June 2012 Archives

Saving information in the Graduate Degree Plan


With the launch of the new Graduate Degree Plan, many have asked if it is possible to save information entered in the form. You cannot save data typed into the form when using Adobe Reader. Print your completed form if you would like a copy for your records.

To save information entered into the fields, you must use Adobe Acrobat Pro. Reader can be downloaded for free online, while you have to purchase Acrobat Pro.

Grade submission stats

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Grade submission statistics for spring 2012 are available. The information below includes the percentage of grades that were submitted by the due date.


Professional Schools statistics are not gathered.

On June 14, the following message was sent by the Graduate School to plan level coordinators, DGSs, and college coordinators regarding the June 26 launch of new online workflows for adviser and committee assignments:

To: Directors of Graduate Studies, Plan Level Coordinators (DGS Assistants), and College Coordinators
From: Renae Faunce, Graduate Student Services and Progress
Re: Online forms for adviser and committee assignments will launch June 26

I am writing to give you advance notice of new processes that will soon be in effect for initiating adviser assignments for graduate students and committee assignments for graduate and professional students (including updates to existing information). On June 26, new online workflows will be available on the Graduate School's website that will streamline the process for assigning and/or updating adviser and committee information. These changes are consistent with the ongoing graduate education transformation and the improvement of student administrative processes.

Adviser assignments
The "Graduate Student Adviser Assignment" form will replace use of the Degree Program Form for updating adviser assignments for graduate students (this process does not apply to professional students). This form may only be used by plan level coordinators (i.e., DGS Assistants) and DGSs to make changes to adviser information. Staff may access the form by going to the forms page on the Graduate School's website and selecting the appropriate link, depending on their status.

Please note that ApplyYourself should continue to be used for initial or temporary adviser assignments as required by the (proposed) Master's Degree Performance Standards and Progress and Doctoral Degree Performance Standards and Progress policies.

Committee membership
Also on June 26, four new online workflows will be available for assigning or updating committee members for graduate and professional students. These workflows are for the following committee types:
Doctoral final examination
Doctoral preliminary oral examination
Master's final examination
Specialist certificate final examination

Students will be able to access these forms by going to the forms page on the Graduate School's website and selecting the appropriate link, depending on their status. Once they log in, students with existing committee assignments will see their current members listed and can use the form to request a change in membership.

All graduate and professional students will receive notification about these changes in the Graduate and Professional Student Update.

Changes to the Degree Program Form and elimination of the Thesis Proposal Form
When these workflows launch, a new Degree Program Form (also known as the Degree Program Transmittal) will also be available with an updated name: the Graduate Degree Plan. This form will no longer include the following: sections for assigning an adviser and committee; the transmittal page (i.e., instructions page); and the instructor name field previously included in the coursework section. Once these workflows are available, the Graduate Degree Plan should be used for any students who need to complete it for the first time or need to revise their plan. (Students with a Degree Program Form already on file do not need to complete a Graduate Degree Plan and can still use the new workflows to update their information.) The Thesis Proposal Form will also be retired as of June 26. This form was used to create doctoral final examination committees and will no longer be needed once these workflows launch.

Next week, I will send you some information I hope is helpful to you as you communicate with your faculty and instructors about these changes. I will not be emailing your faculty directly. Please forward this message to others as well. Finally, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


Renae Faunce
Coordinator, Graduate Student Services and Progress

July RAC canceled

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July's Registrar's Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting has been canceled. A majority of attendees preferred to defer any pending items until the August 6 meeting. Please read the PBED Digest (last issue sent June 15) or check The Ledger for updates in the interim.

Change to student APAS

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There will be an upcoming change to the degree audits (APAS) of all undergraduate students entering fall 1999 or later on the Twin Cities campus.

Beginning June 15, Academic Support Resources will update the APAS for all colleges to show students a summary of credits considered degree credits and excess elective credits. These summaries show courses that the student has registered for or completed that do not meet the requirements for his or her declared program(s).

Prior to this, a summary of degree and elective credits was only available to students entering fall 2011 and later. With the inclusion of students back to fall 1999, however, the goal is to provide a more detailed and accurate reporting of degree progress information. This will help advance our goal of improving timely graduation.

Revised Degree Completion Checklists

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In conjunction with the new adviser and committee online workflows, new versions of all Degree Completion Checklists were released the week of June 26. The checklists have updated language to reflect the graduate education transformation and feature a new layout, design, and name. The checklists will now be called the Degree Completion Steps. A printable and online version will be available on the Graduate School's website.

Adviser and committee workflows

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On June 26, new online workflows (i.e., online forms) will be available and will replace the current processes for initiating and updating graduate and professional students' committee information and graduate students' adviser assignments.

The "Graduate Student Adviser Assignment" workflow is a Plan Level Coordinator- (PLC) initiated process. The form will be available on the Graduate School's website in the same location as the Degree Program Form (located under each student status after visiting the forms page). The "Committee Assignment" workflow is a student-initiated process and can be used for assigning a committee for the first time, as well as updating existing committee information; this form will also be located by the Degree Program Form. (Note that separate workflows exist for doctoral final and preliminary oral examination committees; master's final examination committee; and specialist certificate final examination committee.)

When these new workflows launch, a new Degree Program Form (also known as the Degree Program Transmittal) will replace the current form and with an updated name: the Graduate Degree Plan. This form will no longer include the following: sections for assigning an adviser and committee; the transmittal page (i.e., instructions page); and the instructor name field previously included in the coursework section.

Questions about these workflows or changes to the Degree Program Form should be directed to grad-wfg@umn.edu.

Policy committee wraps up

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The Graduate School Policy Review Committee is wrapping up its current work. The committee will draft a memo to Provost Karen Hanson outlining the committee's progress and remaining policy issues. The policies still in progress are grading and transcripts and course numbering. The committee is not proposing significant changes to either policy. Some of the changes to both policies include removing references to the Graduate School and graduate faculty and clarifying policy portions that apply only to undergraduates. As with other policies, the committee recommends adding several FAQs for clarity. The revised policies will be made available for review and comment.

For more information about the committee and where each policy stands in the approval process, click here.

The summer 2012 schedule for the Graduate and Professional Student Update (GPU) has been released. Publication dates are as follows:

July 9 (content due June 29)
August 6 (content due July 27)
September 10 (content due August 31)

Please send content submissions to gpu@umn.edu. To learn more about the GPU, click here.

FERPA Q&A: Verifying degrees

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Question: How are degrees verified by the University?

Answer: The University uses the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) for enrollment and degree verification. Employers or other third parties can obtain verifications from the NSC at any time. The NSC only verifies directory information (e.g., degree, major, dates of attendance) and is not able to provide verification for students who have a complete suppression on their record.

If a student's degree is posted and the student needs a degree verified quickly, he or she can obtain a certification letter from any One Stop Student Services location. They can also mail or fax a completed Request for Certification form to One Stop.

Sometimes verification of non-directory/public information is requested, such as asking about a student's character or wanting a full transcript. In this case, the student should complete and sign a waiver, which is normally provided by the third party, and then drop it off at One Stop Student Services. For example, if a student is applying to work for the FBI, the federal government requires that he or she sign waiver granting permission to gather private information.

There may also be times where the student's college must verify information. Colleges should keep a copy of the signed waiver from the student if they are releasing non-directory/public information about a student.

Bettie Walker, a One Stop counselor in One Stop Student Services, has been named the new process supervisor for registration exceptions for graduate students. She may be reached by email or by phone at 612-626-5433.

The position was previously held by Dan Dalaney.

Policies on degree progress and completion

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Nita Krevans, chair of the Graduate Education Policy Review Committee, recently sent an email to faculty and staff announcing a 30-day comment period for four new University-wide policies on degree progress and completion. The policies, which were developed by the Graduate Education Policy Review Committee, have been approved by the President's Policy Committee (PPC).

Comments on the policies can be submitted using the feedback function provided on each policy's page in the University's Policy Library. The deadline for submitting comments is June 25.

To view the policies, click on the links below:
Master's Degree: Performance Standards and Progress
Master's Degree: Completion
Doctoral Degree: Performance Standards and Progress
Doctoral degree: Completion

Three members from the Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) will join Academic Support Resources (ASR) in July. The GSSP staff (Amber Cellotti, Renae Faunce, and Stacia Madsen) will be located in 160 Williamson Hall; this move will take place some time before fall 2012.

OCM classroom posters

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The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) will launch a fresh set of classroom posters this summer aimed at raising student awareness of the importance of keeping classroom and study places clean. The poster campaign is part of a larger OCM initiative to provide information to students regarding sustainability at the university.

Definition of workflow

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Recently, a Preliminary Written Exam survey was sent to the PBED listserv, which includes all plan level coordinators (PLC) and directors of graduate studies (DGS). The survey asked participants who they believe should initiate the Preliminary Written Exam form and what role the adviser and the DGS should have in the process. Feedback from the survey suggests an opportunity to clarify the concept of workflow.

The definition of workflow, within the context of the graduate education transition, is to automate the process of recording student information to the system of record. The specific purpose of the preliminary written exam workflow is to replace the paper form to report a student's exam result. The intention is not to replace program-specific processes for grading.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2012 is the previous archive.

July 2012 is the next archive.

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