Go to the U of M home page

Monday, June 30, 2014

ESUP Student team meets in-person to collaborate, share progress

More than 120 people involved with the Student systems upgrade met in-person June 16-17 to work together face-to-face. The group met on the Twin Cities campus and included representatives from all campuses and all areas of the Student project: academic advisement, admissions, campus community, financial aid, SEVIS, student finance, and student records. 

The two-day meeting kicked off with a visit from President Kaler who discussed his vision of operational excellence as it relates to ESUP. Following his presentation, attendees learned more about work stream intersections from ESUP leaders before seeing some of the student experience in the upgraded system and having time to work as module teams.

From top and left to right: All Student group from all campuses,
President Kaler, and All Student breakout session

The second day of the meeting began with Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Bob McMaster addressing the importance of supporting and improving the student experience. Before having more time to work together as module teams, the group participated in a workshop on how to address difficult changes with stakeholders. The team was encouraged to follow the L.E.A.D. approach:
  • Listen using active listening skills
  • Empathize
  • Answer the person’s questions
  • Direct to other sources of information
Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar Sue Van Voorhis said bringing the Student work stream together was a good way to reconnect and collaborate with colleagues. “It was great to have representatives from all campuses meet in-person after a long period of virtual meetings and conference calls.” 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

FERPA Q&A: Providing information to alumni

Question: If alumni use a personal email address to ask questions regarding their student record, can you correspond with them?

Answer: It depends. The part of an alumni's student record that was created while they were a student continues to be protected under FERPA after they graduate. The directory suppression level selected by them while they were a student also remains in place (unless they change it). If they provided a non-U of M email address as a way to contact them, it's wise to inform them how to reactivate their U of M account or to only share general, non-student specific information. If you do respond to a non-U of M email address, be sure to use caution when providing private student data, as some personal email addresses may be shared by spouses or other family members.

If you are unsure whether or not it is really the student, or you are uncomfortable using a non-U of M email address to correspond with alumni about their record, it is reasonable to ask them to call you so that you can verify their identity or ask them to contact the Technology Helpline to reactivate their U of M email account. Alumni of the University are eligible keep their U of M email accounts so long as they access the account every three months.

Monday, June 23, 2014

CTS earns 2014 Innovation Award

ASR's Classroom Technical Services (CTS) recently earned a 2014 Innovation Award for its collaboration practices in higher education. The award category recognizes colleges or university campuses that have used technology to foster collaboration through a distributed video application, video conferencing, or other specialized audio-visual installation.

PCAS updates for undergraduate catalog due Monday, July 7

The ASR communications team will be working on developing the 2014-16 Twin Cities undergraduate catalog this summer, so it's important for colleges to update their program information (majors, minors, and certificates) in PCAS by Monday, July 7.

If you need additional access, have questions, or require initial PCAS training, please contact the ASR Training Team as srhelp@umn.edu.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Graduate & Professional Student Welcome & Orientation

This fall the Graduate School, in collaboration with the Council of Graduate Students, will hold a Welcome & Orientation event on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. in Science Teaching and Student Services (STSS).

This event is designed to introduce new graduate and professional students to the University, the graduate community and the broad range of resources and services available to support their success. It is open to all incoming graduate and professional students and is intended to complement orientations provided by programs and colleges.

Following a welcome from the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education, students will have the opportunity to participate in small-group sessions on topics like grants and financial issues, professional development, working with an advisor, teaching and learning, health and wellbeing, and opportunities in leadership and governance.

Please do encourage your incoming students to attend. This event, provided just before students begin classes, will give them "just in time" information as well as a sense of the resources and opportunities available on campus.

For more information, please contact Char Voight, Assistant to the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education, or visit www.grad.umn.edu/orientation. Thank you for your cooperation in helping make this transition to graduate school a successful one for our new students.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Course Guide Retirement

The Course Guide, an online publication designed to give students information for making informed registration decisions, will be retired as part of the Upgrade. In addition to resources such as course descriptions in the University catalog, after the Upgrade is complete, faculty, instructors, and their proxies will be able to include a URL in the Class Notes. Students will see this information in the Class Search results. The URL can link to a departmental website, a course website, or other public location where students can access information about the course.

View of the page where the course/class URL can be entered by faculty and instructors
Entry of the URL for more course information.

During the term, faculty, instructors and their proxies can update the link in the Faculty Center (accessed in the new MyU). Departmental class schedulers can update the link at any time in the Collaborative Class Scheduling page. It is important to note that the information currently in Course Guide will not automatically be transferred to Class Notes.

View of class search results with emphasis on where the class link will appear.
What students will see in a class search.
In addition to the link, the course description from the University catalog will also display. 

Course Guide will remain available to students until the Upgrade is complete.

If you have questions regarding the retirement of Course Guide or the new Faculty Center, email upgrade@umn.edu.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Will the New myU be Mobile-Friendly?

“Will the new myU portal work on my phone or tablet?” This is one of the most common questions asked of the portal team.  The answer is yes!  The new myU will have a responsive design.

What does “responsive” mean? Like other University of Minnesota websites, the layout of the new portal landing page will adapt to your phone or tablet to provide an easy reading and navigation experience. Let’s use the University’s OIT website as an example of a responsive site:

On the left is a desktop browser, in the middle a portrait tablet view, and on the right a smartphone view. As the screen gets smaller, the images and menus respond by collapsing and stacking to make a better, easier navigation experience for the user. This is responsive design, and will be how many pages in the new myU portal will function.

While the myU portal will be responsive, power users in PeopleSoft (such as EFS users) should continue to perform their work on a full-featured laptop or desktop computer.

Check back regularly to the new myU project website for updates on this and other developments related to the new myU launching with ESUP in Spring of 2015.

Questions about responsive or mobile? Email us at esup@umn.edu

Friday, June 6, 2014

Diploma mailing information

Diplomas are mailed six to eight weeks after a student is cleared for graduation. Typically, diplomas are mailed by USPS first-class, but there is also an option for FedEx delivery. This might be a good option for international students, as they can track the diploma as it goes through shipping.

As a reminder, if a student is requesting their diploma be mailed by FedEx, they must complete and submit the FedEx Diploma Delivery Request by the 15th day of the month following their graduation date (e.g., if they graduate in June, the form is due by July 15). If the form is received after the diploma has been mailed via USPS, the form and the payment will be returned to the student.

Informational meetings forthcoming regarding changes to critical academic processes

The ESUP Student work stream Town Hall on Thursday, May 15 confirmed that college and departmental staff want more information to help them understand how changes to critical academic processes such as waitlisting, grading, scheduling, and Course Guide will impact their unit.

To help colleges and departments prepare for the changes, meetings will be scheduled in June and July to present and discuss recommended approaches for these process.

For more information, please contact Sarah Kussow at kusso001@umn.edu.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Q & A: What is "SEVIS"?

When thinking about the Student work stream, many people can easily name admissions, financial aid, and student records. Less frequently named is a very important module for our international students and scholars: SEVIS. We asked the SEVIS team a few questions about what they do and how ESUP has affected their work. 

What is “SEVIS”? Does that stand for something?

Yes, SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is a system maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track and monitor schools; F and M students, and J-1 exchange visitor program participants (those here for education and cultural exchange) while they visit the United States and participate in the U.S. education system. To remain compliant with federal immigration regulations, the University electronically transfers information on F and J visa holders daily. All of this work is coordinated by the University’s, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

There are a lot of international students and scholars. That seems like an important job. 

It is. ISSS serves the University’s 7,395 international students and scholars on the Twin Cities Campus. Not only do we report on all international students and scholars to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State, we offer immigration advising which helps our students and scholars to navigate the complicated U.S. visa regulations. We provide both personal and academic counseling so that we may help our students to be academically successful. We have numerous programs that help to engage our student and scholar population with the rest of the University community. We also seek to encourage “Internationalization at Home” through outreach we provide in the form of presentations, trainings, and collaborative initiatives. We’re able to accomplish all of this with a relatively small amount of people by taking advantage of technology to automate several processes. Although ISSS primarily serves the Twin Cities international student and scholar population, we provide technical assistance and support for the entire University system.

That’s great! So does that mean PeopleSoft has this all taken care of?

Not exactly. Because SEVIS reporting is a federal requirement, PeopleSoft has some functionality, but it’s not a good fit “as-is” for an institution of our size. To use what PeopleSoft offers, we would need to increase our staffing levels. The modifications we made to our current system allow us to be more efficient. We’ll be using those same modifications in the upgraded system. 

What has been a big win for SEVIS because of ESUP?

Analyzing our processes and evaluating our options. By taking this time, we found a few modifications that we could eliminate because they didn’t fit our needs. We also explored using functionality available in the HRMS 9.2 system. The visa page within HRMS is a better option than the one offered in the Student system (CS, or “Campus Solutions”). We found a way to use that page and ensure the information would populate in both the HR and the Student databases. 

How will that affect students and users of the system?

People outside of ISSS should not notice any changes. 

Details about changes to the SEVIS module can be found on “What’s Changing?”