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Monday, November 20, 2017

Twin Cities updates (November 2017)

Expected Graduation Term (EGT) project
In order to further support the University’s progress toward degree efforts, a project is underway to populate the expected graduation term (EGT). Beginning with the spring 2018 cohort, the plan is to populate EGT after the census date of the student's’ first term of enrollment. The EGT will be based on the student’s admit type. NHS admit types will have the EGT populated based on eight semesters, and the NAS admit types will have the EGT populated based on six semesters.

EGT can be manipulated by the college up until the time the degree checkout status is changed to “applied.” ASR will add the degree checkout status of “applied” when the student has achieved 75% of their degree progress. Once degree status is updated to “applied” students who need to change EGT can request a change. Questions on this project should be sent to Adrienne Bricker.

Transfer Evaluation System (TES) project and Transferology
The TES project is implementing a web-based workflow to help incoming Twin Cities transfer students understand how their courses fit into their degree plan earlier in the transfer process. Students and prospective students will be able to submit courses for review on the Twin Cities’ admissions website, or explore and search for courses that have already been reviewed through Transferology—an online transfer credit database.

This project will increase the number of direct course-to-course equivalencies and elective equivalencies by systematically routing courses to departmental faculty for review. The outcomes of these reviews will be transparent in Transferology and will articulate automatically upon transfer. This efficiency and consistency will help improve the transfer student experience.

Many advisors have already attended or are planning to attend training sessions on Transferology and Transferology Lab. Advisors will use both of these products to serve students and monitor courses in the TES workflow. The project team is meeting with colleges to identify departmental evaluators and backups for each course designator—these staff will directly interact with the TES workflow. The project is planning to continually onboard faculty evaluators as they are identified, and the web page for students will be available in early January.

N/R N/R tuition proposal
At the October Board of Regents (BOR) meeting the Twin Cities Non-Resident, Non-Reciprocity (NRNR) proposed tuition increase for Twin Cities was discussed. The Regents would like the Twin Cities NRNR rate to fall somewhere in the middle of the Big 10. The current proposal is for a 15% tuition increase for each of the next two years 2018-19, and 2019-20. More discussion is expected at December’s BOR meeting.

Big Ten Alliance Military/Veterans Conference
This year’s Big Ten Academic Alliance Veterans Conference was held at the Ohio State University from October 2-5. Representatives from veterans services offices from all Big Ten schools attended, with Jabra Kawas from One Stop and University Veterans Services attending on behalf of the U of M.

The conference provided a forum for veterans services staff to discuss issues pertinent to student veterans in higher education. Highlights included a legislative affairs update by the OSU VP for Government Affairs, a tour of the OSU Military/Veterans Office and Veterans Lounge and campus, and open discussion forums for school representatives. Hosting duties for this conference rotate each year between all Big Ten partner institutions, with the University of Minnesota scheduled to host in 2025 and 2038.

11th Annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day
The 11th annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day event was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in the Great Hall in Coffman Union. Festivities started at 11 am and concluded at 1 pm, with pizza, pop, games, an information fair, therapy animals, and massages on the docket. This event was free and open to the public.

As in past years, University Veterans Services hosted a ‘Bridge Event’ on November 8 as a prelude to the Student Veterans Appreciation Day. Coffee and donuts were provided to those who were willing to stop at tables set up on the east end of the Washington Avenue Bridge and fill out a thank you note to military veterans. These notes were posted at the appreciation event.

ISSP Conference
The 2017 Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP) Conference took place on October 8-10 in Peabody, MA, and the theme was Integrating Student Services: Understanding and Exceeding Student Expectations.

Attendees from the University of Minnesota One Stop Student Services included, Julie Selander, Katie Johnson, Karen Magness-Pokornowski, Rick Zmudzien and Josh Geiger.

There were some very informative sessions, one of which focused on the idea of Service Recovery, which is the action taken by a service provider in response to service failure. Customer facing organizations inevitably need to provide Service Recovery to its customers on occasion. One Stop works to incorporate Service Recovery in interactions when the customer feels their expectations of service have not been met.

Josh Geiger and Julie Selander also provided a breakout session focused on One Stop’s training model. The breakout provided information on what content is covered in training, the teaching methodologies used, as well as assessment tools and how One Stop seeks to build culture throughout our training program and beyond.

Staff News
  • One Stop Student Services recently welcomed 3 new counselors:
    • Mila Ly was formerly a CRR in the One Stop Office.
    • Jiksa (JT) Tafara brings with him financial aid experience from his role at Bethel University.
    • Jordan Steger comes to One Stop from the Orientation and First Year Programs office.
All 3 will be working out of the Bruininks Hall location and have begun training on their new roles.
  • Mee Vang, One Stop Student Services counselor, has been promoted to Student Supervisor/One Stop Counselor. Mee has been with One Stop 9+ years as a Counselor and, with this promotion, will now be adding the supervision of CRRs to her responsibilities.
  • Brittany Rams joins the Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP) within One Stop. After a 2 year absence living abroad, former One Stop Counselor Brittany Rams rejoined One Stop as the GSSP Coordinator.
  • Chris Abts, former GSSP Coordinator, has transferred to a business analyst position within ASR's Continuity and Compliance department.
  • Nathan Carlson joined the Destiny One team with a focus on the Canvas integration project.
  • Nate Meath returned to ASR on the Student Data and Analytics team focusing on the Student Success Analytics initiative.
  • Richard Balderrama joined the Campus Community/Shared Data team in ASR IT and is focusing on production support in order to allow other team members to devote more time to 9.2 Phase 2 Projects.
  • Andy Fields, formerly of the One Stop, joined the Student Financials team in ASR IT to assist with production support and testing while other BA’s work on their 9.2 Phase 2 projects.
  • Joe Baker joined the Office of Student Finance Fiscal team on October 4. Joe will be working on financial aid process and return of funds.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eleanor's update

We are already nearing the end of the calendar year, can you believe it? It seems like October was the month for conferences—take a look at the variety of events staff from across the system have participated in this past month. Maybe you’ll see a conference that will inspire you to get involved. You’ll also see that many projects are moving along and closing in on solutions to improve our service for students.

Sue's update

While we have had challenges with various systems going amuck this term, the Office of Information Technology continues to find ways to improve. I realize it has been a difficult term for all of us—students, faculty, and staff. I continue to seek proactive approaches so these inconveniences do not occur often.

The University took the snapshot for the 2017 graduation numbers on October 31 in order that the four-, five-, and six-year cohort numbers can be presented to the Regents at the February meeting. The numbers will become public at that point. In previous years, these were released in December, but with the new format, Regent Omari pushed it to February. The release of graduation numbers is always an exciting time; we get to see if all our initiatives and hard work are drawing us closer to the Regents Progress Card.

I want to congratulate all of you for making the Campus Solutions 9.2 Technical Upgrade so successful. It is exciting to now be in Phase II of the project.

Campus Solutions 9.2 Upgrade: Phase II projects information

The Campus Solutions 9.2 Functional Upgrade (phase II) is actively working on the 15 different prioritized initiatives. Here are a few specific updates:


  • The Direct Deposit Set-up Improvements group has completed development and currently in its first testing round. Go live is December 17.
  • Escheatment Compliance is currently in development and also scheduled to go live in December.
  • After reviewing the technical analysis of the Payment Plan Improvements initiative, a contingency plan has been put in place that will push the delivery date out into the spring term.
  • The Duplicate ID Tool Enhancement and GPAS Exceptions Process groups are also entering the development cycle and currently on track for planned completion dates.

Thank you to all the stakeholders from all campuses for your continued support of the Campus Solutions 9.2 Upgrade. View the project site for more info.

ULearn transition

The University plans to retire the ULearn system for employee training registration and tracking and replace it with Canvas with an additional, new training portal. Content of online training courses will live in Canvas and registration and tracking will occur in the training portal. The training portal will be based on a custom-developed product developed by the Academic Health Center.

System-wide discussion about study abroad

More and more University of Minnesota students from across our system are exploring study abroad. Because of this, the study abroad and registrar staff met in late October to begin reviewing and sharing information on our current practices looking for ways to make the experience better especially as it applies to multi-institutional study abroad.

The meeting revealed several areas in which our processes aligned, as well as revealing areas in which we need to do more investigation. The group will continue to work on identified areas to clarify our understanding, document information, and improve the study abroad process for students.

BTAA conference

Sue Van Voorhis, Stacey Tidball, Carin Thoms, Emily Holt, and Adrienne Bricker attended the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) registrars’ conference held at Michigan State University. This was a wonderful opportunity to exchange practices and discuss issues relating to systems, policy, and compliance. Hot topics included gender identity and pronoun use in the SIS, one-time transcript/document fees, vendor relationships, and many others. This conference will be held in Minneapolis in October 2018.