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Student Degree Progress

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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).

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.

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.

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.

Directors of Graduate Studies are invited to attend a DGS Orientation on Wednesday, September 17, from 10-11:30 a.m. in 101 Walter Library.

All Directors of Graduate Stuides are welcome to attend, but new Directors are particularly encouraged to take this opportunity to learn more about the role of the Graduate School, meet members of the Graduate School staff as well as the Academic Support Resources graduate student services staff, and hear about how we can assist you with your DGS responsibilities.

Click here to RSVP.

Beginning fall 2014, tuition billing and due dates will occur approximately two weeks earlier than in years past. This will affect most students holding a Graduate Assistantship or Fellowship, as they will receive their first paycheck after the first bill for tuition and fees is due. In order to ensure that those students are not adversely affected by the change, late and installment fees will be waived for the first bill of each fall and spring semester.

The Office of Student Finance sent an email to incoming graduate students with job codes that are eligible for the late and installment fee waiver on Tuesday, August 26. The Office of Student Finance is planning on identifying students that will receive the waiver on approximately Thursday, September 4. Only students who have those job codes entered on their student record will receive the waiver.

Programmatic student holds

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With the start of fall semester, it is important that any programmatic holds on student accounts are reconciled (provided the student has completed all necessary steps to resolve the hold).

As a reminder, colleges and programs are now able 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, please email Amber Cellotti directly at knap0071@umn.edu. 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.

All Twin Cities and Duluth post-baccalaureate students enrolled in a graduate or departmental master's program (excluding Twin Cities MBA students) that have not registered for fall 2014 term received an email on Tuesday, August 26 indicating they must register by Monday, September 15, or they will be discontinued.

Program staff who have students requesting permission for GRAD 999, xxxx-8777, xxxx-8666 and xxxx-8888 may issue the necessary permission provided students have met internal eligibility requirements. Students requesting permission for xxxx-8333 and xxxx-8444 should be directed to the Graduate Student Services office at gssp@umn.edu.

If a student is discontinued and wishes to resume graduate work, he or she must request readmission to reactivate his or her status. It is up to the program or college to determine the best readmission path for a student. In all cases, students should contact the major program for which they are applying.

After much consideration, we will no longer be producing the PBED Digest in newsletter form. This will be the last issue.

A Google Group has been created as a means to provide an additional communication channel and venue to discuss issues. The email for the group is pbed@umn.edu. If you are no longer interested in being on this list, please email me directly at knigh161@umn.edu.

In addition to the Google Group, information will continue to be delivered at RAC meetings, in the Graduate & Professional Update (GPU), and the Synthesist.

Thank you for your readership.

The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) hotline has been enhanced to align with University-wide support services and has expanded the hours of availability for technology services. The phone number remains the same (612-625-1086), but callers will be prompted to select from a menu of options. This will connect them to the support staff who are best able to meet their needs.

Technology calls will be routed to a team of support professionals who are available 24 hours a day. OCM support staff remain available for all other classroom and scheduling-related calls Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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