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Graduate student files can now be accessed in ImageNow by authorized University staff at the program, department, and college level.

ImageNow, the University's enterprise document imaging system, is used to store digital images of University documents, including applications and degree milestone forms.

For links to data security request forms, training information, and resources, see
http://www.grad.umn.edu/faculty-staff/student_file_access/index.html

Work is under way to incorporate graduate-level programs into the Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS). PCAS automates the approval of new and changed academic programs and dynamically populates the online academic catalog.

Two concurrent parts of the PCAS project are currently in progress:

  • Technical development of the user interface to enter graduate-level program data into PCAS. The target completion date for this part of the project is May 23, 2011.
  • The collection of critical program information for graduate-level academic programs. To facilitate the collection of this academic program information, the PCAS team distributed a toolkit to college catalog coordinators on Friday, March 25.

As a part of the information-gathering process, college catalog coordinators will distribute formatted worksheets--one for each graduate-level degree, minor, and certificate--to their contacts in each academic program. Where information exists in current catalogs, these worksheets have been pre-populated with some basic program information. However, the expertise of the Directors of Graduate Studies (DGSs) and DGS-assistants will be critical to the completion of these worksheets with accurate, currently-approved academic program details.

Colleges have been asked to review and submit their completed worksheets to the PCAS team for provost-level review by May 4, 2011. After final review, data entry will begin by the end of May; this first round of PCAS data entry will be performed centrally, as a service to colleges and departments.

The collective effort to implement PCAS for graduate-level programs will result in many substantial benefits:

  • Collegiate units will have simpler and improved access to and control of the information about their academic programs.
  • The process for updating existing academic programs, and advancing new program proposals through required approval levels will be faster and more transparent, as well as parallel to and consistent with the undergraduate process.
  • PCAS will feed a current, online and searchable catalog displaying graduate-level programs and requirements to current and prospective students.
  • The University will have a comprehensive inventory of all graduate-level programs.
An overview of the program worksheets will be presented during the graduate portion of the RAC meeting on April 4. Please contact Kristin Cleveland at cleve064@umn.edu if you have questions.

Road Map for Graduate Admissions

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July 1, 2010

Road Map for Graduate Admissions, a guide to graduate admissions process restructuring webpage, was posted on July 1, 2010.

July 1, 2010

Responsibility for reviewing and approving 8xxx-level courses, as well as certain 5xxx-level courses in several interdisciplinary graduate programs, has been relocated to the colleges effective July 1. See Recommendation 10 in the summary update on implementation of work-group recommendations sent by vice provost and dean Henning Schroeder on May 28.

Exempt from this immediate change are the pre-thesis credit (8666), thesis credit (8777 and 8888), and "full-time equivalent" (8333 and 8444) courses, which will remain unchanged until a revised policy is approved by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy.

Staff from the Graduate School, Academic Support Resources (ASR), and the Office of Information Technology will work to modify the Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS) over the next 12 to 18 months, in concert with pending adjustments to PeopleSoft and the Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS). Until changes are made to ECAS, the Graduate School will approve all courses without review, taking the college-level approval as final.

A project team has begun early planning and analysis to modify PCAS to include all graduate, professional, and regent-approved certificate programs. Additional updates will be provided as work progresses.

Questions about 8xxx-level courses pending in ECAS can be directed to Vicki Field in the Graduate School. Questions about ECAS and PCAS modifications for graduate education can be directed to Frank Blalark in ASR.

Systems review and analysis

While the Provost is reviewing the final recommendations from the graduate education work groups, he has asked Academic Support Resources (ASR) to work with Graduate School staff to lay the groundwork for changes to student administrative processes.

Purpose and scope of the preliminary work

Whatever shape the final changes may take, ASR's goal is to help facilitate changes to student administrative processes and systems so changes can be implemented efficiently and expeditiously.

ASR has begun working with staff in the Graduate School, colleges, and departments to more fully understand current processes related to student services and the administration of academic programs. ASR's role in this process will be to assist in the transformation of business processes and to facilitate the development or modification of automated systems.

The scope of ASR's work at this point is limited to processes and systems affected by the Student Administrative Processes Work Group recommendations.

How to stay up-to-date on changes to student administrative processes

ASR and the Graduate School will regularly post updates to the graduate education transformation webpage. Please check back frequently.

ASR would also like to share and gather information with colleges, departments, or administrative units that will be affected by these changes to student services and systems. If you have not yet been contacted by ASR but would like to be involved, please contact Frank Blalark.

Current task: Mapping a new academic data structure

Background: In the current academic data structure, Graduate School students and academic programs are all tied to one "college code" in the system: the Graduate School's college code. This centralized structure makes it difficult for individual colleges to access data about their specific graduate programs and students for reporting and other purposes.

Problem to solve: If colleges are ultimately going to take on additional accountability for graduate education, and if automated systems are to be built to accommodate a college-centered administrative structure, data must be structured and easily accessible by college.

Working solution: ASR would create a new structure for academic data by creating a separate graduate program code for each collegiate unit. Academic program and student data would be distributed accordingly.

Benefits: The new data structure will allow colleges to more easily access and have local control over many elements of their graduate program and student data. Ultimately, this data structure should allow colleges to more easily access the data they need to make informed decisions.

Considerations: This change will have significant ramifications on existing reports (especially including all Graduate School UM Reports) and all other systems. All of these will need to be analyzed, and many will need to be modified. The process for handling interdisciplinary program data within this new structure also needs to be determined.

Timeline: The new structure would need to be created by July 2010 for fall 2011 applicants only. Current students would be moved into the new data structure during spring/summer 2011.

Future projects: Automating graduate education processes

Read more about additional enterprise-wide system modifications and developments that were recommended by the Student Administrative Processes Work Group.

Future projects: Automating graduate education processes

The list of enterprise-wide system modifications and developments listed in the final draft of the graduate education work-group report is listed below, with some minor modifications.

Academic Support Resources (ASR) is currently gathering preliminary information and feedback related to these potential enterprise-wide developments, so that they can be of benefit to as many academic programs and students as possible. Future users of these systems (colleges, departments, and graduate students) will have opportunities to give feedback on these systems along the way.

Note: The development of these resources will ultimately depend on the Provost's recommendations, on available resources, and on further analysis.

Apply Yourself (AY)

Apply Yourself is the admission/recruiting software currently being used by the Graduate Admissions Office and some colleges. Future modifications will allow academic programs to customize the application in order to streamline the process for students and eliminate duplication. Several upgrades are scheduled to be implemented in summer 2010.

Academic Progress Audit System (APAS)

The APAS system monitors the academic progress of a student's degree program. Required courses and course options for a degree can be programmed into APAS. If course selection is student specific, exceptions to APAS must be entered student by student. Though labor intensive, use of APAS is likely less time-intensive than the current practice of manual review of degree programs against transcripts, and will increase accuracy and eliminate the need for duplicate review.

Graduation Planner

Graduation Planner is a planning tool for undergraduate students. This tool could be used in conjunction with APAS to create a degree progress tool for graduate students and advisers.

Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS)

This tool allows program (curriculum) data to be entered into a central location that captures information needed for PeopleSoft, catalog production, APAS, and Graduation Planner. It creates a workflow process so all areas of the University are notified and appropriate action can be taken. This tool allows for changes, discontinuation, and re-activation of degree programs.

Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS)

ECAS allows for entry of new courses for approval. This system is used to update a course as well. Graduate School colleges and campuses currently use this system.

Electronic Course Scheduling (ECS)

ECS allows department and college schedulers to enter or update class schedule information for a specific term. This information is used to produce the Class Schedule.

WorkflowGen

WorkflowGen is a software package that was purchased by the Graduate School. WorkflowGen offers a full Web-based tool to design and monitor workflows automating many paper tasks and optimizing human to human processes. This tool could assist with many of the forms that may be required after a business process redesign occurs.

ImageNow

ImageNow is a document storage and retrieval system. This document imaging and management tool allows the user to capture, organize, and manage data. ImageNow allows one to scan, file, retrieve, print, fax, or distribute electronic objects. It allows indexed images to be retrieved simultaneously by different users on campus.

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