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Parent Email—June 2, 2011

  • New Design for Parent Website

  • Change in One Stop Parent/Guest Access

  • Summer Music Festival at Northrop (SMFN)

  • Tutoring Opportunities for Recent Grads

  • Orientation for New Students and Parents

  • Miscellaneous

Orientation for incoming students and their parents begins next week. This year's orientation leaders are finishing up their training and busily stuffing folders in preparation for the more than 5,000 new students who will be introduced to campus this summer. For the next few days, the Northrop Mall webcam will show a quiet campus, but a week from now, you're likely to see more activity--and a lot of groups being led by maroon-and-gold-clad orientation leaders.

New Design for Parent Website

Last week, the University of Minnesota launched a new look for several websites, including the Parent Program. The University's homepage now has a more direct link for parents, and the Parent Program site has been reorganized and redesigned. The previous design dates back many years, and as we have added more content over time, the organization of our information became more challenging. We're hoping the new look and format will allow families to find information quickly and answer the questions you're most likely to be asking.

Please take a look at the new page and let us know how it works for you. Our June Question of the Month is actually a short survey, asking for your input on the website. We would very much appreciate your thoughts about the site and its organizational structure.

Change in One Stop Authorized Payer and Parent/Guest Access

The University of Minnesota's online payment process is changing and your parent/guest access may be affected. The authorized payer profiles within UM Pay expired in late May. To continue your access to view and pay bills online, your student will need to grant you access to the "Student Account" through Parent/Guest Access. If you currently have Parent/Guest Access, you can review your guest settings by logging in on One Stop. If you do not currently have access, please contact your student to initiate the Parent/Guest Access invitation process. Read an overview to learn more about what is changing or to find contact information.

Tutoring Opportunities for Recent Grads

Two Minnesota-based AmericCorps programs (Minnesota Reading Corps and Math Corps) are recruiting for tutoring positions for university graduates. For more information, see www.joinReadingCorps.org or www.joinMathCorps.org.

Summer Music Festival at Northrop (SMFN)

Northrop Concerts and Lectures presents SMFN, a free outdoor summer concert series featuring local and U of M bands. Curated by guest artistic curator Grant Cutler, an energetic Student Advisory Committee, Northrop Concerts and Lectures, and Student Unions & Activities, this series brings an eclectic sampling of some of the best of the Twin Cities musicians to campus. For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit the Northrop website.

Miscellaneous

Each month we post a polling question on our website. The question for May asked parents about their contact with the U of M during spring semester. Unfortunately, a server problem meant that all data was not retained, and we're not able to provide definitive results. Nevertheless, of the 300+ responses we could record, the vast majority of parents said they did not contact the University on behalf of their students. Of those who did, most questions related to finances and billing. Our hope is always that students will address issues on their own, and the benefits they receive by taking on that responsibility help them meet University goals for student development outcomes. At the same time, we believe that there are times when parents may need to intervene--these include physical and mental health conditions, when the student is not able to make decisions on his or her own, and finances, when a student's situation can affect the family's finances.

Please keep in mind that the University is unable to provide specific information about academic records without the student's permission. Federal data privacy restrictions protect academic records; no one, not even parents, may have access to records unless the student grants approval. An online slide show (pdf format) explains Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for Parents of University of Minnesota Students.

Do not "reply" to this message. Please address any questions or comments to parent@umn.edu. As an email security measure, "Reply" messages are discarded without being read.

Sincerely,
Marjorie Savage
Parent Program Director
http://www.parent.umn.edu
612-626-9291
parent@umn.edu