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Achieving a 4-term Schedule


Cheri Maea, Dean of Enrollment Services at Germanna Community College, combines a collaborative faculty-driven approach with a suite of solutions to ensure students move toward graduation productively, unimpeded by the schedule. 

Germanna Community College’s student-centric approach to annual schedule planning removes friction points to enrollment, reduces time to completion, and boosts Degree Velocity® by allowing students to plan four terms in advance.  

tealquoteStudents have so many choices and they are often making selections that are not productive and don’t count toward the degree. Using Ad Astra is key to seeing the data that will help measure and make decisions that will ensure schedules are productive. tealquote1

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Cheri Maea (1)


Institution: Germanna Community College 

Location: Locust Grove, Virginia 

System Membership: Virginia Community College System  

FTE/Student Population: 10,518

Campuses: Locust Grove, Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Culpepper 

The Journey

Cheri Maea began her career in academic operations in 2010 by working in admissions and scheduling at a for-profit, multi-campus university. She experienced early on how scheduling software could help the institution centralize scheduling functionality and remain compliant. Amidst rapid changes occurring in for-profit academia, analytics informed institution-wide decisions to add, modify, or delete classes to create efficient, optimized schedules. 

tealquoteGetting the data might be scary, but you need a benchmark to know where to start. tealquote1

aligning Pathways

In 2015, Cheri accepted the role of Registrar at Germanna Community College. Leveraging her experience using software to maximize scheduling efficiency, Cheri selected Ad Astra as a partner to guide Germanna in its efforts to create student-centric, optimized schedules. Germanna’s pathway work process combined the strengths of department faculty, planning, and enrollment inputs with Ad Astra solutions to drive desired outcomes.  

predicting demand

Data generated from the partnership allowed Germanna to see program growth/retraction, eliminate unnecessary prerequisites, and remove bottlenecks. The course-by-course analysis also helped predict which classes students needed for their first year of college.  

Finding success in the process and buoyed by top-down support, Germanna decided to take annual scheduling to the next level. Opportunity 2027 pairs in-house learnings with Ad Astra analytics to further remove barriers to graduation. Data from Ad Astra’s suite of products allows Germanna to maintain a future focus while also ensuring students are well-prepared for the current semester. Germanna’s annual schedule now allows students to register for four academic terms.  


  • Academic Scheduling 
  • Monitoring Registration
  • Student Demand Forecasting
  • Momentum Year/Degree Velocity®


Degree Velocity®: 15% increase (Fall 2021: 33%, Spring 2022: 38%)  

Time to Degree: 4.9% decrease (Fall 2021: 6.1 years, Spring 2022: 5.8 years) 

Productive Credit Hours/Year: 12.2% increase (Fall 2021: 9.8 hours, Spring 2022: 11 hours) 

Credits to Degree: 21.5% decrease (Fall 2021: 116 hours, Spring 2022: 91)  


As a member of Ad Astra’s Annual Planning and Scheduling Early Adopter Program, Germanna will continue to level up on annual planning and scheduling to increase student success and degree velocity. They will do a deep dive into academic program pathways using data such as modality, time of day, and campus location preferences to examine how to create an optimal multi-term schedule that supports non-traditional learners from start to finish.  

Ad Astra can help your institution leverage analytics to identify where and why students are falling off their pathway. Discover how data can inform intervention strategies that support on-time degree completion. Contact us to learn more.

tealquoteNone of this work can be done in a vacuum. You need support from leadership and consensus from around campus. tealquote1


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