COVID-19 Updates for Advisors and Staff

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Academics: Admissions & Transfer

Advising Students through ICT/IUT Transfer
For advisors navigating students through the Change of College process, this document outlines the policies on S/N grading for coursework taken spring 2020 through summer 2021 that is prerequisite for admission.

Academics: Policy Updates

Grade Basis Changes
For Spring 2021, students can no longer change their grade basis themselves between A-F and S/N in MyU. From May 1 to May 24, students can instead submit a form on the change grade basis page. On May 25, students must submit an Academic Policy Petition, which will be reviewed by the student’s college. An advisor guide containing the overall timeline, information, and screen shots is available. The revised S/N grading scheme will continue to apply for summer 2021. 

S/N Policy Updates
Facts about the S/N policy changes for Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 are available on the fact sheet

Students who changed their grading basis from A-F to S/N or who had an F automatically converted to an N should expect to see an effect on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  In most cases their SAP status and eligibility for aid didn't change, but in almost all cases the GPA used for SAP purposes is now lower than their official U of M GPA. This is because their initial grade (e.g., F) is used to compute their SAP GPA. Advisors:

  • can expect to receive questions about why the student's official GPA does not match the GPA shown on SAP pages. 
  • may see more SAP suspended students requesting SAP appeals.

FERPA & Virtual Advising Appointments
Please visit FERPA Guidance for COVID-19 on the FERPA resources website for guidelines regarding student privacy during remote advising appointments. Look for the heading ‘Virtual Advising Appointments’ to find information about advising practices, processes, and communication.

Academics: International Students

Fall 2021

ISSS has published a webpage for Fall 2021 information including links to new Frequently Asked Questions (e.g. travel restrictions, visa information, national interest exception, etc.). Please encourage your international students to regularly check the ISSS Fall 2021 webpage and FAQs as we update content weekly. We are also sharing these updates with currently enrolled international students via our Weekly Update email newsletter.

IPAN Student Group

The IPAN tag is a self-reported data point for students who reported studying while outside of the U.S. for spring 2021. IPAN tags will be removed and new IPAN data will be applied in early June. Once it has been refreshed, it will be an indication of a student’s plan for fall 2021. 


Academics: Delivery Methods

Classroom Practices for Teaching
Refer to this Academic Planning FAQ webpage developed to respond to questions about instruction.

Schedule Builder
Schedule Builder is updated to allow searching by modalities. Check out “Delivery Formats” under the Class Search function.

Academics: Learning Abroad Planning

We are offering May 2021, Summer 2021, and future academic term study abroad programs with additional health precautions and modified course delivery as needed. We are also encouraging students to do parallel planning for a semester here on campus should their program abroad ultimately not be allowed to run. If a program is cancelled, students will be notified via email and a note about the cancellation will be added to the program web page.

More information on health and safety planning and parallel academic planning can be found on our COVID-19 Updates & Policies web page.

  • Service delivery options for many campus services, such as academic advising, career services, etc. are highlighted here. Remote contact information is located here.
  • Emergency funds are available to support students who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency, for example those related to the COVID-19 public health emergency expenses (unfortunately DACA/undocumented and international students are not eligible).
  • A new rental assistance program, RentHelpMN, has opened for applications, making it possible for low- and moderate-income renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020.

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Student Services: Mental Health & Wellness

Mental Health & Wellness Resources

Bias or Discrimination
If students are experiencing discrimination or bias related to race, national origin, or other protected identity on campus due to recent events, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. The Bias Response and Referral Network also provides support and resources to impacted individuals

Behavioral Consultation Team
If you have a student that you have more imminent concern about, please continue to use the online Referral form (Care/BCT). Please use these initial steps to follow up with students that are not responding to University attempts at communication, attending online classes, and/or submitting course assignments. 

Student Services: Food and Housing Insecurity

Nutritious U Food Pantry
The Nutritious U Food Pantry is open, but with a few changes this semester. Students can complete an online food request form to pick up a bag of food

Care Program 
Advisors should use the refer for service functionality within APLUS when they have a student interested in learning more about mental health, food, or housing options.

Additional Advising Tips

Student Services: Financial Distress

Emergency Fund Request Process
If students contact you in financial distress, please make a referral through the APLUS referral process.  A referral category has been added within One Stop Student Services called ‘Emergency Funds.’ Students need to be enrolled to receive funding. Please include a detailed referral note providing what you know about the situation. 

We know students may need help with, but are not limited to, things like: assistance with food/rent, temporary housing, space to self-quarantine, loss of job/income, and technology equipment support (laptops, WiFi, etc.). Expenses related to tuition, housing, and dining plans may take longer to resolve as the University is looking at those more holistically.  For further information, refer to the Twin Cities Emergency Funding Overview.

Students can find information about emergency funds on the One Stop website.

Student Technology Help & Equipment Loaners

Equipment Loaners

Each college IT department can help students with technology issues including a limited number of equipment (ie laptops, webcam, and software) to loan for the semester.

  • Bring your U Card: Nearly all buildings require keycard access to enter, including student unions, buildings with classroom spaces, and residence halls.
  • See the Office of Classroom Management's classroom explanations, expectations, and guidelines.
  • Student groups can register and conduct events as long as they are in accordance with University and physical distancing guidelines.