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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 Veterans Appreciation Day

University of Minnesota students and staff are invited to attend the 7th annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day on November 12, 2013 at Coffman Memorial Union. The event recognizes the contributions of University student veterans, military members, and their families to our country.

This year's event will feature a short program, including the University's Military Color Guard, Marching Band, and featured speakers veteran and University head wrestling coach J. Robinson, and University student veteran Zach Benson. A chili luncheon will be provided for guests, and the event is free and open to the public.

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

Friday, October 18, 2013

Update on Special Committee on Graduate Education (SCGE)

The Special Committee on Graduate Education (SCGE) will mainly focus on programs offering PhD research degrees, particularly those that the National Research Council has identified as central to its assessment of graduate education in the United States. The committee is aimed at moving forward not backward, meaning they are not tasked with evaluating the wisdom of past actions. There are four subcommittees which include:

  • Graduate student financing

  • Facilitation of the graduate student experience and ensuring program quality

  • Graduate program enrollment management

  • Oversight of, and advocacy for, the visibility and quality of graduate education

The goal of the committee was to have membership representation from the top ranked NRC graduate programs, and each college with a PhD graduate research program. Individuals were selected by Graduate School staff and the FCC.

The subcommittees started meeting in late September, and they will be done formulating their preliminary recommendations by the end of October. The entire SCGE will meet twice in November to consider these preliminary recommendations and to decide on the final SCGE committee recommendations. The final report will be delivered to the Provost and FCC by December 1, 2013.

FERPA Q&A: Making copies of education records

Question: Are you required to make copies of information in a student education record?

Answer: According to FERPA, institutions are only required to make copies of information in a student's education record if not doing so would deny the student access to the information. For instance, if a student lives so far away from the institution that he or she cannot reasonably come to the institution to view the records.

As a public institution in the state of Minnesota, however, our state law (the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act) requires making copies if requested by the subject of the data. If so, the institution may stamp or write "issued to student" on the materials.

New graduation packet delivery process

Effective Monday, October 21, graduate students will be able to download their own graduation packet materials from the Graduate School website. Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP) will remain available for assistance if needed, but will no longer print and send a requested packet to a student or program.

This change will not only allow students to get their information faster, but their personal information (e.g., name, address, degree sought) will be auto-populated in the form. After a student has requested their packet and the system has verified they have completed their eligibility milestones (e.g. active status, approved degree plan, approved final committee), they will be prompted to download their materials.

All graduation packet materials have been redesigned to reflect this process change. This includes:

  • Exam forms and Reviewers Report forms

  • Graduation checklists

  • Making Graduate Application for Degree pull info from PeopleSoft

  • Formatting & Submission Guidelines

Please update your materials, handbooks, and websites to reflect this change. A message will be added to the October 28 Graduate & Professional Update.

If you have questions regarding this notice, please contact GSSP at gssp@umn.edu.

One Stop limited closure Wednesday, Oct. 23

The West Bank and St. Paul One Stop Student Services locations will be closed from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 for a staff event. The Science Teaching and Student Services location will be open with full service.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Student Degree Progress update

The fall 2009 cohort graduation rates will be finalized in the next few weeks, and colleges have been asked to follow up with students to ensure timely degree progress. To reach the University's goal of a 60% graduation rate, a total of 3,229 degrees must be posted. Currently, 96 are still needed. Colleges are reminded that it is appropriate to backdate a degree to the last term the student was enrolled in degree-applicable courses.

Student data for the second year through sixth year cohorts will also be sent to colleges. This information will help the University become more proactive regarding student degree progress.

Passing of Laurel Carroll

The Twin Cities campus community lost a valued colleague this month with the passing of Laurel Carroll. Laurel was a highly respected staff member in the Office of Undergraduate Education. For more than 35 years, Laurel played important roles in numerous areas that support undergraduate education on the Twin Cities campus, including admissions, placement testing, degree requirements, curricular changes, course access, educational policy, the four-year graduation plan, and liberal education requirements.

One of Laurel's most important and valued roles was in coordinating and supporting the operations of the Council on Liberal Education. Her dedication to the work of the committee was vital to the development and implementation of the new Liberal Education requirements in 2010. Her attention to the myriad of details, policy implications, and processes of implementation were exemplary.

A memorial event for Laurel will be held Wednesday, November 20, from 3-5 p.m. in the Campus Club of Coffman Memorial Union. Additional information will be announced soon.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum clarification

There have recently been questions regarding the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). The MnTC is the result of a collaborative effort by all two- and four-year colleges and universities in Minnesota to help students transfer their work in lower-division general education. The University has clarified the policy to waive Liberal Education (LE) requirements by indicating that previous Minnesota community college AA degrees and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) must be completed prior to the first term of enrollment at the University of Minnesota. Many community colleges require students to request the MnTC designation on their transcript, but if there is no date of MnTC achievement, it is difficult to understand how and when a student achieved the MnTC.
Some considerations Admissions uses in determining when to post the LE waiver flag for a MnTC include the following:

-If it is clear on the community college transcript that no University of Minnesota courses were transferred back, we will add the MnTC.

-If it is clear that the AA degree was achieved prior to a student's first term of enrollment at the University of Minnesota, a student's LEs will be waived. (The AA degree is dated on a community college transcript.)

-If courses from the University of Minnesota were transferred to the community college, the MnTC will not be added.

Students who completed the MnTC after enrolling at the University of Minnesota may be eligible to have the policy waived, but they must fill out an Academic Policy Petition.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Visa to be accepted for tuition payments

Effective Monday, October 7, the University of Minnesota will accept Visa credit and debit cards for online tuition and fee payments. The University's credit card processing vendor assesses a non-refundable 2.75% service fee whenever a credit or debit card is used. Those planning on paying with a debit card can avoid that service fee by paying directly from a bank account. Select the eCheck payment option and enter both a bank account and routing number. Questions? Contact One Stop Student Services at onestop@umn.edu or 612-624-1111.

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships available

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships are available to support outstanding Ph.D. students whose current or proposed dissertation topic is interdisciplinary and who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the University's interdisciplinary centers or institutes. Many centers and institutes have early application deadlines, starting October 18. For deadlines and more information, see Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships.

College sign-off on Petition form

Just a reminder that colleges or designated representatives must sign-off on the Petition form before submitting to Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP). If the form is turned in without the required signature, the petition will be sent back to the graduate program.