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Friday, March 23, 2012

Shibboleth implementation for Pillar applications on March 25

On Sunday, March 25, all web applications under the Pillar infrastructure (e.g., Web Registration, Student Account, FA Status, Parent/Guest) will transition to the new Shibboleth login/sign-out protocol from the Central Authentication Hub (CAH). There is no extended downtime that accompanies this work.There are two changes users will notice:

  • A new look and feel to authentication pages. Many users will have already seen this change in other applications, so the look will be familiar.

  • When users "sign-out" of a Pillar application, they will be removed from Pillar, but not the larger the U authentication. For maximum security, the browser should always be closed after signing out.

    When authentication services were provided by the CAH, when a user clicked on the "Sign-out" button, all of the user's security credentials would be cleared and the user would be removed completely from University services. Under the new Shibboleth protocol, this is no longer an option. Security is by "Service provider". Pillar is one of a number of service providers. For example, if a student signs out of Registration and in the same browser window navigates to Gmail, they would not need to login again. Gmail is a different service provider.

Updating Course Guide

The ideal time to update Course Guide information for May/summer session and fall 2012 is by March 29. This allows students to view the information available as they are making registration decisions.

It only takes a few minutes to update the Course Guide. Instructors can log in from the faculty Course Guide web page, enter a course description, upload a recent syllabus, or link to an existing public website. In a recent survey of University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students, 89% indicated that they have used the Course Guide to choose their courses and/or plan for registration.

Dual-career registration available to students starting summer 2012

After a successful pilot program within Academic Health Center units, Academic Support Resources will now offer students more registration flexibility while pursuing multiple degrees at different career levels and the option of registering as a non-degree seeking student for undergraduate or graduate courses while pursuing graduate or professional degrees.

Students seeking degrees at different career levels
Starting summer 2012, degree-seeking students pursuing degrees at different career levels will be able to register for classes in both careers for the same term. Career levels included in this dual career registration option are graduate and professional (Veterinary Medicine, Dental School, Medical School, and Pharmacy). Note: The Law School will not participate in this registration option. Students in the Law School must register for only one career level per term if they are dual degree-seeking students.

Key points to this option:

  • While students at the undergraduate level can seek multiple degrees at the same time, they cannot be degree-seeking at the undergraduate and graduate or professional careers simultaneously.

  • Students in masters, PhD, and post-baccalaureate certificate programs are not allowed to take classes as a degree-seeking and non-degree graduate level student during the same term.

  • If a degree program requires continuous enrollment (e.g., Grad 999 for masters and PhD students), students will need to follow that requirement even when they were not planning to otherwise register in that career.

Students seeking degrees and taking classes as a non-degree student
Also starting summer 2012, degree-seeking students in Graduate Education, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Dentistry, Medical School, and the College of Pharmacy may register as a non-degree student for undergraduate or graduate level classes. Note: You cannot be a degree-seeking student and a non-degree student at the same career level.

More information

Students should contact One Stop Student Services with any questions about dual-career registration. Staff may contact Emily Holt in the Office of the Registrar with questions they may have.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

University catalog will transition to ASR

In the near future, ASR will assume responsibility for the maintenance and production of the University catalog--work previously done by University Relations--for all campuses (undergraduate and graduate). Tasks will include review and editing of course and curriculum information in central systems (i.e., ECAS and PCAS) and the creation of a bi-yearly printable version of the catalog. Questions about this transition can be directed to Tina Falkner or Ingrid Nuttall.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Post-baccalaureate registration exception workshop

Staff from the Graduate School and ASR will be moderating a workshop and best practices discussion on post-baccalaureate registration exceptions. The event will start with a short presentation on registration deadlines, registration issues unique to international students, and helpful hints to guide you as you continue to review and make decisions on late registration requests. The remainder of the hour will be dedicated to sharing best practices.

Event details:
Monday, March 26, 2012
10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
402 Walter Library

If you would like to attend, please RSVP no later than Friday, March 23rd, to Amber Cellotti with:

  • Your Name

  • Your Department

  • A specific question that you have regarding the registration exception process (to help tailor the best practices discussion)

Reminder on graduate course approvals in ECAS

Several changes in the review, routing, and approval of 8xxx-level courses in ECAS have been made over the past two years as a result of the graduate education transition.

Effective July 2010, responsibility for reviewing and approving 8xxx-level courses (and select 5xxx-level courses in a handful of interdisciplinary graduate programs) was relocated to the colleges. The Graduate School was removed from the review and approval process for these courses.

Due to requirements of the Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS), the Graduate School continued to pass courses through ECAS, but without review, following notification of college approval. Exempt from this change were the pre-thesis credit (8666), thesis credit (8777 and 8888), and "full-time equivalent" (8333 and 8444) registrations, which were to remain unchanged until decisions could be made about the future of these central graduate registrations.

Effective June 2011, college/dean-level approval for 8xxx-level courses (and some 5xxx-level courses in interdisciplinary graduate programs) was added to ECAS for colleges that had not previously been in the ECAS approval queue. As a result, ECAS now routes all 8xxx-level courses for college/dean-level approval before routing them to the Graduate School queue. Graduate School "approval" is still required by the ECAS system, and the Graduate School continues to submit the courses, without review, when the courses appear in its queue. The central graduate registrations remain exempt from modification, with one exception: The policy on credit requirements for master's and doctoral degrees allows programs to modify eligibility requirements for doctoral thesis credits (8888), with collegiate approval.

Programs and colleges are asked not to submit changes in the remaining central graduate registrations (courses numbered 8333, 8444, 8666, and 8777), pending decisions about these courses later this year.

If you have questions about this process, please contact the student records training & support team at srhelp@umn.edu or 612-625-2803.

April & May 2012 meetings of the Registrar's Advisory Committee

Due to ASR involvement in a national conference being held during the regularly scheduled time for the April meeting of the Registrar's Advisory Committee (RAC), the April meeting will be abbreviated and held a week later. The May meeting will be held at the regular time. The upcoming RAC meetings will be as follows:

Monday, April 9, 2012
402 Walter
10:30 a.m.-12 (noon)
(Post-baccalaureate items only)

Monday, May 7, 2012
402 Walter
9:30-10:30 a.m. undergraduate agenda items
10:30 a.m.-12 (noon) post-baccalaureate agenda items

Students Changing to New LE Requirements

On February 22, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Bob McMaster sent a memo to academic advisers on the Twin Cities campus regarding students who wished to change to the new Liberal Education requirements in light of the revision to those requirements announced in December. The memo clarifies the conditions under which students are permitted to switch to the new requirements and explains the process for doing so.

FERPA Q&A: Student requesting copy of entire record at the University

Question: What do I do if a student requests a copy of their entire record at the University?

Answer: According to FERPA, students have the right to access all parts of their academic records with two exceptions:
  1. their parents financial records (typically used for financial aid purposes)

  2. letters of recommendation that the student has waived the right to see.

You may want to clarify with the student what they really want to see. It may be that the student doesn't truly want everything, but only a portion of their record (e.g., advising notes or disciplinary records). If the student only wants access to records that your office maintains, it might be helpful to offer to meet with the student to go over the information to avoid any misinterpretation or confusion on the student's part. Remember that references to other students must be redacted before allowing the student to view those parts of their record. If the student does truly want all records at the University, you should refer those requests to Susan McKinney in the Office of General Counsel.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Best practice: DGS Orientation

At the March RAC meeting, Wendy Friedmeyer and Kara Kersteter from the College of Liberal Arts presented on how they orient new directors of graduate studies on both the collegiate and departmental levels. They have provided their presentation:

Directors of Graduate Studies: Orientation