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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Feedback welcome on Graduate Education Information Sessions

Academic Support Resources, in collaboration with the Graduate School, have concluded their college-specific Graduate Education Information Sessions. The sessions provided individual colleges with highlights regarding recently completed graduate education work, an overview of remaining project priorities, and a review of the new graduate education policies.

Participants provided crucial feedback, which will be used to guide future best practices sessions. For those unable to attend, your feedback is also welcome. Please submit your suggestions about general graduate education issues, ideas for best practices sessions, and resources you would like to see in a graduate education online toolkit dedicated to graduate program faculty and staff.

New pages for committee workflows

New pages with additional instructions are now available to assist students who are requesting approval of their committee assignments. The pages provide clearer and more efficient front-end instructions for students, as well as complement the quick start guides for each committee workflow. The workflows include the following:

Master's committee instructions
Doctoral preliminary committee instructions
Doctoral final committee instructions
Specialist certificate committee instructions

These pages can be accessed on the Graduate School website.

Faculty role database update

The faculty role database advisory group has approved the requirements for the proposed form that will be used to collect and update faculty responsibilities for graduate education, as well as the proposed web page designed to display faculty responsibilities once assigned. A survey sent out to all Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS), College Coordinators (CC), and Plan Level Coordinators (PLC) has collected information that will be used to develop the design and process.

As soon as resources for development become available, this project will move into the development phase. The Assign/Update Faculty Responsibilities form and the web page are expected to launch by the end of the fall 2012 term.

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Veterans Appreciation Day

University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the sixth annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day on November 15, 2012 at McNamara Alumni Center. The event recognizes the contributions of University student veterans, military members, and their families.

This year's event will begin at 11:30 a.m. and feature a short program, including speakers and an introduction of the Tillman Military Scholars. A chili luncheon will be provided for guests at 12:00 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.

For more information, including program details, visit the One Stop website.

New recruitment tool for graduate programs

Graduate programs can now communicate with and recruit prospective students in a more measured way by using the new Connect system. Connect is an add-on recruitment system that fully integrates with the ApplyYourself admissions system used for applications. Connect features an online request for information page for initial inquiries, the ability to schedule and send customized emails, reporting tools to track recruiting efforts, and more.

For more information, contact Dean Tsantir.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New online loan exit counseling

Federal regulations and University policy require all students with student loans to complete exit counseling prior to leaving the University of Minnesota. In the past, this counseling was done at group information sessions at Grad Fest, one-on-one, or through a paper process. A new web application has now been developed to allow students to complete this requirement online at their convenience.

At the end of August, this new web application had a "soft launch." This soft launch allowed the team working on this new process the opportunity to test it with a small group of students to identify potential issues and fine tune the system before a large number of students would use it in November (prior to December graduation). During this time, students have been identified as needing to complete exit counseling and have received email communications directing them to the new online system.

Students are identified as needing to complete exit counselling for two reasons: an expected graduation date within 30 days, or enrollment dropping below half-time. Once students are identified, a hold is placed on their records and they are sent an email with instructions on completing the online counseling. Once the exit counseling is completed, the hold is removed.

While there has been no change to the regulation or policy, the new system has streamlined the enforcement. This means that students are more easily identified as needing to complete loan exit counseling and have holds on their record when they may not have previously. In order to remove the hold, the student simply has to complete the online exit counseling. Questions about this process can be directed to Student Account Assistance.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

FERPA Q&A: Directory information online

Question: When is a student's directory information published online?

Answer: A student's non-suppressed directory information, which could include name, phone number, address, email address, is published in the online directory when he or she first registers for classes. To prevent directory information from appearing online, a student must suppress the information before registering.

A student can suppress or unsuppress his or her directory information at any time by using the Personal Information quick link one the One Stop website.

Monday, October 15, 2012

One Stop closed until 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24

One Stop Student Services will be closed from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 for a staff event. Staff will not be available to assist walk-ins, and responses to phone and email inquiries will not be available during this time at all four One Stop Student Services locations:

333 Science Teaching & Student Services (East Bank campus)
160 Williamson Hall (East Bank campus)
130 West Bank Skyway (West Bank campus)
130 Coffey Hall (St. Paul campus)

Full service will resume at all One Stop Student Services centers at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24.

Sign up for the Graduate and Professional Student Update

Staff and faculty can sign up to receive the Graduate and Professional Student Update (GPU) by filling out a form on the GPU website. After you complete the signup form, a confirmation email will be sent to you. Once you receive it, follow the instructions in the email to verify your subscription.

New policy allows grad students up to two-year leave of absence

Graduate students are now permitted to take a leave of absence. A leave of absence allows students to return to the University under the same rules and policies that were in place when they left, and without affecting their time to degree.

Students who receive financial aid from the University should talk with their graduate program and/or department, Graduate Assistant Employment, Student Financial Aid, International Student and Scholar Services, Graduate School Fellowship Office, and/or a One Stop counselor to learn about any effects a leave of absence might have on loan repayment. Students who receive funding from a source outside of the University should talk with that agency to learn about any effects a leave of absence might have.

During the period of an approved leave of absence, students may not use student amenities and services, laboratories, equipment, and other research facilities, nor may they use the services of faculty or administrative staff, except as needed to return to active status. For more information, please refer to the complete policy.

Process for declaring a minor remains unchanged

Though several graduate education policies have recently changed, the process for graduate students to declare a minor has not. Per the usual process, students declare their minor as part of the Graduate Degree Plan. For doctoral students, this must be completed before their prelim oral exam.

Students must list their minor and minor field coursework, as well as obtain the approval signature of their minor field Director of Graduate Studies.

Students who have declared a minor must include a representative from the minor field on their examining committee when submitting the committee assignment workflow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The start of fall 2012 for One Stop

The first week of term and the week before are the busiest times of the year for One Stop Student Services. The start-of-term statistics from fall 2012 are now available and include the new location in Williamson Hall.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Link added to One Stop Graduate Resources page

As requested at the last College Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, a quick link to "request a registration exception" has been added to the One Stop Graduate Student Resources page and to the Faculty/Staff page on the Graduate School website.

New scheduling tool

A new scheduling tool called Schedule Builder launched October 1, 2012. All University of Minnesota students will be able to use Schedule Builder to create class schedules based on selected courses. Students using Graduation Planner will be able to send in the courses they've placed in their graduation plans as well. It also allows students to email possible schedules to their inbox and/or print for reference during registration.

Additionally, Schedule Builder will help advisers limit the amount of time spent identifying schedule conflicts, allowing more time for the student and adviser to discuss academic goals, interests, opportunities, and resources for success.