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July 2016


U Promise Scholarship Extends Eligibility

At its June meeting, the Board of Regents approved an increase in the number of students who are eligible for University of Minnesota Promise Scholarship (UPromise). The change now extends UPromise eligibility to new Minnesota resident undergraduates with a family income of up to $120,000 (the prior limit was $100,000). UPromise is available to both new freshmen and transfer students.

For more information on UPromise, click here.

Non-Resident Tuition Rates for 2016-17

Matt Tveter, Academic Support Resources

The University has made a change to the non-resident tuition rate. The tuition rate for non-resident students for 2016-17 is $22,210, which is a $1,550 (7.5%) increase over the 2015-16 tuition rate. Additional changes to the non-resident tuition rate will likely be implemented over the next few academic years.

However, continuing non-resident students will pay less than the published tuition rate increase. Tuition increases for continuing non-resident students will be capped at 5.5% annually. This approach will continue through the 2019-20 academic year. Students must have been enrolled as of spring 2016 in order to be eligible for the 5.5% cap on a tuition increase.

Tuition and fees for the 2016-17 academic year are available on the One Stop Student Services website. The exact cost of attendance varies slightly from student to student based on the college of enrollment and courses taken.

Undergraduate Policies Advisors Should Know

Suzanne Bardouche, Office of Undergraduate Education

The University Policy Library includes current University policies regarding education and student life. Those policies are grouped into three lists: (1) those that pertain to all students, (2) graduate students only, and (3) undergraduate students only. Each policy lists a policy contact, for questions or suggestions. Stacey Tidball at and Suzanne Bardouche at are the contacts for most of the undergraduate policies.

The University conducts regular comprehensive review of all policies, typically every four years. The purpose of these reviews is to determine if a policy is still needed; whether the purpose and goal of the policy is being met; whether changes are needed to improve effectiveness, and that the appropriate education/training, monitoring and ongoing review of the policy is occurring. Policies can also be revised as needed.

During 2015-16, twelve educational policies were reviewed and revised. Two of the revisions are noted below:

  • Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences is one of the most visited policies on the website (revised December 2015). The FAQs section now includes 14 FAQs. For example, "How many legitimate absences is too many for a course?" and "Is a family vacation considered a legitimate absence?"
  • Promoting Timely Graduation by Undergraduates (revised January 2016) incorporated content from two previous policies "Declaring a Major" and "Pursuing an Undergraduate Degree" into one policy. It now provides more detail around the expected timelines for declaring the major, specifies that a hold may be placed on a student record if the declaration of the major is not timely, and requires degree programs to have curricular sample plans to graduate in four years.

Advisor input is important, and has shaped policy revisions that enhance student success, clarify requirements, and reinforce expectations. For example, the Campus-Specific Credit Requirements for an Undergraduate Degree policy was recently revised to also clarify the "credits in residence" requirement for majors and also include the residency requirements for undergraduate certificates.

Transfer Student Orientation has Begun!

Sarah Ihrig, Coordinator of the Transfer Student Experience

Transfer students comprise approximately 30% of the U of M's incoming undergraduate class. Notably, data tells us that their sense of belonging is lower than that of their freshmen counterparts. To help our transfer students adjust to campus and make the most of their time at the U, the following initiatives connect students to the campus community:

  • Transfer Welcome Days (Th, Sept.1st - Sun, Sept. 4th) is the official welcome program for new transfer students. Highlights from this program include a Transfer Tailgate experience, attending a Gopher football game, an opportunities to meet and develop connections with other transfer students, and a deeper introduction to key University resources.
  • Transfer Student Network (TSN) is a program that connects new transfer students with current students, Transfer Insiders, who have successfully transitioned to the U. Transfer Insiders can answer questions, share their transfer stories and give advice to new students. Coffee chats are also available for new students to connect with their Transfer Insider in person over a cup of coffee.
  • University Transfer Student Board and Tau Sigma National Honor Society are student organizations specifically for transfer students, they create community and recognize the academic excellence of our U of M transfer students.
  • Transfer Student Workshop Series (Fridays, 1-2pm, Sept. 18th-Nov. 4th) is a series of eight workshops designed to introduce students to all of the resources and opportunities the U has to offer.
  • The Leaders in Transition Living Learning Community gives new transfer students an opportunity to support each other through their first year at the U of M and learn about leadership for personal growth and professional development.
  • Targeted Communication:

Finally, there is a Google Group named UMNTC Transfer Student Experience that provides a forum to discuss issues and resources related to transfer students.

Please contact Sarah Ihrig (, 612-624-4378) with questions about transfer student initiatives.

Advising Toolkit Update

Katie Russell, Office of Undergraduate Education

The Advising Toolkit has been updated recently to include:

  • Evaluation of Credit form
  • Student Advisor Records Release form
  • June 2016 Advisor Orientation Training presentation materials
  • Information about how student email access is impacted when they are discontinued and reactivated

Resources are added to the Advising Toolkit on an ongoing basis. Please email if there is a resource you would like to see added to the toolkit.

What's Being Discussed on Campus?

Leave of Absence Policy and Procedures

Angela Bowlus, Policy and Practices Group, Co-Chair

The Undergraduate Policy Group meets regularly to discuss how University policy is implemented and applied to advising practices. Currently, the group is discussing the procedures surrounding the Leave of Absence (LOA) policy. The group acknowledged that the LOA policy has been inconsistently applied across colleges and that there were multiple interpretations of what a LOA should be used for. Therefore, the group is developing recommended guidelines around when a student should be on LOA and when LOA is not appropriate. Along with these guidelines, the group is discussing best practices for PeopleSoft entry and APLUS tags and Warnings. The group is also recommending changes to the LOA form (which will be moved to the Advising Toolkit), and to the Withdrawing from the University Checklist, in addition to creating a web page on One Stop dedicated to LOA. The group hopes to wrap up its LOA conversations by the end of July with a new form, guidelines, and webpages rolling out to staff by the beginning of August. Looking beyond LOA, the group then hopes to discuss the Readmission process and form, especially as it connects back to LOA.

Questions and suggestions can be directed to Angela Bowlus,

APLUS Updates

Over the past month, the APLUS Advisory Committee has focused on the changes described below.

  • T grades - Sometimes transfer courses are entered into APAS with a letter grade of 'T' rather than a standard A-F or S-N grade. In these cases, users were having trouble distinguishing between courses with passing grades and courses with failing grades. We've updated the courses tab to include all grades from the originating institution for courses transferred in with a T grade. For example, if a student earns a C+ for CSCI101 from an institution and it transfers in as a T grade, the system will now show the grade as 'T (C+)' with the color coding for a 'C+' grade.
  • Writing placement - The first-year writing placement information that used to be pulled from the old placement testing system is now built into APLUS itself. The logic is a function of available ACT English (or SAT Verbal), ACT/SAT writing subscores, and high school English grades, which is essentially a replication of what was in the old placement testing system, albeit with adjustments to address the ACT writing test changes in September 2015.
  • Administrative section update - We decided to spend a little more time updating the administrative section of APLUS, and not just the new tags/contact purposes section, in order to improve the experience for those with coordinator access. We expect this update to roll out in July.
  • Updates to GMail module post-deployment - Several users reported that APLUS email options were not displayed upon entering a student email address in the "To" field or when replying an email. We've changed this so now if your email preferences are set to load APLUS options, the system will detect if the recipient is a student and automatically load the email options. We also fixed an issue where some signatures were recorded with double line spacing. Lastly, we added an option to show/hide message snippets in your mailbox; you can find this setting in the upper-right corner (gears icon) of your email list.

Advising Intiatives

LeeAnn Melin, Office of Undergraduate Education

Progress continues to be made on the task force recommendations with a few highlights below.

  • The Advising Steering Committee (ASC) is up and running! The group of advising leaders has a retreat planned for August to establish a strong foundation and set priorities.
  • Exciting news! New advising positions have been created in CLA, CDes, CEHD, CFANS and CSE. These added positions help to bring the advisor-to-student ratio closer to the 1:250-300 target.
  • Conversations continue with the Office of Human Resources, OUE and ASC to address issues relating to advisor classification, promotion, and equity.
  • We are in the beginning stages of creating a campus-wide advising webpage for both students and faculty/staff. The goal is to provide a general overview of advising at UMTC for students and a central location for advising information and resources for advisors. A small group of advisors will be convened to guide the development.
  • Efforts to improve communication and coordination across campus continue. The Advising Update is one example along with efforts to map out advising stakeholders and related committees. Watch for more information in the coming months.

Thanks to everyone for the great effort and strong collaboration across campus to enhance the advising experience.

Essential Training Components

Mark Bultmann, Office of Undergraduate Education

One of the guiding resources for revamping the content of advisor training will be the work of Wes Habley (1987) and Jeffrey McClellan (2007). Habley has been a national leader in advising and advisor development. In his early work, he suggested effective training needed to be built around three essential components, the Conceptual, Informational and Relational. McClellan later advocated for adding the Technological and Personal components, and those have been widely accepted. As the training initiative is launched these components, detailed below, will be regular touchstones for content and focus.

  • Conceptual: Understanding the context within which advisors work
  • Informational: Knowledge that advisors need to do their work
  • Relational: Competencies to establish appropriate and effective connections with students
  • Technological: Ability to effectively use advising technology and tools
  • Personal:  Advisor self-awareness and professional growth

UMTC training activities have often had a heavy focus on the Informational component. While our large, complex campus requires advisors command a lot of information, the Relational component and Conceptual component are essential also elements in building productive connections with students. The Technological component has quickly emerged as another essential skill for advisors, and the Personal component speaks to the importance of professional and personal growth for advisors. The image below represents the work of Habley and McClellan.

Conceptual: Understanding the context within which advisors work

Welcome New Advisors!

Help us welcome new advisors across campus by submitting their information here. New advisors will be mentioned in a future newsletter and invited to join the new advisors group.

The group for new advisors launched in fall 2015 will continue meeting in the year ahead welcoming new advisors as they begin their work on campus.

Fill out the New Advisor form >>

Join the Discussion

Do you have questions about anything related to undergraduate education? Are there topics about which you would like more information? If so, please email them to to see them addressed in a future Advising Update.