April 2011 Archives

Graduate education policies under review can be tracked

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A Graduate Education Policy Review Committee was charged last year to review, update, and integrate existing graduate education policies and procedures with University-wide academic program policies, procedures, and definitions.

A list of policy drafts under discussion and five draft policies are now available on the Graduate Education Transition webpage at www.grad.umn.edu/Transition/policy/ .

Nine graduate education policies are currently in development. In addition to these "new" policies, five existing policies will be revised. Drafts that have reached a certain stage of development are being posted for review. This informal review will not substitute for the 30-day review period offered once the President's Policy Committee (PPC) has approved the policy.

The first policy to be completed and added to the U-wide Policy Library was Appointments to Graduate Examination Committees, which specifies eligibility to serve on graduate examination committees and outlines college responsibilities for approving committee appointments. This policy was effective in February.

All education policies (graduate and undergraduate) in the Uwide Policy Library are located under Education, in the Education and Student Life category on the Policy Homepage. The policies are published using the standard format used for all administrative policies. In the near future, subfolders will be created to make it easier for students to find policies that apply to them (All Students, Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students).

Portions of this announcement first appeared in the Policy Post on April 7.

Registration exceptions: Workflow project update

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As reported in this update from February, a Workflow project team was created to meet with representatives from the colleges, draft a new process for handling exceptions to certain registration deadlines and policies for graduate students, and create an online form that will automate this process.

The new, online registration exceptions process is scheduled to launch this fall. It will replace the paper-based process through which Graduate School students petition to add courses or change grade basis after the second week, and to drop courses after the eighth week.

Project status

The project team has completed six meetings with various college representatives and drafted a revised process. ASR technical staff are now designing the online form that students will use to submit their requests, and mapping the online workflow through which these requests will be approved or denied by: instructors; the student's department/program; and/or the student's college. (The approval steps may vary based on the specific exception the student requests.) The team will consult with college and department stakeholders as the new process takes shape.

The main challenge the team currently faces is determining how the contact data for the approval roles at the department/program and the college will be stored and maintained. In order for the automation of this process to be successful and create real efficiencies, this contact data must be stored in a central location and be relatively easy to keep up-to-date. These approver roles may also be utilized for other processes as they are moved from paper to an online format.

Next steps

The development of the online form and workflow will proceed through several cycles, and feedback will be solicited from departments and colleges beginning in May, 2011. As the final version of the form is completed, training and communication will commence, followed by the launch in fall 2011.

Questions about this project can be addressed to John Vollum.

"Building a Better Graduate Program - Rethinking Program Evaluation" will be the theme of the second Graduate and Professional Education Assembly on Monday, April 18.

Evaluation experts Chris Golde and George Walker, collaborators involved in the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, will be the keynote speakers and facilitators for an interactive assembly. Faculty and students will work together to generate and develop ideas toward students-outcomes-based program assessment.

The Graduate and Professional Education Assembly brings together faculty, staff, and students from both graduate and professional programs across the University. It was established based on recommendations of the work group on graduate education, whose report was accepted by the Provost in May 2010. The first assembly was held in November.

In-person registration for the spring 2011 assembly is already full, but participation is encouraged by live webcast. See the event page.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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