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Thursday, May 26, 2016

FERPA: What do you do when a parent insists on coming to a student's orientation and registration session?

The transition to college and independence is often more challenging for parents than it is for students. It is not unusual for a parent to insist on attending an the orientation and registration session for an incoming student. Regardless of how this situation is handled, it can be awkward. From a FERPA perspective, you should obtain written permission from the student prior to allowing the parent to attend either of these activities. In practice, however, often the most practical thing to do is to take the student away from his or her parent and ask if he/she wants the parent to be present during these sessions and explain to the student that it truly is his/her choice. If the student agrees to the parent being present, have him or her agree to this in writing. If the student does not want to have the parent present, politely explain to the parent that orientation and registration activities are only for the student.

Policy update

Four policies recently completed the comprehensive review process and have now been approved:

Upcoming policies being reviewed include:

Leave of Absence project update

The Undergraduate Policy Group is reviewing all aspects of the Leave of Absence policy and practices, including best practices for taking a leave (e.g., who should/should not be on a leave and effective dating for mid-term leaves), understanding financial aid implications (e.g., exit counseling, loan deferrals, students enrolling at other institutions), and adding more information online for students and advisors.

New Director of University Honors Program

Professor Matthew Bribitzer-Stull has agreed to serve as the new Director of the University Honors Program (UHP). On June 13, he will take over that role when Professor Serge Rudaz returns to his faculty position in the Department of Physics, after having served as the Founding Director of the UHP for eight years.

One Stop Student Services: St. Paul Location

The St. Paul One Stop location (130 Coffey Hall) has moved to the temporary location of 101 Coffey Hall while renovations are being completed. The renovations are scheduled to conclude in 130 Coffey Hall this August resulting in an integrated advising center for the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and One Stop.

Financial aid packaging timelines for undergraduate students

Incoming new high school students received estimated financial aid packages beginning in late-February. From late-June to early-July, the Office of Student Finance (OSF) cancels estimated financial aid awards in order to  create the actual financial aid award packages for these students. Students can access their  actual financial aid package in mid-July, once tuition and fees have been finalized.

Continuing undergraduate students and new transfer students will be able to view their financial aid award notices in mid-July.

If students have questions, please have them contact One Stop Student Services.

Satisfactory Academic Progress: What you should know and why you should care

For continuing students, financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) evaluation will begin on May 31. Some students will be suspended from further financial aid eligibility because they have not met these standards (either grade point average or credit completion ratio). Students who have documented mitigating circumstances that interfered with their ability to meet SAP standards may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal. The SAP appeal is available on the One Stop website. An important component of the SAP appeal is the adviser developed academic plan that is realistic and leads to meeting SAP standards, and obtaining their degree.

Academic Standing reporting updates and timeline

There will be no changes to the existing Academic Standing Report (formerly the Probation Report) for the spring 2016 academic standing run. Updates to this report are planned for later this summer. The team is working on transferring two queries into reports that will be accessible to you through the MyU Reporting Center. One is a report that checks for anyone with an academic standing that doesn't match the service indicator placed by the college. The other is a report that checks for anyone who received an academic standing during the cleanup run that is different than their original academic standing for that semester.

The Academic Standing run dates for spring 2016 are:

  • May 20-26: Spring 2016
  • August 25: Final run of spring 2016

The full schedule can be found on the One Stop website.

Finally, as a courtesy, last year the Office of the Registrar and One Stop sent an email to students who are registered for summer classes and how that can impact their academic standing; a copy of the updated email can be found here. This communication will be sent to students again this summer; however, it will be evaluated as to whether to continue sending and will be seeking your feedback.

Academic Support Resources (ASR) staffing updates

Congratulations to Ingrid Nuttall, director, Office of the Registrar, on her new position of IT Manager of Enterprise Systems in the Office of Information Technology (OIT). Her last day in ASR will be Friday, May 27. Ingrid, no doubt, will bring to OIT her high energy presence, professionalism, improv talents, and project management skills. She has been instrumental in many directives across the University over the years and will be missed by many. Her infectious personality has allowed partnerships to be built across many units, paving the way for helping faculty, staff, and students at the University.

Jeremy Todd, Office of Classroom Management, will step in as the interim director. He has been very involved in the various projects and process that occur in OTR the past few years. He assisted in the Office of Student Finance transition of directors. Jeremy is well versed in the workings of Academic Support Resources units. Please feel free to contact him with any questions at toddx012@umn.edu. A search for a permanent director will begin shortly.