September 2013 Archives

All transfer international coursework must be reviewed by Graduate Admissions. Please refer to International Coursework quick start guide for complete process.

The GDP will have a new section at the bottom of the transfer coursework section requiring programs/colleges to check-off that all international coursework was reviewed by the Graduate Admissions office. An updated GDP form will be available on Monday, September 23. The quick start guide will be added to the Graduate School website under "Info for Faculty & Staff" page early next week.

Online Student Data Inquiry training

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The Academic Support Resources (ASR) Training Team is in the final stages of developing a Student Data Inquiry (SDI) training video that may be used in lieu of in-person SDI training. SDI training is necessary to be granted view access in PeopleSoft. Registration for online training begins Monday, September 30.

Registration and training will take place in ULearn, the University's Learning Management System (LMS) that allows for administration, tracking, and reporting of training content. The online training video and related activities will take approximately 40-60 minutes to complete (much less time than the previous two and a half hours of in-person training) and will include information regarding FERPA and a short interactive quiz. Following confirmation of having completed these steps, as well as submitting the Access Request Form, access to view PeopleSoft will be granted.

Online training provides users with a self-paced environment, and it can be re-launched for future use. In-person training will still be available, but it is no longer required. Registration for both in-person and online training will be in ULearn.

The Graduate School Petition form will now require college-level sign-off. The form has been updated to reflect this change. Colleges are expected to begin this practice beginning October 1, but are encouraged to implement earlier.

Viewing classroom availability in Astra Schedule

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When using Astra Schedule, schedulers should reply on the request forms to view classroom availability. Using the grid calendars is no longer necessary to request a classroom. You can now request space and see availability in the same place.

To view the schedule of a specific general purpose classroom, use the General Purpose Classroom Search. Choose the building you are interested in, then select the room name. The room details will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Click on the "Room Schedule" link to bring up the daily calendar for the classroom. If you prefer to see an entire week or month at a time, you can easily switch your view by using the buttons on the upper left-hand corner of the calendar.

Update from Bob McMaster

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Bob McMaster, Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education, recently provided an undergraduate education update to the Registrar's Advisory Committee (RAC). Highlights from his presentation included the following:

- Bob is working with all undergraduate education units on a strategic plan for undergraduate education, which will be incorporated into the overall Undergraduate Strategic Plan for the entire university.

- A team is being organized to work on researching several critical questions that will be addressed during the next 5-10 years to continue improvements in undergraduate education (e.g., How do we continue to close the retention gap on our campus?).

- The PeopleSoft Upgrade student group is on track for the launch in October 2014.

- The remodel to Northrop is slated to be completed by 2014. The grand re-opening is scheduled for April 4, 2014.

- The University is up for reaccreditation in 2015-16. Between now and then, there are a series of initiatives underway that will help us to prepare.

- Graduation and retention rates remain a high priority. The graduation rates have improved significantly over the last decade, but have remained fairly steady at 58% over the past two years, so it will be important to discover what factors, including the structure of the University curriculum, may be slowing time to graduation.

- Another high-priority initiative is the President's Emerging Scholars Program (PES). Previously named Access to Success, PES now enrolls nearly 500 students each fall, who receive scholarship aid and enhanced support from this program. PES admits students who, if using only the primary, formal metrics (e.g., GPA, ACT score), wouldn't be admitted to the University. When secondary factors are also considered, students are admitted based on the primary factors, and also considering secondary factors such as community involvement and leadership skills.

- Enrollment numbers continue to increase, and this year there are more undergraduates on campus than ever before (over 31,000), despite the downward slope of graduating high school students. Demographics for the undergraduate population show as 52% from the Twin Cities.

A group met over the summer to determine the feasibility of programs placing and removing Graduate School holds for their own students. It was decided that colleges and programs will be given access to place/remove the following holds:


  • OJ - general hold

  • OM - too many incompletes

  • OG - doctoral program not filed

  • OF - master's program not filed

  • OL - GPA requirement not met

If you are interested in being able to place/remove holds (above), please email Amber Cellotti directly. However, in order to be able to place holds and give access, you must have completed Student Data Inquiry and Student Data Update training in PeopleSoft. If you're not sure you have completed these, you can check your training history on the HR website.

FERPA Q&A: Requirements for maintaining education records

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Question: What are the requirements for maintaining student education records?

Answer: FERPA does not have a requirement for how long or which student education records must be maintained by an institution. University staff, however, must comply with federal, state, and University retention requirements. FERPA states that if an education record is maintained by the institution, even if it is not required to be maintained, the University must protect it from unauthorized disclosure. The University must also make the education record available for the student to inspect or review, if requested.

For more information about record retention, see the University's retention schedule.

Thursday, October 3, 9-11 a.m. - Ruttan Hall, room B26 (St. Paul campus)
Monday, October 7, 9-11 a.m. - Folwell Hall, room 32 (East Bank)

These sessions will serve as a follow-up to the transferring of review and accountability for accuracy of the Graduate Degree Plan (GDP) from Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP) to programs and colleges.

Please RSVP here. If you are unable to make the sessions, please take a moment to provide input regarding what is going well, what could be improved, and any further resources you may need. A Google hangout will be available.

New graduate packet delivery process

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Graduate students will soon be responsible for downloading 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.

Formal communication will be sent in the upcoming weeks. The expected launch is Monday, October 21.

MN Dream Act eligibility

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Please share this information regarding the Minnesota Dream Act with your students. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.
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Am I eligible to benefit from the Minnesota Dream Act?
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education will determine who is eligible to benefit from the Dream Act. Generally, students are eligible if they have attended a Minnesota high school for at least three years, have graduated from a Minnesota high school (or earned a GED in Minnesota), and have registered with the U.S. Selective Service (applies only to males 18 to 25 years old).

You must apply by October 2, 2013 to receive financial aid benefits for fall 2013 semester. Need more information? Visit the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Dream Act website for details.

For further questions, please contact One Stop Student Services at 612-624-1111.

ESUP: What's Changing?

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Since the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) kicked off in October 2012, people have wanted to know what is going to change when the new system goes live. Users of the University's enterprise student system expect the look and feel of the system to change, but they also know that this is the first time that there has been a comprehensive examination of the related business processes since 1999. The question on everyone's mind is: what will change as a result of that examination and how?

Until the Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP) activity for business processes was complete and the team recommendations made their way through ESUP governance, it was difficult to discuss the changes that might be happening. With the Student work stream nearing the end of the IDP phase, a picture of the new system and its associated processes is becoming more clear.

The Student work stream has done a tremendous job of following the three principles of their system's upgrade:


  1. Utilize delivered "Self-Service" functionality for students, faculty, and staff.

  2. Wherever possible, use delivered PeopleSoft functionality without customization or implement the industry-standard, best-practice approach.

  3. Improve or retain U of M business process best-practice solutions not delivered in PeopleSoft.

The work of IDP was centered on an entire business process and as the recommendations for those business processes are approved through ESUP governance, they are being made available on the ESUP What's Changing? website. On that page, you will see a list of approved changes that are now being communicated to the University community. A short description of the recommendation for the process is on the page, as well as a link to more detailed information.

This will not be the only venue for communicating these changes. More opportunities, including training, will be available as we near go-live in fall 2014. If you have questions or feedback on the information available on the page, please email esup@umn.edu.

Upcoming Astra Schedule user groups

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A series of Astra Schedule user groups is scheduled for this fall. Session topics will address issues that schedulers experience in their day-to-day use of Astra Schedule. They also serve as an opportunity for users to share ideas with each other and receive help solving specific problems.

No registration is required to attend. Locations and times for each session are as follows:

Thursday, September 26, 9-10:30 a.m., Nolte Center 140
Friday, October 25, 1:30-3 p.m., STSS 512B
Tuesday, November 19, 9-10:30 a.m., Nicholson Hall 110
Tuesday, December 17, 9-10:30 a.m., STSS 512B

Honors subplan to become a second major plan

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Currently, Honors students on the Twin Cities campus are identified with the University Honors Program (UHP) subplan. Each undergraduate major on the Twin Cities campus has an "honors" APAS version of the major with the honors requirements embedded in the APAS. This can be confusing to students. Starting fall 2013, the Twin Cities campus will stop using the honors subplan and start using an honors second major plan. This will allow for creation of a separate Honors APAS and allow colleges to clear students for graduation who have met all their degree requirements but are still completing their honors requirements.

Scheduled system outage

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During the week of September 15-22, scheduled system upgrades will take place between 4-7 a.m. As a result, several One Stop users will experience intermittent network outages of up to 90 minutes. During these outages, you may not be able to register for classes, view the course schedule, or use the class search.

Change to display of student record information

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Recently, a change was announced in how student record information is displayed for students participating in College in the Schools (CIS). Effective immediately, any student (past or present) will now be listed as a non-degree student on his or her student record.

This change is effective for all system campuses and will affect the information displayed on the student's transcript. The decision to make this change was prompted after a review of our peer institutions in the Big Ten and how they categorize students in CIS.

For questions related to this change, please contact Emily Holt in the Office of the Registrar at eholt@umn.edu.

Registration reminders

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  • Starting September 10, students will need a permission number to add a class to their registration. Programs can give out permission for courses, except 8333 and 8444.
  • Starting September 17, students will need to use the registration exception request form to add classes to their current enrollment.

Tech priorities

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To get the latest scoop on the University's IT news and activities, check out the IT priorities video by Vice President and CIO Scott Studham. He outlines the progress made during the past year, as well as the University's IT priorities going forward.

The top 4 priorities as outlined are:

  1. Improve usability and effectiveness of our current tools, expand hype-cycle exploration, and advance mobile applications
  2. Modernize academic technology spaces to accommodate bring your own desktop (BYOD) and access to specialized software
  3. Improve end user support and computer management practice
  4. Rapidly expand wireless coverage indoors and outdoors on campuses

Student Records Town Hall

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The next ESUP Student Records town hall will be held Friday, September 13 from 8:30-10 a.m. in 402 Walter Library. Visit the website for more information on the ESUP Student Project Work Stream.

Last week, an email was sent to all graduate and departmental master's students (i.e. DMS) who have not registered for fall 2013 classes indicating they will be discontinued if they do not register by Monday, September 16. If discontinued, students will need to be readmitted to their program.

A separate announcement was sent to all Directors of Graduate Studies, College Coordinators, and Plan Level Coordinators from Sue Van Voorhis announcing the delay of release of the local readmission workflow. The decision was made jointly by ASR and the Graduate School following conversations about the need for a critical review of the readmission process. The full message can be seen here.

On September 17, graduate and departmental master's students who have not registered will be discontinued. A complete list will be available in UM Reports (UM Reports < Student & Instruction < Student Records < Discontinued Students).

To: Directors of Graduate Studies, College Coordinators, and Plan Level Coordinators
From: Sue Van Voorhis, Associate Vice Provost

Re: Delay of release of local readmission workflow

I am writing to inform you of a decision to delay the launch of the Local Readmit Request workflow as referenced in an earlier communication from Academic Support Resources (ASR). The decision to delay the use of this tool was made jointly by ASR and the Graduate School following conversations about the need for a critical review of the readmission process. Specifically, such a review should be conducted with departments, colleges, and the Graduate School to ensure appropriate oversight and documentation accompanies the launch of any automated process. We will still discontinue graduate and departmental master's students (i.e., DMS) as outlined in the Master's Degree: Performance Standards and Progress policy and the Doctoral Degree: Performance Standards and Progress policy.

Here is how you should proceed with readmission at this time:

For graduate students (i.e., GRD)
The process for readmission remains unchanged. They should continue to use either the Request for Express Readmission or the Online Application for Readmission.

For DMS students
Many DMS programs and/or their college have an existing process for returning students to active status; this process should be applied to those students who require readmission after discontinuation for non-enrollment. If you are unsure of how to proceed, please contact the Office of the Registrar at otr@umn.edu 612-626-4432.

I apologize for the inconvenience this delay may cause you. I do believe this is in the best interests of moving toward a stable, long-term solution to quickly readmit our students, while still adhering to best practices in graduate education.

If you have any questions about this message, please contact me directly.

September Astra Schedule demonstrations

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In May, the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) implemented a new, system-wide classroom and event scheduling system called Astra Schedule. You can use Astra Schedule to request both departmental and general purpose classroom space for an event. A quick start guide is available for additional step-by-step instructions. Demonstrations of Astra Schedule will be held at the following locations on campus:

Friday, September 6, 9-10 a.m., STSS 512B
Friday, September 13, 2-3 p.m., STSS 512B

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2013 is the previous archive.

October 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.