course can be chosen either from any ANTH or any SOC course.
When a student has taken courses that apply to a requirement, those courses are displayed on the report. Each course is listed with the date taken (term/year), the subject abbreviation and course number, credit hours earned, grade, and title.
Additional information is displayed if the course was taken at Tri-C under the quarter system, transferred from another college, or if a semester course has had its subject and/or number changed since the student completed the course.