AGNR Academic Advising FAQs

AGNR transitioned to an alternate operations model starting Tuesday, March 23, 2020, with faculty and staff working remotely. Physical access to campuses is limited. Classes resumed online on Monday, March 30. Below are FAQs to assist you with remote academic advising, information, and resources.  This is a living document.  Please email Dr. Eveyln Cooper (ecooper@umd.edu) if you have any questions or information you would like added to this page. 

Academic Support and Career Services

My student needs help in his calculus course. Are there free tutoring resources on campus?

Yes. A wide range of tutoring and support services can be found at https://agnr.umd.edu/academics/academic-support or tutoring.umd.edu. Most programs provide tutoring online.  As services are updated to online formats, the website will be updated.

What support is the University offering to help students cope with COVID-19?

The University Counseling Center is available to ensure that students are cared for during this time of uncertainty caused by COVID-19.  A schedule of services can be found at https://counseling.umd.edu/.

My student feels they have been the victim of hate-bias related to COVID-19. Where should I refer her for assistance?

Students should be referred to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Bias Incident Support Services.  More information can be found at https://diversity.umd.edu/training-education/bias/ , AGNR Academic Programs.  A range of resources and support offices can be found at https://diversity.umd.edu/news-events/statements/coronavirus/.

My students are in need of financial support to pay for rent and other needs. Is there any financial support available for students?

The UMD Crisis Fund has emergency funds for students. They are receiving new donations daily from alumni, faculty, staff, etc. Please share this link with any students who need funding during this difficult time. http://www.crisisfund.umd.edu/gethelp.html

Now that we are practicing “socially distancing” how will students meet with AGNR Career Services?

All in-person career advising will be converted to virtual appointments. Drop-in hours are suspended. Students may schedule individual virtual appointments through Careers4Terps.  Click on "Request a Career Advising Appointment" on the Careers4Terps homepage at https://umd-csm.symplicity.com/students/index.php?s=home.  Once the appointment is scheduled, the career advisor will reach out with additional information on how they will meet virtually (i.e. zoom, google hangouts, webex, phone, etc.). Contact Christina G. Farmer, AGNR Program Director for the University Career. cgfarmer@umd.edu

Encourage the use of LinkedIn Learning at https://linkedinlearning.umd.edu.  UMD students have free access to LinkedIn Learning, an online learning service that can help professionals learn a variety of skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. The Career Center has identified a few LinkedIn Learning Modules that can assist students in their career pursuits. https://careers.umd.edu/helpful-resources-and-information#overlay-context=helpful-resources-and-information

Students are concerned about social isolation. Are there academic resources to help them feel connected?

During this period of social distancing and remote learning, many of us are hearing from students with concerns about the risks of isolation, particularly when their schedules are unfixed and amorphous.On e resource that students may find helpful is a series of virtual study spaces that the Libraries have scheduled. These sessions give students the opportunity to come together online for dedicated study time, which may be beneficial in keeping them focused and connected to one another. You can find the information here: https://umd.libcal.com/calendar/events/?cid=2682&t=d&d=0000-00-00&cal=2682&ct=8176,8182

Technology

Aside from phone and email, what are some FERPA approved options for remote advising with your students:

1)  Google Hangout – to send and receive messages with one person or multiple people. https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3115553?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

2)  WebEx- To add conferencing to your calendar, install the WebEx Add-on from meetings and Personal Room meetings.

For more information on adding WebEx and Google Hangout to your Google suite, view this handy tutorial from Tim Hammond, AGNR IT Systems Analyst to assist you with your calendar and facilitating remote communication. (fast forward to 18 minutes)

Tech Tuesday WebEx and Google Hangout Tutorial https://umd.webex.com/recordingservice/sites/umd/recording/play/17a642fa8ea84b20b6d112adbf9a553e

3) Zoom is now available as an additional web conferencing system for UMD students, faculty, and staff. Zoom unifies web video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. To get started, go to the UMD Zoom website and sign in with your Directory ID and password. Your profile will be automatically created, and you may customize your preferences and settings. The website includes a link with video tutorials about how to use Zoom.  

Zoom is also integrated with ELMS-Canvas, but we recommend that you first configure your account/profile on the UMD Zoom website before you connect from inside ELMS-Canvas for the first time. If you get started from ELMS-Canvas, you may encounter unwanted errors. These documents explain how instructors and students can use Zoom integrated with ELMS-Canvas:

Instructor’s Guide to Zoom https://maestro.listserv.umd.edu/trk/click?ref=zvb24p867_2-17bwv7k-7-1f0ex321a1x06912&

Student Guide for Using Zoom in an ELMS-Canvas Course https://maestro.listserv.umd.edu/trk/click?ref=zvb24p867_2-17bwv7k-7-1f0ex321a2x06912&

 

How do I advise using my phone without students having access to my personal phone number?

A: You can block your number when you return a phone call.  It's fairly easy to block your number when making a call.  See below.

·         Blocking your number using Android

·         On your Android device, open the Voice app

·         At the top left, tap Menu. Settings.

·         Under Calls, turn Anonymous Caller ID On. If you want people to see your phone number when you call them, turn Anonymous Caller ID Off

 

Is it ok to record advising sessions or classroom lectures and sessions?

It is ok to record advising sessions and course lectures.  I encourage note-taking and documenting sessions in Advise on the Web for advising sessions in lieu of recording the session.  However, if you do record, you must inform students that you are recording advising sessions or classes. Consent is not required.

Pursuant to Maryland law, you must provide verbal and/or visual notification of recording at the beginning of any meeting or class to alert the participants that "this activity is being recorded." If a participant continues to participate after being notified that the activity is being recorded, their consent to recording is implied.  

Please make sure to include a statement in their updated materials if you are recording an advising session or class and that you announce this verbally at the beginning of each session/class to be recorded.

Can a parent or friend join in on a Zoom advising session if a student says it's ok during the session?

No.  Students must provide a FERPA Waiver to include a parent or any other person in a Zoom advising session.  You should promptly end and reschedule any session in which a third party attempts to participate. Request the student to complete a FERPA Release Form and reschedule the appointment.

How can advisors stay informed of any formation being shared with students?

AGNR Academic Programs will copy academic advisors on any information related to COVID-19 policy updates or information sent to AGNR students.  You can see communication from the university at https://umd.edu/virusinfo#communications.  To avoid overwhelming our students with emails, please do NOT forward or resend communications (via mass departmental mailings) from the University or AGNR.

My student needs a laptop and a hotspot. To which office or website should I refer them?

AGNR students should be referred to AGNR IT (Michael Lee) to apply and to get instructions/information.  Additional information can be found at the resources noted below.

Michael Lee, director of AGNR's Information and Education Technology (IET) unit has pulled together some helpful college support information that I've included below.

1.      IET recommends that our customers request support from the Information and Education Technology staff by submitting a work request using the AGNR IT Help Desk and Web Service Desk system accessible at https://jira.moo.umd.edu/servicedesk/customer/portals. You can also submit requests via e-mail by sending the details of your issue to agnrsupport@umd.edu. This will also create a request in the same system.

2.      Please be aware that keepteaching.umd.edu and keepworking.umd.edu are great resources for working remotely. They provide guidance on moving course content online as well as for instructions on UMD I.T. and phone services.

3.      We also want to let our customers know that all of the IET IT coordinators have forwarded their phones to their alternate work locations. They are reachable using the same contact numbers they use in the office.​

Additionally, if you run into students, faculty or staff who need software, equipment or other resources, refer them to this new website from DIT, which contains valuable information and resources.

https://it.umd.edu/tech-resources

Note: There are limited laptop resources.  If students cannot get a laptop, advise students to use their Smartphones and have them contact Michael Lee at agnrsupport.umd.edu AND copy Dr. Joe Sullivan, Associate Dean of AGNR Academic Programs, jsull@umd.edu on requests or other issues that may arise.  Michaels group will be the technical experts but Academic Programs will need the type and extent of problems that are being reported.

 

I am having challenges using Zoom and other technologies for my advising sessions and meetings. Who can help me?

You can always reach out to IET via email (agnrsupport@umd.edu). They will be posting updates about future training sessions at https://go.umd.edu/agnr-it-blog. You can get notifications about updates via email by clicking "watch this blog" in the upper right. They also plan to post some quick videos and posts about some tech tips for working from home. So if that's something you're interested in, check it out and click watch.

  • Schedule an Appointment at https://go.umd.edu/agnr-it-office-hours-calendar. Please try to put a short description of what you want to talk about in the description field.
  •  Install Zoom https://zoom.us/support/download
  • Open Zoom
  • Login to Zoom - Choose Login with SSO. Our SSO domain is umd.zoom.us.
  • When you're ready to meet with us go to https://go.umd.edu/agnr-it-office-hours
  • Someone should be with you shortly
  • If you are dropping in, you may have a longer wait

    Ideas of why you might want to join IET: 
  • What's this Zoom thing like?

  • My team is having trouble doing X remotely? What technology can we use to be more efficient?
  • My computer is acting funny
  • I want to teach my class like this, what are the best technologies to do that?
  • Any other kind of question that's not easily describable in an email

I need help planning my ELMS summer and fall online courses! Are their training available for faculty and staff?

Any faculty or staffer teaching a summer or fall course should register for the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center's (TLTC) ELMS Sprint Training course (4 Zoom two-hour sessions).  There are also two-hour webinars to help you more effectively use ELMS.  To view the schedule and register for a session, go to https://tltc.umd.edu/events/view . 

Academic Policies, Student Requests, and Exceptions to Policy

New Pass / Fail Grading for Spring 2020

All undergraduate courses in Spring 2020 will be graded pass/fail unless the student elects to receive an earned grade for the course. Students will have the opportunity to choose to receive an earned letter grade in each class and may make that choice until the last day of spring semester classes. Go to https://ugst.umd.edu/keeplearning/grades.html for the complete spring 2020 grading policy. Please also alert students to visit a new site, keeplearning.umd.edu, for guidance and resources to help with the transition to remote learning.

My students' Spring 2020 "P" grade does not appear in the UAchieve audit as a repeat to a major course with a D and or W. What do I do?

If you have a student who took a course under the pass/fail option and needs that course to supersede a D (D+, D-) or W grade for a major course,  you should email uachieve@umd.edu and they will get the exception into the student's UAchieve degree audit.  When sending your request, provide the following information:

  • Student Name

  • UID

  • the repeated course 

  • course requirement the P grade should go into

Where do I find important academic dates and deadlines?

The Office of the Registrar has updated all academic calendars.  You can find update dates and deadlines on the SIS, the advisor calendar at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1glfn-7F9OrCnnHUInZisW8CxUcNlbJUJdRm8MqqJEWM/ and our academic deadlines calendar at http://registrar.umd.edu/deadlines.html  have all been updated accordingly.

My student would like to withdraw from a course after the April 10 deadline. How should I advise my students?

The University has changed the deadline for students to drop an undergraduate course (up to 4 credits) with a "W" to May 12, 2020 at 11:00 PM, the last day of classes for this semester. Testudo drop/add is still limited to the mainframe, so the deadline to drop a course with a "W" is May 12, at 11:00 PM. According to the Office of the Registrar, a withdrawal will still be honored as long as received by midnight.

This change also extends the deadlines for changing grading mode and changing credit level to May 12, 2020 at 11:59 PM. The Registrar has updated their calendars and deadlines accordingly:

Advisors can find the SIS, the advisor calendar at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1glfn-7F9OrCnnHUInZisW8CxUcNlbJUJdRm8MqqJEWM/edit, and academic deadlines at http://registrar.umd.edu/deadlines.html.

My student is taking all asynchronous online courses this semester. Can she register for two or more courses with a time conflict?

Possibly.  Your student should submit an exception to policy request at https://agnr.umd.edu/academics/advising/policy-exceptions.   Your student must submit documentation from both/all course instructors granting them permission to take their courses with time conflicts. Students registering for conflicting courses may be dropped from the course by the Office of the Registrar.

My student has a fundamental studies English and math block? Typically they would go in-person to the Office of the Registrar to get it lifted. What do these students do now?

Students with Fundamental Math and English Blocks would generally have to register in person in the Office of the Registrar. This semester, that will not be possible. AGNR Academic Programs will enter the Fundamental Studies ERS stamp as needed. Email hbuchan1@umd.edu or  ecooper@umd.edu to request the stamp.  Please include the student’s name and UID as well as writing ERS STAMP in the subject line. YOU CAN REQUEST ANY OTHER COLLEGE LEVEL ADVISING STAMPS VIA EMAIL AS WELL. This will prevent the Registrar’s Office from having to manually process these requests at student's registration appointment times.

Can students take a course at another institution during summer 2020 for fall 2020?

Yes. AGNR students must request permission to enroll in a course at another institution at https://agnr.umd.edu/academics/advising/permission-enroll-another-institution. Advisors do not have access to this link.  It is for students only.

My student is in his last 30 credits. Can he still take a course at another institution?

Yes. Your student must complete both a permission to enroll online form at https://agnr.umd.edu/academics/advising/permission-enroll-another-institution and request an exception to academic policy to enroll in a course off-campus during his last 30 credits at https://agnr.umd.edu/academics/advising/policy-exceptions

A student from Letters and Sciences would like to declare an AGNR major. What is the process for changing his major so he can register for classes?

Academic Programs will offer the following options to replace in-person Change of Major workshops for students to add a major or change a major to AGNR:

  • one-on-one meetings via phone, google messenger
  • Synchronous Zoom meetings/presentations
  • Or just let students view a pre-recorded presentation or on their own

The paper form they typically fill out has been converted into a google form. AGNR will notify advisors of all students who have signed up for workshops this semester.  Students can register for one of the workshop options at https://agnr.umd.edu/academics/advising/change-your-major.

 

My student has duplicate credit for a course. How do students request a transcript discrepancy change?

The transcript discrepancy form has been turned into a fillable pdf. The Registrar is working with each AGNR Academic Programs to determine how we will interact with the form so that we can ensure that it is coming from authorized personnel. Send a request on behalf of your student to AGNR Academic Programs Assistant Dean at ecooper@umd.edU who will review all requests and forward to the Office of the Registrar for processing.

Due to the secure nature of Supplemental Grade Report (SGR) forms and the variety of hands they should go through for approval, this presents a unique challenge for the Office of the Registrar.  They are working on an acceptable solution and will keep us posted.

 

Advisor Training and Resources

Should I be using TerpEngage, Advise on the Web or UAchieve for advising notes?

All advisors (staff and faculty) in your department should be using TerpEngage Advising for advising notes, if they are not already (training sessions held last fall and early spring).  This will greatly help us efficiently support students across campus during our online semester. As a reminder, you'll find helpful instructions and information in the TerpEngage Advising Handbook found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rd0D8-0Bks4xtsdV0iJYZqTMjQtUSIOVXRhgXzI4lP0/edit,  including this newly drafted Advising Notes & Virtual Appointments Guide found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cocHMmz2ApeQYjP0H67XfC4yy6u2dnWD/view which includes step-by-step instructions for using the notes feature and utilizing Zoom or Webex links for remote advising options.

Are there trainings, workshops, and resources to support academic advisors?

Undergraduate Studies will continue advisor training and workshops via the Advisor Learning Network. There are three additional workshops during the semester and they will also provide online opportunities for advisors to meet informally. If you haven't signed up for the listserv, please do so by emailing a request to umdadvisorevents@umd.edu.  Advisors can register/RSVP for upcoming ALN events by going to the website and finding the "RSVP" link next to the events:  https://ugst.umd.edu/advisorevents/ALN.html 

 

ELMS Training

Any faculty or staffer teaching a summer or fall course should register for the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center's (TLTC) ELMS Sprint Training course (4 Zoom two-hour sessions).  There are also two-hour webinars to help you more effectively use ELMS.  To view the schedule and register for a session, go to https://tltc.umd.edu/events/view . 

Miscellaneous/Other

Where do I go to learn more about UMD’s response to COVID-19?

UMD continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For the latest information https://umd.edu/virusinfo

I am an international student who has been offered admission to the University for Fall 2020. What will happen if travel restrictions are still in place, or if I am unable to obtain a visa?

We know there is great uncertainty around the future of international travel and visas. We cannot predict at this time what the impact will be, but please rest assured that the University is actively working on a range of strategies to support all of our international students. We will keep you updated as information becomes available.

How can I answer questions about F1/J1 student status?

ISSS has developed a FAQ for F1/J1 students to aid in answering questions around their status and or benefits during this time period.

https://globalmaryland.umd.edu/offices/international-student-scholar-services/faq-during-covid-19

 

How do I find resources and information for my graduate students?

For the most recent updates and information for graduate students and graduate education, go to https://gradschool.umd.edu/coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions.  

 

I need ELMS training for my summer and fall online courses! How can I register for training??