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University of Minnesota Driven to Discover
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Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) May 2017


Financial Support Available

Advising Update Marks One Year

Katie Russell, Office of Undergraduate Education

The Advising Update is turning one! The Advising Update has grown to be actively read across campus with an open rate of 71.2%. Over the past year, the Advising Update featured articles on a range of topics including: tuition and financial aid, undergraduate policy, campus events (e.g. convocation, Undergraduate Research Symposium), committee updates (e.g. Advising Steering Committee, APLUS Advisory Committee), student support resources, and advisor professional development opportunities.

The first edition of the Advising Update was distributed in June 2016 with the goals of:

  • Enabling OUE to better support the vital work of academic advisors.
  • Serving as a means of communicating timely information to academic advisors.
  • Promoting awareness of initiatives that inform advising practice.
  • Providing an opportunity for advisors to share feedback on campus conversations and initiatives.

We in the Office of Undergraduate Education hope you are finding the Advising Update to be a valuable resource and source of information. Please share what you’ve appreciated about the Advising Update and what would make it better. Thank you in advance for your feedback!

Financial Support Available

Administrative Degree Clearance Procedure

Katie Russell, Office of Undergraduate Education

Over the past few months, the Administrative Degree Clearance Procedure has been reviewed and discussed by many across campus, including, but not limited to: the Advising Coordinators Group, the Advising Steering Committee, the Registrar’s Advisory Council, the Policy and Practices Group, and advising staff from across campus.

The revised procedure and FAQ’s are available online. Please don’t hesitate to contact Katie Russell ( or Rachel McKessock ( with questions about the procedure and specific student scenarios.

Financial Support Available

Completion Funds

Rachel McKessock, Academic Support Resources

If finances stand in the way of a student's degree progress, the University has funds available to assist students financially. Academic Support Resources (ASR) currently has money available in the form of "Completion Funds". While an ASR committee reviews each request on a case-by-case basis, priority is given to students who could get back on track for timely degree completion by registering for summer or who are ready to graduate this summer. Preference is also given to students who are struggling to pay off their spring 2017 balance and need to register for summer or fall.

As a reminder, please do not share with the student that these funds are available, as the best course of action may be to award other forms of financial aid.

If there are students you would like to nominate for completion funds, or if you have any questions about who would be a good candidate, contact ASR Student Degree Progress (

Financial Support Available

Advisor Training Update

Mark Bultmann, Office of Undergraduate Education

As the advising community ramps up for another busy summer, the Advising Training Work Group, a collaboration of undergraduate colleges and the Office of Undergraduate Education, has been planning two training events to help prepare advisors for new student orientation. To accommodate busy summer advising schedules, this year’s trainings have been shortened in length. In addition to the sessions described below, several the colleges are planning college-specific training.

If you have not already, please RSVP online for each training. It will be helpful to receive an RSVP even if you have committed to the training through your supervisor or your collegiate planning group.

  • June 1 | Focusing on New Entering Freshmen
    The first session will center on prep for new freshmen orientation.
    Date: Thursday, June 1, 8:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Location: Bruininks Hall 220
    If you have not already done so, please RVSP online by Thursday, May 25.

  • July 17. Focusing on Transfer Students
    The second session will focus on prep for transfer orientation.
    Date: Monday, July 17, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Location: Bruininks Hall 220
    If you have not already do so, please RSVP online by Wednesday, July 12.

In other training-related news:

  • Introduction to Advising on the Twin Cities Campus will continue to be offered each month.
  • The monthly New Advisor Workshops and the New Advisor Group will be on summer hiatus.
  • The Advising Events Calendar will continue to be updated throughout the summer. Check it regularly for upcoming events.
Financial Support Available

New Student Orientation

Lisa Gruszka, Orientation and First Year Programs

New Student Orientation for freshman begins on June 6 and for transfer students on July 18. We expect to over 14,000 visitors to campus this summer, so you will see many new students and their families on campus. As always, please offer help to those who look lost or even a friendly hello to those wearing a nametag as those small interactions can go a long way for our guests.

This summer we will be offering a University showing of Pieces of the Puzzle on June 2nd at 3:00 p.m. in Coffman Union Theater. Pieces of the Puzzle is the theatrical production shown each night to the first-year students. This 90-minute play discusses the transitional issues new students face including peer pressure, stress, mental health, diversity, and relationship violence. Please join the 2017 Orientation Leaders for this open performance. RSVP is not required.

We want to thank the more than 50 departments that devote their time each day to make New Student Orientation a success. The staff of OFYP thanks you!

APLUS Update

Colin Delong, College of Liberal Arts

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

  • Leave of Absence Alert
    Advisors will now receive an alert (instead of a notification) for a Leave of Absence: “Student on LOA - outreach required.” The alert will persist until the last day before the next semester; any note or contact will resolve this alert.

  • DUO opt-in update
    As of 5/4, only 12% of APLUS users have opted in for Duo Two-Factor Protection in APLUS. With phishing attacks on the rise, enabling Duo in APLUS is an easy way to protect yourself. To opt in, go to Preferences and check “Yes, enable Duo Two-Factor Protection”.

Incomplete Contract Working Group

Katie Russell, Office of Undergraduate Education

The Grading and Transcripts policy establishes that “the assignment of an I requires a written agreement between the instructor and student…” (section D number 2). While this policy undergoes review by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, a group of undergraduate college representatives gathered to explore how an incomplete contract can be required (and tracked).

The group agreed that a shared, University-wide contract for incomplete grades would be a positive step forward, and you are welcome to review the draft common contract. We are exploring options for making the contract available online.

The proposed process for an incomplete contract:

  1. An instructor initiates a contract for an incomplete grade (presumably after a conversation with the student).
  2. Student agrees to the contract.
  3. The contract is copied via email to the instructor and student. It is also filed in Perceptive Content in a drawer accessible by collegiate student services offices/academic advisors. There is interest in also making the contract available in APLUS.

Making incomplete contracts available to academic advisors would allow advisors to better support students who are awarded “I” grades. Please email Katie Russell ( with any feedback.

Leave of Absence Procedure (Policy and Practices Group)

Angela Bowlus, College of Liberal Arts
Brittany Dilling, College of Biological Sciences
Stacey Tidball, Academic Support Resources

The Leave of Absence Guidelines in the Advising Toolkit and the One Stop website have been updated to clarify that students may take classes at other institutions while on a leave of absence. Before taking a leave of absence, students should consult with One Stop Student Services to discuss financial aid implications, including how credits from another institution will impact aid upon their return.

As a reminder, the LOA form has been moved to the advising toolkit to prompt contact with an advisor before students take a leave. Advisors may meet with students to complete the form in person or email it to students in accordance with their college’s practice.

Please continue directing students to the withdrawing and leave of absence checklists for additional information to ensure a smooth transition. These checklists are found on the One Stop website under Academics >Take a leave of absence.

When a student is considering taking a Leave of Absence, advisors are encouraged to tag the student's file in APLUS with the ‘Intends to take a Leave of Absence’ tag. This will allow advisors to filter students and better track students who may be leaving campus.

Once a student has filed a Leave of Absence, the student's APLUS file will be updated from PeopleSoft. When entering the LoA in PeopleSoft, colleges are encouraged not to enter a RLOA term, unless the student is on an approved study program or coop. APLUS generates an alert for advisors six weeks into each term the student is on LoA to prompt outreach to the student and to begin the readmission process when the student plans to return.

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

Mary Maruggi

McNamara Academic Center for Student-Athletes (MAC),

Mary joined the McNamara Academic Center for Student-Athletes (MAC) advising staff in May after serving as the MAC’s Football Academic Intern for the past year. Mary has worked with a diverse group of students in regards to academic performance, class scheduling, and athletic academic eligibility.

Financial Support Available

Nicholas Racz

University Honors Program (UHP),

Nicholas joined the University Honors program advising office in April. Nick previously worked for over four years as an Academic Advisor at the University of Memphis. Prior to that role, he worked in various community mental health settings in Scottsdale, Arizona and Cedar City, Utah. He earned a Master of Arts in Counseling and Social Psychology from Ball State University.

Financial Support Available

Laura Rasmussen

Carlson School of Management (CSOM),

Laura will be joining the Carlson School’s advising team in June. Laura has been with the Carlson Undergraduate Program for 2 1/2 years as the Senior Front Desk Manager and is a recent graduate of the Comparative and International Development Education program in CEHD. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Family Social Science while working as a student employee in CEHD Student Services. Her love for Spanish culture and language led her to study a semester in Seville, Spain and she looks forward to returning there this spring to visit her host family.

Advisor Training: Focus on Orientation

Pieces of the Puzzle: University Showing

Freshman Orientation

Advisor Training: Focus on Transfer Orientation

Transfer Student Orientation