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Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) November 2016


Campus Community

LeeAnn Melin, on behalf of the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

We want to take a moment to acknowledge significant events that have occurred, including the conclusion of a noteworthy election cycle, and the impact on our campus climate. These events have been challenging for all our community members: students, staff, and faculty.

Thank you for the ways in which you support students as they directly or indirectly make sense of an ever-changing world. We encourage you to practice self-care as you continue to support students.

Grand Challenge Curriculum

Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

The Grand Challenge Curriculum is in full swing. This spring there are 8 GCC courses, each focusing on an emerging global challenge.

GCC courses offer students an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary, action-oriented scholarship in areas including the conquest of disease, renewable energy, climate change, the work/life balance, sustainable technologies and the antibiotic apocalypse.

Each course meets a liberal education theme requirement, an honors experience and some include graduate level options. Some GCC courses fulfill major-specific electives as well.

Please direct questions to Katie Russell,

President's Emerging Scholars

Steve Cisneros, President's Emerging Scholars (PES)

The President's Emerging Scholars (PES) program is a four-year opportunity for select undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds and characteristics. PES students are accomplished, involved, and resilient. Participants receive a number of benefits, including peer mentoring and opportunities for engagement to ensure a positive and successful University of Minnesota experience.

2016 marks the 4th year of the PES program. The Fall 2016 cohort consists of 549 new students, 93 of whom attended the PES Summer Seminar. Many 2016 PES students are the first in their family to earn a four-year degree (63%) and many 2016 PES students receive a Federal Pell Grant (53%).

To date, all former PES cohorts (2013-2015) have an average cumulative GPA of 3.06 and an average first year retention rate of 90.8% We anticipate seeing similar academic progress from the 2016 cohort of President's Emerging Scholars.

Supporting Students of Concern

Emily O'Hara, Office of Student Affiars (OSA)

The Office for Student Affairs added a new position, Emily O'Hara, Care Manager, to help students with a variety of needs and concerns. These concerns range from medical and psychological concerns to housing, academic, and relationship issues. Emily can assist with referrals, advocacy, and support.

The first step to supporting a student of concern is always to utilize the current resources for support available to University of Minnesota students and discuss with your supervisor. If further support is needed, students, staff, faculty, and parents are encouraged to contact OSA's Care Manager via the Behavorial Consultation Team (BCT) line, 612-626-3030, to discuss concerns about the behavior or actions of a University of Minnesota student. If you think a student might cause harm to self or others, or may be in need of immediate support, we welcome you to share your concerns by making a referral via the online form. Your referral will be reviewed by the OSA Care Manager and you will be contacted within 24 hours if possible (this form is available at


Academic Learning Support Refresher

Are your advisees experiencing academic-induced stress? Remind them about the wide range of academic learning support resources available at the U.

SMART Learning Commons: An all-in-one undergraduate academic support center located in the three main libraries – Wilson, Walter, and Magrath.

  • Peer Learning Consultants (peer tutoring): Support for over 200 undergraduate courses on a drop-in or appointment basis.
  • Peer-Assisted Learning groups : Weekly facilitated study sessions connected to specific courses.
  • Peer Research Consultants: One-on-one assistance in learning to navigate the University Libraries website, choosing scholarly sources for research, narrowing down topics, and creating thesis statements.
  • Media Consultants: Meet with a professional consultant by appointment for individual help with media projects.
  • Watch for more information on…
    • Exam Jam, targeted programs to prep for finals.
    • Second Wind, an all-day workshop on January 11, 2016 aimed at first year students who may have had a tough first semester.

Student Writing Support: Free writing instruction for all University of Minnesota students at all stages of the writing process.

MCAE Instructional Center: Group and individual tutoring and skill-building workshops offered in a place where students can take their time to learn, study together, develop support groups, and build lasting friendships.

Student Academic Success Services: One-on-one academic counseling and online self-help materials focusing on academic skills.

Student English Language Support: Online and in-person support for students who are English language learners.

Student Technology Peer Tutoring: One-on-one assistance in developing technical skills needed to complete coursework.

Directors of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS) Gathering

OUE Leadership presented to the Directors of Undergraduate Studies on Friday, October 28. Highlights from the presentation are included below. Click to view the full PowerPoint.

  • UMTC currently enrolls 30,500 full-time undergraduates. The goal is to gradually increase enrollment to approximately 32,000 - 33,000 with a focus on STEM, Health, and the Environment.
  • The 2015 first-year retention rate is 93.2%.
  • Of the 7,382 students who graduated in 2014-2015, 40% left with no loan debt. The average for students with debt was $26,091.

View the First-Year Student Profile and the Transfer Student Profile to learn more about Fall 2016's new NHS and NAS students.

Please direct questions or comments to the Office of Undergraduate Education at

UMTC Core Advising Skills and Methods

The Office of Undergraduate Education Advising Initiatives team is excited to launch the University of Minnesota-TC Core Advising Skills and Methods. In consultation with AAN, the Advising Coordinators Group, the Advising Steering Committee, and the Adviser Training Group, the Core Advising Skills and Methods were created to capture and articulate the essential elements of all advising work.

There are two versions for you to use;

  • the full text version spells out the meaning of each skill/method.
  • the visual version can be used as a student-facing tool to display in offices and use as a de-constructed way of explaining and promoting your advising work.

Both are available in the Advising Toolkit.

New Report Available in MyU- Class Enrollment Status Summary

Matt Tveter, Academic Support Resources (ASR)

The Class Enrollment Status Summary is intended for faculty and staff that need live class enrollment information. Class time, days, session, room number, room size, enrollment capacity, and the number of students currently enrolled are included in the report, which exports directly to Excel.

Sign into MyU in order to access the Class Enrollment Status Summary report. Go to Key Links > Reporting Center and look under the Enrollment menu in the Student Services section. Several improvements to this report will be made in near future. If you have any feedback on this report, please contact

Alternative (second choice) College Retention Pilot

LeeAnn Melin, Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

When students apply to the U of M, they apply to their first college of choice and an alternate college. Students are considered for admission in order of their indicated interests, but not all students are admitted to their first choice college. When this is the case, a student can instead be admitted to their second choice. The Alternative-Choice (Alt-Choice) Working Group (Admissions, CLA, CSE, CAPE) was established to identify pilot strategies designed to support students in this situation.

This year, the pilot focuses on NHS CLA students who had CSE as their first choice college. Our assumption is that these students would benefit from targeted support to ensure that they find their best-fit major at the U of M. Here are a few highlights:

  • Based on predictive analytics for successful transfer into CSE, a cohort of students admitted to CLA were ensured access to Physics 1301 for their first semester if they were interested. These students have the student group LAPY (CLA Alt Physics) assigned to their records. This student group was added to assist CLA advisers in their work with these students.
  • Two more student groups were added in PS to track alternative choice NHS students.
    • ALTC - Alternate choice college admits, added to all matriculated students who enrolled in a college that was not their first choice.
    • ACSE - Alternate choice admit - College of Science and Engineering. This code was applied ONLY to students admitted to CLA and whose first-choice college was CSE.
  • Programming and communication efforts will be directed to the ACSE students to provide additional major exploration and STEM exploration support.

The ALTC and ACSE tags will help us track student movement and target student support efforts to ensure their success. We encourage you to use this information as additional context in working with these students and ask general questions about exploring majors or interest in transferring to another college.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Les Opatz in CLA, Kai Takatsuka or LeeAnn Melin in CAPE.

Syllabus Statement Revised: Disability Accommodations

Effective Spring 2017, University of Minnesota syllabi will include a revised Disability Accommodations syllabus statement. This change is being communicated by the Disability Resource Center to faculty on each U of M system campus as well as via communication methods such as the Brief and also the Undergraduate Update. The revised syllabus statement is included below.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Minnesota views disability as an important aspect of diversity, and is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

  • If you have, or think you have, a disability in any area such as, mental health, attention, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical, please contact the DRC office on your campus (612.626.1333) to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations.
  • Students with short-term disabilities, such as a broken arm, can often work with instructors to minimize classroom barriers. In situations where additional assistance is needed, students should contact the DRC as noted above.
  • If you are registered with the DRC and have a disability accommodation letter dated for this semester or this year, please contact your instructor early in the semester to review how the accommodations will be applied in the course.
  • If you are registered with the DRC and have questions or concerns about your accommodations please contact your (access consultant/disability specialist).

Additional information is available on the DRC website: or e-mail with questions.


Colin Delong, CLA

In the past month, the APLUS Advisory Committee, Functionality Working Group, and development team have focused on the changes described below.

Departmental accounts live November 17

  • APLUS Email will now allow you to manage other email accounts directly from APLUS so that you can read, send, respond to, save to APLUS, and delete emails on behalf of a departmental account. This feature is also available for mass email. Departmental accounts can be configured to use their own email preferences. You can sign in and work with multiple accounts at once. Once deployed, a how-to guide will be available in the help section of APLUS.

Mass email updates

  • We noticed that some folks were getting a "Please try again later" message when attempting to send a mass email. This message comes directly from Google and although is not very clear, we believe this is due to the high message rate. We have deployed a throttle mechanism that will send messages at a lower rate (25 emails per minute). This should help, but please let us know if you are still experiencing any issues.
  • Some users reported that emails were recorded in APLUS more than once after sending a mass email, this has been addressed.


  • We have fixed an issue where an appointment would be created as a single event (this fix is not retroactive).

Policy and Practices Group

Angela Bowlus, College of Liberal Arts (CLA)
Stacey Tidball, Academic Support Resources (ASR)

Earlier this year a workgroup was developed to discuss the Leave of Absence (LOA) policy and process. It came to light that there were inconsistencies in how LOA was applied and important financial aid considerations that may not have been discussed with students. Having identified the need to improve our process and understanding of LOA, the workgroup asked the Undergraduate Policy and Practices Group to review and recommend changes. At this time, the following initiatives have launched:

  • Documented core reasons students should be allowed to take a LOA
  • Updated student-facing Leave of Absence and withdrawal information on
  • Revised the LOA form
  • Added the LOA form to the Advising Toolkit.
  • Informing students they need to consult with their advisor/advising office to receive and complete the form, if appropriate.
  • Created instructions and best practices for processing LOA and RLOA (in the Advising Toolkit).

Future work includes updates to APLUS:

  • LOA tag applied by advisor or advising office with start term of LOA.
    • Alerts will be sent to assigned advisor every term the student is on LOA to prompt outreach and to assist student with plans for return to campus.
    • If a student has not returned after four terms (Fall/Spring) they will be automatically discontinued.

Advising Toolkit Updates

Katie Russell, Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

The Advising Toolkit has been updated to include a link to the new Advising Training Calendar. If you would like to import the calendar to your own Google Calendar, follow these instructions:

  • Open your own Google calendar and sign in
  • Open the Advisor Training Events calendar
  • In the lower right corner, look for the text that says 'google calendar' with a "+" symbol
  • When you click the "+", it automatically imports into your calendar and asks if you want to make it visible.

Please direct questions to Amy Hackett,

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

Fill out the New Advisor form >>

Financial Support Available

Frankie Massaroni

Carlson School of Management,

Frankie is a new Academic Adviser in the Carlson School of Management. She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina where she earned her M.Ed in Higher Education Student Affairs. Prior to that, she studied Classical Studies and Economics at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. Having previously lived in Minnesota, she is happy to be returning home to friends and colder weather.

Financial Support Available

Zack Gill

College of Biological Sciences,

Zack recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with his master's degree in educational psychology. While a graduate student, Zack completed school counseling practica at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels. Zack's other experiences include two years as a peer advisor during his undergraduate work at UMD and positions in outdoor and wilderness programming.

Claire Drevis

Demaya Walton

College of Biological Sciences,

Demaya completed her master's degree in education at Hamline University in 2013. Until recently, Demaya worked for Breakthrough Twin Cities as a site director, where she oversaw program operations, worked with teaching fellows and staff, and engaged with students and families among other responsibilities. Demaya's other experiences include various teaching and educational assistant roles in elementary and middle school settings, as well as working with TRiO as an undergraduate student at Saint Olaf.

Claire Drevis

Jeremy Bergerson

College of Liberal Arts,

Jeremy started in CLA in September after working in development at the Hennepin County Library and, before that, as a German instructor at Cal-Berkeley, UMN, and other places.

Claire Drevis

Lisa Folch

College of Liberal Arts,

Lisa joined CLA advising after serving as Associate Dean of Education and Business Program Chair at the Minnesota School of Business. Previous to her work in higher education she worked in the field of Marketing. She comes to us with a joint MBA and JD.

Claire Drevis

Valerie Franz

College of Liberal Arts,

Valerie, joining CLA in the Department of Economics, is an alumna of CLA (B.A. Global Studies) and of CEHD (M.A. Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development in International Education) and has worked in international education for nearly a decade. Some of you may recognize her from the Minnesota English Language Program, where she recently worked in student services. Valerie is passionate about guiding students through critical times of transition, and connecting students to resources that bring them closer to realizing their potential.

Claire Drevis

Jacqueline Hoak

McNamara Academic Center for Student-Athletes,

Jaqueline joined the MAC as an academic advisor for student-athletes. Prior coming the University of Minnesota, Jacqueline Hoak was an athletic academic advisor at Prairie State College before becoming the Director of Athletics for two years.

Pre-Health Advising Summit: Building Student Competencies for the Changing Landscape in the Health Professions

2nd Annual Workshop: Focusing on Student Mental Health

Student Success Conference

Tate Conference