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Thursday, September 25, 2014

FERPA: Amending a student's academic record

Q: What parts of a student's record can be amended according to FERPA? If a student wants to challenge a grade received, can they amend the grade under FERPA?

A: The right to request an amendment to the student's education record pertains to information that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the university office involved, clearly identify the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university must notify the student of the decision and advise the student of a right to a hearing regarding the amendment.

The right to amend a record does not pertain to challenging a substantive decision such as what grade was awarded. It pertains to a recording error. So, a student cannot challenge a grade via the amendment process allowed in FERPA, however, students can seek assistance for a grade disagreement with the Student Conflict Resolution Center (on the Twin Cities campus) or a comparable office on the other campuses.

Student Degree Progress

As the cost of higher education rises, it is important that the University is clear and transparent to students and families about the cost of a U of M education. Further, the University wants its students to graduate and move on to make a difference in their community and state. Graduation rates show our commitment to access and our efforts to improve the student experience.

To assist the University reach it's 4-, 5-, and 6-year graduation goals, ASR has two staff dedicated to "looking for graduates." What this means is that these two individuals scour student's APAS reports and transcripts in search of students who appear to have met degree requirements but haven't yet been cleared to graduate or haven't had their degree posted. Once these students are identified, the information is sent to the colleges for them to investigate further. Often these students have neglected to apply to graduate, have had an incomplete or pending grade post or completed an extended term distance education course that now makes them eligible to graduate. In the past two years, this ASR/College partnership has had a significant impact on graduation rates. Going forward, it is hoped that ASR can help the colleges identify where students might be getting themselves off track to graduate with enough time for the colleges to reach out to the students to have them adjust their registrations.

If you have suggestions about ways to improve student degree progress or graduation rates, please contact Rachel McKessock (rmckess@umn.edu) or Tracy Fischer (fisch074@umn.edu).

Administrative Degree Clearance Procedure

The final touches are being added to the Administrative Degree Clearance Procedure. This document will give colleges step-by-step instructions on what they can do to clear a student for his/her degree without the student formally applying for the degree. This procedure will streamline processes for the college advising units while covering all necessary compliance related issues that go along with clearing students for degrees.

Mid-Term alerts available through November 3

The mid-term alert period has been extended to November 3 on account of the drop date extension from the 8th week of classes to the 10th week. Instructors can provide a mid-term alert for students who, on the basis of performance in the course by the time the alert was submitted, appear to be in danger of earning a grade of D, F, or N. For students experiencing academic difficulty, a timely warning about performance can result in appropriate corrective action. Mid-term alerts also help advisers and advisees work together to develop strategies for academic success.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Changes to Graduate Student Services & Progress customer service model

Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP) is undergoing some changes to their staffing and customer service model. These changes will allow GSSP staff to continue to provide exceptional, timely customer service while streamlining points of contact (e.g., walk-in, phone, email).

Effective September 8, GSSP began their new phone answering system, utilizing Auto Call Distribution (ACD) functionality. This allows up to five people to call the main number (612-625-3490) at the same time. If that line is busy, they will will be able to hold to speak to someone on that same line (it won't go to voicemail). Calls will be answered in the order they are received.

Additionally, GSSP will be transitioning out of ServiceNow and into Salesforce. With the transition to Salesforce, there will no longer be "tickets" (incidents) when sending an email to gssp@umn.edu. Additionally, all interactions will now be logged on the student or staff members record for historical reference. Inquiries for GSSP should still be sent to gssp@umn.edu.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Save the date: Student Systems Preview Sessions

The Student work stream has announced the dates for its preview sessions--the first step for learning about training and maintaining access for the upgraded system. Save the date:

Thursday, October 30, 2-3:30, Kiehle Auditorium
Friday, October 31, 8:30-10, Sargeant Student Center (formerly known as Bede)

Thursday, October 23, 10-11:30, Kirby Student Center, Griggs Room
Thursday, October 23, 1-2:30, Kirby Student Center, Griggs Room

Monday, October 27, 11-noon, HFA, Studio A

Tuesday, October 21, 9:30-10:30, University Square Bldg, Room 419
Tuesday, October 21, 1-2, University Square Bldg, Room 419

Twin Cities
Wednesday, October 1, 10:30-11:30, Peik Gym G55
Friday, October 3, 9-10, Rapson 54
Wednesday, October 8, 9-10, Nolte 140
Thursday, October 9, 2-3, CSOM 2-213
Wednesday, October 22, 2-3, McNeal 33
These sessions will paint the training picture for those needing to maintain access to the “campus solutions” area of PeopleSoft. Attendees will learn about required training and how to access other training resources. There will also be demonstrations of the new MyU, the new Faculty Center, the new Advisor Center, and key processes (e.g., permission numbers, service indicators, related content).

All those with current access to the student services system received an invitation on September 19 with more details.

While not required, the Student Records Training & Support Team highly recommends attendance for those with student systems access. The sessions will be highly informative and set the stage for the required training that will follow.