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Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) September 2016


Administrative Degree Clearance Procedure

LeeAnn Melin, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Student Initiatives, OUE
Susan Van Voorhis, Associate Vice Provost, Academic Support Resources and University Registrar

The updated procedure for Administrative Degree Clearance: Twin Cities is now available online and in the Advising Toolkit. This procedure was revised to align with the recently updated Promoting Timely Graduation by Undergraduates policy and in response to requests for clarification and FAQ's. The policy states that a student may be administratively cleared for graduation when all degree requirements are complete, regardless of whether or not the student has submitted an application to graduate. The procedure document outlines how administrative degree clearance is implemented. The procedure is designed to ensure compliance with the Promoting Timely Graduation by Undergraduates policy and to promote consistent application across the Twin Cities colleges.

As you know, the Regents have outlined goals for improving four and six-year graduation rates for UMTC. We continue to align policies and procedures to support these goals while taking into consideration student academic goals and the financial implications of delaying degree completion. Thank you for continuing to promote early student degree planning.

Student Degree Progress Tool

Eric Anderson, Academic Support Resources

Later this fall, the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will launch a new tool within MyU that helps undergraduate students better understand their degree progress and plan for four-year degree completion. 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 and University experience, to help guide them toward four-year degree completion. Multi-institution and transfer students are included. For this reason, students on system campuses may become aware of the new Degree Progress information.

Currently, the project team is gathering feedback from meetings with advisors and usability sessions with students. Communication efforts are ongoing for advisors and staff, and outreach to eligible students will begin in October.

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

Financial Wellness

Nate Peterson, One Stop Student Services

One Stop Student Services is now offering free, one-on-one sessions for currently enrolled students to discuss financial wellness. Counselors certified in Personal Financial Management are available for 30-45 minute conversations to discuss concerns regarding financial planning and education. Sample topics may include loan debt management, creating a spending plan, understanding credit, and setting financial goals.

Please keep this resource in mind as you meet with students throughout the academic year. To schedule an appointment, students should email (subject line: Financial wellness appointment). Appointments are typically scheduled 1-2 weeks in the future to allow the Counselor time to prepare.

For other financial wellness information, check out Facebook at or the One Stop Money Management website.


The Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) is celebrating the new academic year by promoting a new series of academic activities designed to Support, Engage, and Connect student leaders in higher education, and more information will be coming soon! MCAE is located in 174 Appleby Hall where a great team of academic consultants provide students with superb instructional support through coaching, training, and professional development activities!

MCAE focuses in eight major areas:

1) Academic Excellence
2) Alumni Making
3) Career Advancement
4) Civic and Community Engagement
5) Global Citizenship
6) Identity Development and Support
7) Leadership Development
8) Student Engagement.

Students that participate at MCAE, experience a unique student-driven culture under an inclusive atmosphere designed to foster and enrich multicultural understanding among all members of the community at the University of Minnesota. To receive additional information about MCAE please contact us at or send us an email at

MCAE is starting the academic year by welcoming two professional leaders:

Financial Support Available

Heather Lou, MCAE Assistant Director

Heather comes to the U from the University of California, Davis where she worked as the Assistant Director of Outreach for the Women's Resources and Research Center. Heather focused her work in California on supporting queer and transgender students of color navigating and preventing violence, STEM pipeline and retention programming, multi-faceted assessment, and strategic planning.

Financial Support Available

Caleb Hicks, Multicultural Associate for the Writing Center

Caleb received his diploma in linguistics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2015, where he worked on grammatical properties of indigenous North American languages and language contact in South Asia. His time working closely with underrepresented language and cultural groups has fostered a deep passion for advocating for human diversity in all its forms.

The U of M at NACADA

The NACADA Annual Conference is October 5-8, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. This year's theme is ATL: Advising to Learn. Conference attendance provides a great opportunity to develop as an advising professional and also to share about the exceptional work happening at the University of Minnesota.

Presentations being prepared by our University of Minnesota colleagues include:

"Contingency Planning Prior to 'Crisis Mode'"
Meagan Hagerty (CSE), Jacob Rudy (CSE), Sarah Maddox (Colorado State University)

Academic advisors, especially in the pre-health fields, often need to have difficult conversations with students who don't have the academic qualifications to pursue their intended major or career. Because it takes more than academic ability to be successful, advisors also work with highly qualified students who do not have the requisite "other" skills (i.e. a student who wants to be a nurse, but is squeamish around blood).

Given the delicate nature of these conversations, advisors need to be equipped to assist students in managing the emotions that often arise. We are asking students, maybe for the first time, to consider a shift in goals because they are underqualified. How can advisors best support these students as we assist them in finding a new path? How do we promote parallel planning as a positive experience for students, not a "second choice" or "plan B"? This presentation will provide relevant research on parallel planning, tools for advisors to use in advising appointments, and discuss strategies and best practices for effectively advising students who are not able to pursue their initial academic path.

"Factors that Influence the Career Adaptability of Division I Student-Athletes"
Nikki Letawsky Shultz (CBS)

Although a high proportion of student-athletes aspire to play professional sports, fewer than two percent of student-athletes will participate in sport beyond college (NCAA, 2012). It is critical that student-athletes develop the skills necessary to successfully transition into the world of work. This study explores the relationships among identity development, motivation, role conflict, and career adaptability for Division I student-athletes. Career adaptability, the skills and competencies necessary to navigate work responsibilities and transitions over one's lifespan (Savickas, 2005). Understanding the relationships among athletic identity, academic motivation, role conflict, and career development will provide insight for athletic department, academic advisors and career services staff when creating programs and interventions to facilitate student-athletes' successful transition beyond college.

"Data-Driven Advising Administration: Getting Started"
Stefanie Wiesneski (CBS)

Advising administrators have unprecedented access to data: institutional databases, electronic advising records and notes, program assessments, satisfaction surveys, institutional surveys, national surveys, and more. How can administrators use data to both improve the student learning experience as well as increase unit efficiency and effectiveness? This presentation will focus on small and manageable reporting to make everyday decisions in advising units. Participants will acquire skills in basic analysis, as well as engage in brainstorming small data projects that can be implemented upon return to campus.

New Training Initiative

Mark Bultmann, Office of Undergraduate Education

The new advisor training program is set to launch! The Advisor Training workgroup, in cooperation with the Advising Coordinators Group (ACG) and the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) is rolling out an enhanced training program that will support the work of our entire undergraduate advising community. The fall 2015 Academic Advising Task Force recommendations provided the impetus for the training initiative, and OUE is providing additional budget and staff support.

Working cooperatively across campus, the work group has been building a training package that is proactive and sustainable. The program will leverage efficiency and effectiveness by creating and sharing resources common to advising. It also respects the unique nature of colleges and complimentary advising units, recognizing their responsibility to manage training for services and programs unique to the college or unit. The initiative will rely heavily on campus leaders, local resources, and local experts for content and delivery.

The initial focus will be on training activities for advisors new to the University. There will be activities added soon for continuing advisors and advising leaders as well. The centerpieces of the new advisor training will include:

  • An overview of advising on the Twin Cities campus.
  • Training modules for APLUS.
  • Workshops focused on navigating students to campus services and resources.

Selected sessions will be videotaped and made available online. A full calendar of activities is being developed and will be shared soon. For the initial launch the training team will be working with college and unit advising leaders to identify the new staff to participate in training events. Anyone new to an advising role in an academic department that is not directly affiliated with a college or central advising team should contact Mark Bultmann at for updates and information about the schedule. In the near future we plan to make some seats available in the training sessions for any interested staff.

New ASR Website

Matt Tveter, Academic Support Resources

A redesigned Academic Support Resources (ASR) website was recently launched. The new ASR website hosts information on training, support resources, ASR departmental contacts, and links to applications managed by ASR.

The URL for the website remained the same, but internal links did change. This means you may need to update any bookmarked pages you have from the old ASR website.

Please take a few moments to watch this short introduction to the new ASR website or visit the website:

Academic Advising Network

Jessie Behr, AAN Co-Chair,
Kyle Quagliana, AAN Co-Chair,

The AAN Board officially welcomed its new members in July! The board is very excited for this upcoming year, and is looking forward to continuing to build on the successes of last year. Professional development (PD) sessions will begin in September with the Tate Showcase Session presentation of "Rites of Passage: Academic Impact of Military Duty on Korean International Students" (presented by Xi Yu, Anny Lin, and Jun Seok (Nick) Lee) on September 22nd at 9:00am in 3-210 Keller Hall. As more PD sessions and dates are finalized, they will be sent out via the AAN Listserv.

The Board is also in the process of piloting an advisor mentor program and will host informal events in addition to the professional development sessions; you can look forward to more coffee hours/open houses and brown bag discussions this year! If you have any questions about AAN, feel free to reach out to this year's co-chairs, Jessie Behr (CSE) and Kyle Quagliana (MAC).

Advising Steering Committee

LeeAnn Melin, Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

The Advising Steering Committee recently identified its top priorities from the Advising Task Force recommendations. Over the next year, the committee hopes to make progress on the following:

  • Address the needs of cross-college students and transitioning students including ICT, IUT and students returning from suspension. A committee will be formed to take on this topic and make recommendations.
  • Continue to enhance and support APLUS as the primary advising tool.
  • Advance initiatives that support advising as relational, accessible, holistic, inclusive, intentional and proactive, with a specific focus on equity work for underrepresented students.
  • Continue to create common service standards across all advising models. This includes ensuring consistency with university-wide policies and practices as well as minimum service expectations relating to student progress.
  • Provide transparent, accessible and easy to understand degree requirements and advising-related resources and information. Continue to invest in centrally coordinated advisor training and professional development.
  • OUE invested resources for advisor training this year and the committee hopes to create a sustainable training model.

In addition, we are working with the advising community and the Office of Human Resources to promote an equitable advisor experience and develop clear pathways for career progression in the academic advising classification. This focus, along with the recruitment and retention of diversity within professional advising staff, is a must-do task for the steering committee.


Kate Eloranta, Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

Over the summer, the APLUS Advisory Committee, Functionality Working Group, and development teams have focused on the changes described below.

APLUS/Moodle Pilot:

  • Participating colleges will begin receiving alerts based on Moodle data as early as the week of September 18. For the past year, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Biological Sciences have participated in a pilot that alerted academic advisers if - based on data from Moodle - one or more of their advisees earned poor grades in their assignments or hadn't logged into the course site over the preceding two week window.

    The pilot has been expanded for fall 2016, but only login-based alerts will be generated for colleges other than CLA and CBS. Duluth: APLUS is now live in Duluth, starting small with access to professional advisors, then branching out in the future to faculty advisors.

Administrative section update:

  • The "Staff/Faculty" tab was recently updated to include additional functionality for coordinators, including the ability to filter by unit, role, and system usage. Additional updates to the other tabs are forthcoming, including the ability the manage contact purposes, tags, alerts, warnings, and more.

Mass email:

  • During our last functionality working group meeting, it was brought to our attention that some users would send a mass email without personalizing the message based on the recipient's information. We have now added a warning that will show up if the system detects that the body of the email appears to be the same for all recipients.

Katie Russell, Office of Undergraduate Education

The Advising Toolkit has been updated to include a current list of the 2016-2017 Directors of Undergraduate Studies and the Administrative Degree Clearance Procedure.

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.

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

Charles Crain

Center for Allied Health Programs,

Charles joined CAHP in July 2016 as the Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator. Most recently Charles served in an Assistant Registrar role at Saint Catherine University.

Financial Support Available

Jim Jacobson

Center for Academic Planning & Exploration (CAPE),

Jim is joining CAPE as a new Part-Time CAPE Coach for the 2016-2017 academic year. Jim's primary role on campus is as an Academic Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts.

Claire Drevis

Aya Maruyama

Center for Academic Planning & Exploration (CAPE) and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS),

Aya most recently served as an Academic Advisor in the College of Biological Sciences. In her role as a CAPE coach, Aya will be focusing on the International Student Experience and will be splitting her time between CAPE and ISSS.

Hold calendar time for the 2nd Annual Workshop: Focusing on Student Mental Health.

Date: Friday, December 16, 2016
Time: 8:00 am to 12:00 noon
Location: McNamara Alumni Center
Intended Audience: Advisors and student support staff

The workshop will provide insight and resources for supporting student individual identities as they intersect with mental health issues. Invitations and more complete details will be sent in mid-November.

The workshop is offered by the Advisor Training workgroup, in cooperation with the Advising Coordinators Group (ACG) and the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE).