2009 Advising Forum
2009 Advising Forum: Summary
As advertised, the Forum this year focused on individual meetings between LSA general advisor-liaisons and their respective academic departments. The big announcement, which you have already received, is that Major and Minor Releases can now be done through the Online Advising File (a.k.a. Online Student File). All academic departments are strongly encouraged to use the Online Advising File, including the new Release Form, the Audit Checklist, Exceptions, etc. The other significant change is to the Reference Manual, which this year includes a new section on the Academic Standards Board. Toni Morales, the Academic Standards Board’s Associate Director gave a brief overview of the Board’s function. The only other announcements were reminders about ongoing and/or in progress resources for department advisors and outreach from the Newnan LSA Advising Center:
- Brown Bag Series: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/facstaff/saa/initiatives (click on Roundtable Brown Bags; for last year’s topics look in the right-hand navigation towards the bottom).
- Working Group: a small group of LSA general advisors, department advisors, and staff working on issues related to how LSA Advising and the Academic Departments collaborate. Please contact me if you would like to be added as an observer in the Ctools site.
- Online Advisor Handbook, Departmental Advisors’ Section: in progress.
I hope that everyone enjoyed the chance to meet advising colleagues from across the College and that the individual discussions were productive. If you were unable to attend the Forum, a PDF version of the Reference Manual can be downloaded from our website, or if you send me a request, I can have hard copies delivered to you.
(The link to the PDF is at the bottom of the page.)
This year we are continuing the shift of focus of the Forum to provide the opportunity for department advisors and staff and our advising liaisons to touch base before the beginning of the semester. This will afford a chance to discuss any issues of immediate concern or import in the first few weeks of the semester, to look forward and begin planning for the year ahead, and to discuss any new developments on the horizon, whether curricular, policy, or programming. In this connection, a couple of issues that I hope many of you might choose to discuss are how we communicate and engage with faculty and instructors who are not advisors, and what students’ advising experience is when they declare their major.
For those of you who are new to the Forums, in addition to providing an overview of and announcing specific updates to a variety of advising tools and/or processes (e.g. the Online Advising File, Degree Audits, Major/Minor Declarations and Releases, etc.), they are also a valuable opportunity for advising staff across the College to talk with one another and share ideas about common issues, goals, and challenges. In this connection, on the agenda this year will be a discussion of the new Brown Bag series and Working Group and a solicitation of ideas for other types and modes of collaboration. The date, time, and location once again: Tuesday, August 25; 1:00-2:30pm; G421 Mason Hall (Perlman Honors Commons). (Perlman Honors Commons).
Transfer Credit guidelinesInformation for Students interested in earning UM Degree credit at another institution, including UM—Dearborn and UM—Flint
- Up to 60 credits may be transferred from other colleges and universities to count toward the 120 required for a UM degree. Two-year programs (community colleges) are an option for students who have fewer than 60 credits; once you have 60 credits we no longer accept cc transfer credit. Thirty of your last 60 credits must be taken in residence (on AA campus or a UM sponsored study abroad program). Note that all pre-health prerequisite courses should be elected at a four-year institution.
- Before you invest time and money in taking courses be sure the credit will transfer. You can check the web site for Transfer Credit Evaluation Out-of-Residence Curriculum Information (Transfer Credit Equivalencies) or request a pre-evaluation from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (Student Activities Building). An on-line form for requesting pre-evaluation can be found at: https://www.ugadmiss.umich.edu/TCE/Student/CT_TCEForm.aspx. These resources will tell you if a course will transfer, but how the credit will work in your degree is more complicated.
- If the credit is "non-transferable" then don't take it unless you are interested in the subject for your own purposes; "departmental" credit indicates it is affiliated with a specific department but does not match a UM course; and as a specific course number. In order to have credits included in your major you must discuss this IN ADVANCE with a department advisor. The language requirement may not be fulfilled out of residence unless you have prior written permission from the appropriate language department.
- When the course is completed arrange for an official transcript to be sent to Undergraduate Admissions, Student Activities Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316. Grades of "C" or better will be evaluated for transfer, but the grade will not appear on your transcript (unless you attend UM—Flint or UM—Dearborn where the grade will transfer as well).
- Many colleges and universities in the state of Michigan require a guest or visitor application available from the Registrar's Student Service Office at 1210 LSA Building.
Michigan Uniform Guest Application: http://www.macrao.org/Publications/MichiganUniformGuestApplication.pdf
TIPS FOR DEPARTMENT ADVISORS:
In the online Student File, there is a new “Major Releases” module under the “ Contents” menu.
You can add a new major or minor release and view existing ones for a student.
When completing a new release form:
- The Adv Office/Advisor dropdown selections will default to you, the current user. If you are a staff person, you may submit a release in behalf of an advisor by changing the selection.
- Non-LSA Program information is displayed so that you can easily identify dual degree students and students pursuing teaching certificates.
- You can select one of the student’s currently active plans (major or minor) by clicking the radio button in front of it. The information will be copied to the Program/Plan/Subplan text fields. If you don’t see the plan you need in the radio button list, this means the student is NOT officially declared. You may type the information into the text fields, but you’ll want to find out why the relevant plan is not active for the student.
- Regarding the question “IS THIS A RELEASE FOR AN HONORS CONCENTRATION?”
o If a minor is selected from the list of active plans, then the response is automatically set to No and can’t be changed (since there cannot be an Honors Minor)
o If a plan with an HONORS subplan is selected, then the response is automatically set to Yes and can’t be changed.
o If a plan for the major with no HONORS subplan is selected, then you must select a Yes/No response. If you choose Yes, you’ll want to find out why the Honors Plan does not have an active HONORS subplan in MPathways.
- Regarding the selection for “DIRECT RELEASE TO THE FOLLOWING AUDITING OFFICE:”
o SAA, RC or HONORS is selected automatically for department users. Auditors office users will be able to re-route releases if appropriate.
o If the student has an active “URC” career (rare) or “RESCO” plan, the release is routed first to RC (including Honors Plan releases).
o If the student has any active “HONORS” plan or “SUBPLAN”, or you have indicated that the form is an Honors Release, the release is routed first to Honors.
o All others will be routed first to SAA.
- You can use the Save and Cancel buttons.
- Once you’ve saved a new release form, a copy of it will be emailed to the student automatically.
- Once you’ve saved a new release form, you will not be able to edit it. You must create a new release form if any of the information in it must change (such as required classes). Only Auditors Office users have access to edit or delete release forms directly.
A list of all submitted releases will be displayed in the Student File. The Auditors Office will mark a release “Received” once it has begun the release review. “Not Yet Received” or “Received” will be displayed for each release.
Only Auditors Office users can edit or delete releases, but all users can open the Printable View. The “AUDITORS OFFICE ONLY” processing section will be visible after a new release is saved. This will include the Received status, last change information and Auditors Office notes.
An Activity Log record is created when a new release is saved and when a release is deleted by the Auditors Office.
Whenever possible, please use the available drop-down menu to select the student’s major (unless the student has not yet declared), rather than typing in the major. This will generate the official number of the student’s field of the major (it will look something like “4050ABLSA History BA”). If you do have to enter the major manually, please indicate whether the student is pursuing the BA or BS, as this makes a difference to the person entering the exception.
The exceptions window doesn’t offer much room to write a long narrative, and is really just the place to post the details about the exception being granted. Please be sure your entry includes the following:
- Name/description of the requirement (e.g. “Two courses in pre-1830 literature;” “Modern Algebra” “Chinese Second Year Language”)
- The course that will count, (e.g. “STDABRD 486”; “MATH 513”) or the reason the requirement is being waived or changed (“Waived due to Placement Exam”)
- The term, credit hours, and grade (if course already completed) associated with the course being permitted (e.g. “STDABRD 486 in W06, 4 hrs, A-”)
This is especially important for Study Abroad courses!
- If students typically can only fulfill the requirement using one or two courses, include the number of the course that usually fills the requirement:
E.g. “Biology Prerequisites: I approve EEB 320 instead of BIOLOGY 162”
If you run out of room when writing an exception, please find a way to shorten your description. Adding a second entry makes it more difficult for others to determine whether one or two exceptions have been granted. The explanation behind the exception belongs in the “contact notes” portion of the E-File, not in the Exception entry box. For example, the contact notes might read:
Susan did a Study Abroad in Paris this past winter semester and took a course on Parisian History which I am allowing to count for her European History Requirement.
And the related exception might read:
One course in European History: STDABRD 342.005, W06, 4 hrs, B+ is approved to meet this requirement.
Extra Credit: The R.O. has created outlines for each major which specify the specific group and line numbers that each major requirement has been assigned. If you have one and you feel comfortable doing so, you can use it to specify the line numbers that you wish the exception to be made.
e.g. , to count a class for pre-1830 literature for English Majors, the exception might look like this:
“Transfer credit course ENGLISH 301X in F06 approved for pre- 1830 requirement (RG 713, RQ 1942, LN 0020).” (See example outline on reverse)
Exception outlines can be requested from the Office of the Registrar or via your department’s student services staff.
Reference Manual for Departmental/Program Advising Staff
The LSA Advisor Handbook contains information for all advising fuctions, general and major/departmental alike.
If you are a department advisor and would like access to the LSA Advisor Handbook, email email@example.com and we will add you in.
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