Parent Home > News and Events > Email > Feb 29, 2012

Parent Email–February 29, 2012

  • IT Outage This Weekend
  • Survey of U of M Parents
  • Student Video Contest
  • From Undecided to a Major
  • Preparation for K-12 Teaching
  • Miscellaneous

What does campus look like today? What are students wearing as they confront one of the rare wintry days this season? The Walter Library webcam will tell you.

Log on to watch President Kaler's State of the University address tomorrow afternoon to hear his assessment of his first year as president and his plans for moving forward. Webstreaming of the president's address will be available at this weblink, and an archive of the address will be posted on that website in the future.

IT Outage This Weekend

Users will be unable to access One Stop self-service applications, including Parent/Guest access, from 6 p.m., Saturday, March 3, to 6 p.m., Sunday, March 4. The outage is part of an Office of Information Technology software and hardware upgrade for the Oracle databases that support the University's PeopleSoft system. For more information, see IT service outage.

Survey of U of M Parents

In our last email, we mentioned that we survey parents every two years as part of an assessment of the University Parent Program and to find out what parents are concerned about, what their students are concerned about, and who our parents are. Our 2012  Parent Survey is currently posted online.

We have had an impressive response so far, but we're seeing an issue that often occurs in parenting surveys--the vast majority of responses are from mothers. We currently have about 82% of survey-takers identifying themselves as mothers, and just 17% are fathers. We would greatly appreciate more paternal input! We would be grateful, sirs, if you would spend about 15 minutes responding to the 2012 Parent Survey. Please? And mothers are also encouraged to respond if you have not already done so.

What we've learned so far from the Parent Survey:

As we continue to look at parent responses and comments, we will address some of the things we're seeing.

  1. We messed up on one important instruction. We forgot to address the issue of families having more than one student at the U of M. For those who have multiple U students, please answer with your youngest student in mind. And we are very sorry we left that out.
  2. One of the questions that has come up multiple times is "How do students get a job at the University?" Several families mentioned their student qualified for work-study employment but does not yet have a job. Work-study, like any job, requires students to apply for employment. Students can find job listings online. Listings are updated continuously, so if there is no job that fits a student's interests or qualifications today, she or he should check again in a couple of days.

    Very often, students will simply fill out the online application and maybe include a very brief letter of application. Employers who receive multiple applications for a position will interview the students who spent some time explaining why they are interested in and qualified for the position. The more relevant information the applicant provides, the more likely they are to be hired. A well-written letter of application and a good resume, all put together with no spelling or grammatical errors, enhance the student's chance of being interviewed.

    Students who are not finding a job can visit their college career center to get help with writing a letter of introduction, putting a resume together, and practicing interviews.
  3. A number of parents mentioned their concern about their student finding off-campus housing for next year. While the University cannot recommend any specific off-campus options, there is a listing of off-campus housing near campus. Students also find information on housing options in the Minnesota Daily classifieds and on various apartment rental websites. We strongly recommend that students take their lease to University Student Legal Services before signing it. The USLS staff can review the lease for any irregularities or problems, and they may know of recent issues with the landlord or property.

    So, please respond to the parent survey! We are paying attention, and your input helps us understand where we are providing enough information, where we are giving you too much information, and where we need to improve. Thank you.

Student Video Contest

Students are invited to create a 3 minute video about the University Libraries by March 9. Judges include individuals from the George Lucas Foundation, National Geographic, and HGTV. Learn more...

From Undecided to a Major

Students who are "still exploring" a major, but getting close to 60 credits and don't have a final decision are invited to visit the Center for Academic Planning & Exploration. CAPE provides one-on-one coaching sessions to help you figure out your major options. The college career office is also a great resource for exploring majors within the college and related careers.

Preparation for K-12 Teaching

Students who are interested in licensure for teaching at the K-12 level can find information at


Our March Parent Question of the Month is already online. Please check it out.

In February, we asked parents where you would look for information about parenting a college student. The majority of parents said they would look online or call or email a friend or colleague.

If you are looking for information about how to support your U of M student, we have a LOT of information on the University Parent website! You also can email or call the University Parent office: or 612-626-9291.