University of Minnesota Driven to Discover
(please load images) Undergrad Update Header
Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) October 2016


New Student Degree Progress Tool Available in MyU

Eric Anderson, Academic Support Resources

On October 23, the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will launch a new tool within MyU to help undergraduate students better track their degree progress and plan for timely graduation. This tool utilizes data from APAS to calculate a student's progress within their degree program. Students will receive recommendations, based on their individual progress, to help guide them toward four-year degree completion (for fall NHS admits) and timely completion (for other admit types). Undergraduate students can find this tool in MyU under Academics > Degree Progress.

An interpretation guide for this new tool is available in the Advisor Toolkit. At launch, only students will have access to this tool, but future development will explore possible ways to expand access to advisors. The team will host a demo event for advisors on November 1 from 11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. (more information to come).

If you have additional questions, contact the Student Degree Progress team at

New One Stop Website to Launch

Matt Tveter, Academic Support Resources (ASR)

A redesigned One Stop website will launch at the end of the day Thursday, October 20. The new design emphasizes mobile delivery, aligns with MyU, and ensures that students can find relevant, timely information using their preferred devices.

The OneStop website address for the Twin Cities will remain the same (, though the website addresses for internal links and system campus One Stop pages will change. Redirects will be set up for the most commonly-accessed pages. Staff will be reaching out to the University community over the next few weeks to help identify links to the One Stop website that exist on other University websites.

Read more about the One Stop website redesign >>

Policy Review: Grading and Transcripts

Stacey Tidball, Academic Support Resources (ASR)

Each year the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) reviews and updates University policies. This year, the Grading and Transcripts policy is undergoing review. Academic Advisors refer to this policy frequently when working with students. A few key components of this policy include:

  • University grading system
  • Incomplete grades
  • Withdrawing from a course
  • Counting credits toward a University degree
  • Repeating courses

Please submit feedback regarding this policy and your or ideas of how this policy could be revised to better support student success, suggestions for FAQs, clarifications, definitions, and concerns are welcome.

Expected Grad Term and Financial Aid Implications

Stephanie Kearley, Office of Student Finance (OSF)

After a student has applied to graduate, the Expected Grad Term field is populated in PeopleSoft. The accuracy of the Expected Grad Term field on the Student Program/Plan page (Student Program tab) has significant implications for a student's financial aid record. The term in the field can impact whether or not a student will be awarded financial aid, how many terms of aid will be awarded, and potentially the amount of loans offered (undergraduate students only).

Financial aid will not disburse beyond a grad term. Students who have an Expected Grad Term date of Fall 2016 before financial aid is awarded will be offered aid only for the fall term, and loans will be prorated based on Federal regulations. In most cases, students will receive half of the annual loan offer.

If the Expected Grad Term precedes the current academic year, the student will not be considered for financial aid until the date is removed or updated to a current or future term. This situation can occur when a student takes a LOA or is discontinued before earning a degree and the date is not accurate when the student returns and the record becomes active.

To update Expected Grad Term, a student may email or the student's academic advisor may contact the Office of the Registrar on the student's behalf. If the term is updated because the student does not have the credits required to earn a degree, the student should notify OSF and financial aid will be awarded, if the student is eligible.

Election Day Approaches

LeeAnn Melin, Office of Undergraduate Education

Election Day is November 8 and for many of our students it will be their first time to vote in a presidential election. Please encourage students to exercise their right to vote and to take the necessary steps to register and vote. Here is a quick summary of relevant voter information:

  • Classes will not be cancelled on Election Day and students will not be automatically excused from class to vote. However, the Provost has encouraged faculty to "consider reasonable accommodations for students who experience unforeseen delays in voting". Read the Provost's full message to faculty here.
  • MSA is sponsoring TurboVote, a one-stop service to help students register to vote and to provide them with voter information. Please direct students to this site or the Secretary of State's website. Students will receive many reminders to vote through the Undergrad Update, MyU and targeted emails.
  • Students living on campus will receive additional information through Housing and Residential Life.
  • The deadline to pre-register to vote in Minnesota is Tuesday, October 18. Students may also register or update their registration at their polling place on Election Day if they are a U.S. citizen, as long as they can provide proof of residence. Current U of M students can use their UCard and Billing Statement, as long as their address is current.

Thanks for supporting students' participation as active citizens.


Kate Eloranta, Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

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

Housing in APLUS:

  • Residence hall staff often learn what's happening in a student's life before anyone else on campus. The Housing Contract Release form will now be connected to APLUS, and the reasons indicated by the student on the form will generate a tag in APLUS, as well as a notification to the advisor. The committee continues to review this process and identify if any of these reasons should be elevated to an alert or warning.

APLUS Training:

  • Training sessions are up and running for new advisors. Future sessions will be opened up to continuing advisors, with priority given to new advisors.

Development updates:

  • The subject field in an email must be populated, or it will trigger an error message.
  • You can now copy/paste a recipient list from Excel directly into the mass email interface.
  • Coordinators can now manage web scheduling filters for their unit(s).
  • Emails sent via mass email will happen at a rate of 25/minute to avoid triggering any Google errors.

Policy and Practices Group

Angela Bowlus, College of Liberal Arts

Earlier this year a workgroup was convened to discuss the Leave of Absence (LOA) policy and process, because there were inconsistencies in how LOA was applied, and important financial aid considerations 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 Group to review and recommend changes. After several months of discussions, the following recommendations will be put into effect as of Spring 2017:

  • New student-facing website language on One Stop:
    • Update Withdrawing from the University Checklist to 'Withdrawing and Leave of Absence Checklist.'
    • Create new dedicated One Stop page to 'Taking a Leave of Absence.'
  • Move the LOA Form from One Stop to the Advising Toolkit. Students will need to consult with their advisor/advising office to receive and complete the form if it is appropriate.
  • Instructions and best practices for processing LOA and RLOA in PeopleSoft will be in the Advising Toolkit.
  • 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 student has not returned after four terms (Fall/Spring), the student will be automatically discontinued. Resources referenced above will be available online by the end of Fall 16.

Direct questions to Angela Bowlus,

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,

Registration season is just around the corner, and it becomes challenging for advisors to make time for their own well-being. Please take a moment to share a tip or practice that you use to promote personal well-being.

Submissions will be shared in the November Advising Update.

Share your tips >>

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

Jessica Thompson

College of Education and Human Development,

Jessica joined CEHD as an academic advisor. Jessica is an alum of CEHD as a former Youth Studies major and former TRIO Ronald E. McNair Scholar. She was previously an Academic Advisor at Central Michigan University working with TRIO Upward Bound.

Financial Support Available

Charissa Blue-Downs

College of Liberal Arts,

Charissa comes to the U of M after working for the American Indian Cancer Foundation and at Metropolitan State University as Upward Bound Coordinator and Assistant to the Dean of Students. She has an extensive background working with American Indian and multicultural populations. Charissa will be serving as an advisor in the CLA MLK Jr. Program in the Dept. of African-American & African Studies.

Claire Drevis

Jen Callinan

College of Liberal Arts,

Jen joined CLA Advising in April 2016 after serving as the Student Advising Coordinator in the Center for Allied Health Programs (CAHP). Jen is working with the Johnston Hall advising team.

Claire Drevis

Melanie Johnson

College of Liberal Arts,

Melanie will be serving as an MLK Jr. Program Advisor and Dept. Advisor for African-American & African Studies. Melanie recently re-located to the Twin Cities from Lima, Ohio where she served as an Academic Advisor at James A. Rhodes State College. Melanie has unique professional background working in higher education, non-profit work in the area of affordable housing and serving homeless populations, and community organizing.

Claire Drevis

Natasha Pelovsky

College of Liberal Arts,

Natasha recently joined CLA Student Services as an academic advisor located in Johnston Hall. Natasha comes from Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) where she served as an advisor.

Claire Drevis

Jake Rudy

College of Liberal Arts,

Jake transitioned from CSE advising to the College of Liberal Arts, where he has joined the Johnston Hall advising team.

Claire Drevis

Lisa Thomas

College of Liberal Arts,

Lisa comes to the U after managing her own business assisting students in applying to college. Lisa joins the CLA Advising team in Bruininks Hall.

Claire Drevis

Holly Twiford

College of Liberal Arts,

Holly also joins the CLA Advising team in Bruininks Hall. She hails from Century College where she worked in advising.

Claire Drevis

Molly Bauman

College of Science and Engineering,

Molly joined CSE Academic Advising after working at Central College in Iowa.

Claire Drevis

Kelly Deutschman

College of Science and Engineering,

Kelly joined the CSE Academic Advising office in late September. In addition to her role as an academic advisor, Kelly will be focusing on the CSE International Student Experience.

Claire Drevis

Claire Tomczak

College of Science and Engineering,

Claire earned her Master's degree at the University of Minnesota. She most recently worked as an advisor at Walden University and is excited to be back on campus.

2nd Annual Workshop: Focusing on Student Mental Health

Student Success Conference

Tate Conference