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 during spring 2020 through spring 2021 that is prerequisite for admission.

Academics: Policy Updates

Grade Basis Changes
Students are able to change their grade basis between A-F and S/N throughout the spring 2021 term. A change grade basis link has been added to the top of One Stop's Dates and Deadlines page, which links to change grade basis page. On May 1, the window for students to do this themselves will close, and a link to a form will go live on One Stop Student Services’ website. Students will be able to use this form to request grading basis changes until May 24.

S/N Policy Updates
Facts about the S/N policy changes for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 are available on the fact sheet. The revised S/N grading scheme will continue to apply for summer 2021. Planning for summer includes the continuation of 6-feet physical distancing and mask requirements.

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

Updated Guidance on Spring 2021

ISSS created a new student group called “IPAN” (short for “international pandemic”) that has been added to the PeopleSoft and APLUS record of any student who planned to take courses for spring semester while outside of the United States. 

ISSS has also updated our format for answering international student frequently asked questions regarding Spring 2021. In a change from last semester, we are now dividing documents based on the location of where the student will be studying (inside vs outside the U.S.). Each of these documents includes information for both new and continuing students:

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

Academics: Learning Abroad Planning

We are offering study abroad programs for Spring 2021 and future academic terms 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.