Author: Petsa, Megan

Graduate Dismissal Process

At the end of May, the Department Head, Director of Graduate Studies, and faculty advisors will receive a list of students in their program who have failed to maintain the required minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and/or who have received a grade of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” “F,” or “U” in any course. We will assume that the advisor’s intention is to continue the student unless the advisor or department specifies that the student should be dismissed. If the student should be dismissed on the basis of failing grades or low GPA, the dismissal recommendation should be submitted to graduatedean@uconn.edu no later than June 16, 2021. If the student will be continuing graduate study, the advisor should work directly with the student to create a mitigation plan for their academic performance.

If there is a student who is subject to dismissal based on other dismissal criteria (the full list can be found herein The Graduate Catalog), the department must notify The Graduate School that the student should be included in the formal dismissal process for Spring 2021. To do so, the advisor should email the following information to graduatedean@uconn.edu:

·       the student’s name

·       student ID

·       rationale for dismissal

·       the advisor’s understanding of the student’s academic plans (e.g., Will the student be exiting the university? Does the student plan to discontinue their current program and enroll in another UConn program?)

Please note, The Graduate School only notifies students that they have been dismissed—we do not notify students that they are subject to dismissal. Students notified of dismissal will have ten business days from the date The Graduate School sends them a formal dismissal letter to submit an appeal of the dismissal.

As a reminder, graduate students do not have the option to place courses on Pass/Fail or Pass/W-Audit for Spring 2021. All recommendations for dismissal should be submitted to graduatedean@uconn.edu by June 16, 2021.

Best,

Megan Petsa, M.A.

Director of Graduate Student Administration

 

The Graduate School

University of Connecticut

The Whetten Graduate Center, Second Floor 

438 Whitney Road Extension, Unit 1152 | Storrs, CT  06269-1152

860.486.0977 | www.grad.uconn.edu | Pronouns: she/hers

TAs – English Proficiency Policy

The Graduate School and UCAELI have collaborated to provide you the following information that will help you ensure your TAs are ready and able to begin teaching in Fall 2021.

 

First, please be aware that TGS and UCAELI do not reach out to TAs directly with information about International TA Orientation or guidance on how to provide proof of English proficiency in order to hold a TA. The reason for that is we don’t know which students fall into the category of international TAs who will have instructional contact duties—only the hiring departments have that information, which means we rely on you to share this information with your students. Below, please find information to help you determine which of your TAs may need to take additional steps in order to teach this Fall along with some language you can share with them. We hope providing this summary for you makes this process easier for you this year!

 

Who needs to provide proof of English proficiency to be a TA?

Prospective Teaching Assistants for whom English is not a primary language must pass an oral English proficiency test regardless of citizenship or visa status. A primary language is defined as a language used to communicate since childhood. Even if English proficiency was waived for purposes of admission, TAs must still provide proof of English proficiency. Information on UConn’s English Proficiency Policy for TA’s and Testing Procedures can be found here.

 

How can I tell if a graduate student to whom we plan to give instructional contact TA duties needs to provide proof of English proficiency? Where can I find an applicant’s official test of English scores?

  1. Log into the Slate reader: https://connect.grad.uconn.edu/manage/reader/
  2. Click on “Applications”
  3. Click on “Search” and type in the applicant’s name, click on the “Display Copy” icon.
  4. Once the application is open, click on the “Test Score” tab to display test results.

Please note: Only review test scores that are “Verified” and not “Self-Reported”. “Self-Reported” are not considered official scores.

  1. For current students, please check the GA Hire Level Report. Students with an approval flag “C” need to provide proof of English proficiency to have instructional contact duties.

 

How can I tell if a graduate student to whom we plan to give instructional contact TA duties received a waiver for their Test of English in their Graduate Application?

Log into the Slate reader: https://connect.grad.uconn.edu/manage/reader/

  1. Click on “Applications”
  2. Click on “Search” and type in the applicant’s name, click on the “Display Copy” icon.
  3. Once the application is open, click on the “Reader Review” tab and review the “Initial Graduate Audit” form. If the applicant has received a waiver, the waiver reason will be provided.

 

How can I tell if a graduate student to whom we plan to give instructional contact TA duties who received a waiver for their Test of English needs additional testing/review with the ITA office?

  1. You can check in “Student Groups” in Student Admin. If the student has a student group called “ENGL” with a comment that they are cleared to teach, then the student is all set. If you don’t see the “ENGL” student group there, then you should contact UCAELI and the student to let them know that the student needs a Waiver Interview. Waiver Interviews are scheduled once a month and the registration can be found on the ITA website. The student and/or the department must complete the Waiver Interview registration form in order for the Waiver Interview to be scheduled. Results are usually available within 1-2 days following the interview.
  2. You can check the GA Hire Level Report. Students with an approval flag “C” do not have the “ENGL” student group described above on their record.

 

How can a TA provide proof of English proficiency? 

There are three main ways:

  1. With a passing TOEFL or IELTS Speaking score
  2. With “passing” or “conditionally passing” the Waiver Interview or UCAELI Proficiency Assessment
  3. By “passing” or “conditionally passing” the Microteaching Test (offered June, August, and January for first time test takers and in November and April for students who have been screened at least once by UCAELI).

 

Students who receive a “pass” or “conditional pass” for any of these screenings are cleared to teach and may be offered a teaching assignment. UCAELI will add the ENGL student group to their record in Student Admin with a comment indicating the student has been cleared to teach and the date they were cleared. Students with a conditional pass have reached the English Proficiency requirements for teaching at UConn. However, they must successfully complete the recommended language support course during the semester immediately following the test. If a department knows and has confirmed that a student’s primary language is English and believes the student does not need to be screened, the department should contact UCAELI. If a student has experience providing instructional contact TA duties at a higher education institution they attended previously, the department should contact UCAELI.

 

Who needs to attend ITA Orientation? 

ITA Orientation is intended for international TAs who have never taught in the United States. International TAs with teaching experience from another university in the United States are welcome to attend, but their attendance is not required. ITA Orientation for Fall 2021 will take place on Monday, August 9. Registration will be available one month prior to orientation. Please check the ITA website, www.ita.uconn.edu, for more information.

 

What should I communicate to my incoming TAs? 

The International Teaching Assistant (ITA) services, under the direction of UCAELI, are designed to support students in English language learning for their role as a classroom or laboratory instructor at UConn. All ITAs must meet UConn’s English Language Proficiency Requirement before they begin their teaching assignments. The ITA website, www.ita.uconn.edu, contains important information about UConn’s English Proficiency Policy, registration for language screenings, and ITA Orientation. You should make sure that you have registered for the ITA Orientation and have taken all of the necessary steps to be cleared to teach at UConn. The next deadline to register for proficiency screenings/testing is May 31, 2021.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us using the email addresses below:

Jeannie Slayton: Jeannie.Slayton@uconn.edu

Ana Colón: ana.s.colon@uconn.edu

 

For assistance with finding verified scores in your applications in Slate, please contact gradadmissions@uconn.edu or meg.drakos@uconn.edu. For grad payroll overrides, please reach out to megan.petsa@uconn.edu. To learn more about this, consider attending the Timely Topics session, Graduate Payroll Processes, on May 26 (register here).

 

As a reminder, there are several different orientations offered by UConn that graduate students may want or be required to attend and more information can be found here.

 

Best,

 

Ana Colón, UCAELI

Meg Drakos, The Graduate School

Megan Petsa, The Graduate School

Jeannie Slayton, Global Affairs

 

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and Conference Participation Awards

Sent on behalf of Kent Holsinger, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School, to Directors of Graduate Studies and Department Admins.

***

Colleagues,

At this time of year, The Graduate School typically shares information about how to apply for doctoral travel funds and the doctoral dissertation fellowship. I am writing to let you know that the timing of the application cycles for both of these awards has changed.

 

Conference Participation Award (formerly the Doctoral Student Travel Award)

The Graduate School is committed to helping graduate students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals during their time at the University of Connecticut. In support of this goal, The Graduate School offers a $750 Conference Participation Award to support students’ ability to present their research at national or international meetings and conferences, including both in-person and virtual events. Applications will be accepted from June 1-June 30, 2021 and, if awarded, the funds will be paid through the student’s Fall 2021 fee bill. The eligibility criteria for this award can be found here.

 

Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is transitioning from a bi-annual award to a summer fellowship. The Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is a one-time $2,000 fellowship and is intended to support the successful completion of the dissertation. Applications for this award will be accepted in February 2022.

As part of this transition, a limited submission cycle will occur in July 2021. This application period will only be open to applicants who will graduate by May 2022. The eligibility criteria for this award can be found here.

 

Kent E. Holsinger
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
 and Dean of The Graduate School

Coronavirus Relief Emergency Funding for Students

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was approved by Congress and includes support for higher education, including emergency grants for students facing expenses due to COVID-19.

The grants must be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

The funds are available to both U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens. To confirm eligibility, students will have to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to UConn.

The emergency funding will be awarded through financial aid and disbursing directly to students via their student account.  The grant will be passed through PeopleSoft and will not be applied to or used to offset any charge, debt, tuition, fees, or other balance in a student account, nor will it be encumbered in any manner by UConn.

For students enrolled in direct deposit, they will have access to the funds in approximately three business days from the date of disbursement. For those not enrolled in direct deposit, the Office of the Bursar will issue a check.

The application is available at the Office of Financial Aid’s website. Learn more about the CRRSAA Emergency funding and apply. If you have additional concerns or needs, let us know at the gradschool@uconn.edu or meet with members of our Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs team.

Apply for Graduation

Greetings Graduate Students,

Are you graduating this semester?  Did you know you must apply for graduation online via your Student Administration account?  Did you know the deadline was by the end of the 4th week of the semester?

If you missed the deadline, please apply ASAP in order to not impact the conferral of your degree.  Summer candidates are asked to apply no later than March 25th to ensure their information makes the Commencement publication.

Click the following link for more information about Commencement.

Additional important dates and deadlines can be viewed on the Academic Calendar page.  Friday, April 23rd is the last day to submit paperwork for a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation to qualify for a Spring 2021 conferral date.

Visit Degree Audit’s website for directions and more information about applying for graduation, submitting required paperwork, and uploading your thesis or dissertation.  Consult your major advisor about what documentation needs to be submitted to The Registrar’s Office as a requirement for your degree.

All students are advised to review their transcript to ensure that it coincides with their plan of study. Any missing grades, documents, or discrepancies between a student’s plan of study and transcript can result in a delay of degree conferral or cancellation of degree candidacy.

UConn Health Graduate students can get information at the following link – UConn Health Commencement

Feel free to contact The Degree Audit office at degreeaudit@uconn.edu if you have additional questions.

Important Information: Spring 2021 Enrollment

As the Spring semester gets closer, we wanted to provide some context on enrollment. The information below is relevant to both new and returning students. Please review carefully and reach out with any questions you may have. If you have not done so already, please be sure to enroll in classes prior to the start of the semester, which begins January 19.

Continuous enrollment is a requirement of all graduate programs. Students who will not be registering in coursework or research credits must register for a zero credit continuous registration course to maintain their active student status. Continuous registration courses include GRAD 5997, GRAD 5998, and GRAD 6998, as well as GRAD 5999 (Thesis Preparation) and GRAD 6999 (Dissertation Preparation). Full descriptions of the continuous registration courses can be found here. Enrollment in these sections should be determined before the first day of classes. There are financial implications when changing from being enrolled in credits to no credits as of the first day of classes. Changes from credits to a zero-credit placeholder cannot be made after the first day of classes.

Students who wish to cancel enrollment prior to the start of the semester or who attend class and then decide to withdraw from all their courses should notify The Graduate School (TGS) by completing an online Voluntary Separation Notification Form as soon as possible. The add/drop period that extends through the 10th day of classes (February 1, 2021) is only available to students who plan to be enrolled in credited coursework throughout the semester. A student who wishes to go down to zero credits or withdraw from their program completely will need assistance from The Graduate School and will be subject to the university refund schedule which will apply based on the date the student notifies TGS of the intent to withdraw via the online Voluntary Separation Notification process, not when they last attended classes. More information on voluntary separation can be found here.

Students who do not register for classes by the 10th day are automatically discontinued from their program. If the student then wishes to be enrolled after Day 10, the student will need to request reinstatement to their program, which is not guaranteed and incurs a $65 fee. Students should also be aware that classes with insufficient enrollment will be cancelled and will then be unavailable even if the student is reinstated.

Fee bills for graduate students are due January 15, 2021. Information about the UConn Payment Plan can be found here and information on Graduate Assistant Payroll Deductions can be found here.

The decision to enroll in research credits in a given semester should be made in conjunction with the student’s advisor. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. All sections will show “Staff” (or similar) as the instructor. Through an automatic process later in the semester, students will be moved to a grade roster associated with their major advisor. Permission numbers are not needed for students to register for these research courses. If you attempt to register and receive an error, contact registrar@uconn.edu for assistance. Be sure to include your 7-digit student ID in all correspondence.

Additional Registration Information for Graduate Assistants:
Graduate Assistants (GAs) are required to be enrolled as full-time students (6 or more credits), as noted in their offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, therefore GAs are expected to be registered for a minimum of 6 credits before the start date of their spring semester employment (January 7, 2021). GAs who have not completed their registration for a minimum of six credits by their start date are not fulfilling one of the contingencies of employment and may be subject to termination from their assistantship. (GAs employed solely at UConn Health should follow the registration deadlines set by UCH.)

Please note, the tuition waiver will not post to a GA’s fee bill until the GA is registered for at least 6 credits. Therefore, if a student is not fully registered in a timely fashion, this can result in a Bursar hold on the student’s account that blocks enrollment and other services, as well as incur late fees.

The decision to enroll in research credits in a given semester should be made in conjunction with the student’s advisor. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. GAs should NOT register for GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Research) or GRAD 5960 (Full-Time Master’s Research). GRAD 6960 and 5960 are only 3 credits and will prevent the tuition waiver from populating if it is the only course the GA is registered for, as well as create duplicate fee charges.

Additional Registration Information for Provost’s Professional Interns:
Students who are employed as Provost’s Professional Interns are required to be enrolled in six or more credits, as noted in their offer letter. Employment as a Provost’s Professional Intern is a result of student status, therefore Provost’s Professional Interns are expected to be registered for a minimum of 6 credits before the start date of their spring semester employment (January 7, 2021). Provost’s Professional Interns receive a tuition scholarship for the duration of their appointment. Registration prior to the deadline allows The Graduate School to accurately process this tuition scholarship in a timely manner, avoiding late fees and holds on the student’s account that block enrollment and other services.

While Provost’s Professional Interns are eligible for a tuition scholarship upon meeting the six credit registration threshold, in order to be reported as a full-time student, Provost’s Professional Interns must be registered for nine credits. This may be an important consideration for international students or those with student loans in deferment.

If you are experiencing difficulty registering, or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to The Graduate School for assistance. Please include your 7-digit student ID number in all correspondence.

To register now, please click here.

Academic Resources

Academic Resources

As we approach the 9th week of the semester, it is important to remind you of resources dedicated to helping students, both graduate and undergraduate. Many staff and faculty are ready to help you navigate life’s challenges, which may be affecting your individual experience. This message highlights support services and policies to help you make informed decisions about your individual student experience.

The academic calendar highlights the dates and deadlines for the University which you should be aware of as you make decisions about your individual status. Specifically, keep in mind the following dates:

  • November 2, 2020 – Last day to withdraw from a course without an exception from the academic dean
  • November 20, 2020 – Last day to place courses on or remove courses from Pass/Fail grading (Undergrads only)
  • December 7, 2020 – Last day of fall semester classes

Academic or Faculty Advisor:  A student’s major advisor is a resource in navigating academic challenges. Some academic departments also have program staff that can help you determine next steps academically and connect you to resources.  If you are a graduate student, make sure you discuss all possible options with your advisor. If you aren’t sure who your advisor is, you can find this information in StudentAdmin.

Academic Support Services: Graduate and undergraduate students can seek academic support from the Writing Center and the Academic Achievement Center.  The Writing Center provides online writing assistance to both undergraduate and graduate students.  An overview of support for graduate students is available at this link; undergraduates can view this link to learn about available services. The Academic Achievement Center (AAC) offers an array of academic support services, including coaching, mentoring, and student success workshops. Although many of the offerings are geared toward undergraduate students, graduate students can contact the AAC directly to discuss specific support needs and will be referred to available resources. Undergraduate students may seek support from the Q-Center for classes that have a quantitative component. Specifically, the Q-Center provides direct assistance to students via peer tutoring, review sessions, and the creation of innovative learning tools.

Course Instructors:  Students can speak with their course instructor to discuss options within the course, such as opportunities to make up work or extra time on an assignment, as well as the possibility of an Incomplete grade.  The Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs provide more information on Incomplete grades for students considering this option.

Dean of Students: Staff in the Dean of Students Office are available to support undergraduate students with academic, personal, and other concerns that impact their student experience. Staff in this office provide support without judgement and can help students as they consider completing current courses, rescheduling final exams, or processing a withdrawal or cancellation for those considering taking a break. Questions for the Dean of Students Office staff can be emailed to dos@uconn.edu or students can make an appointment with an Assistant Dean by visiting the Dean of Students Office website to access our online scheduler.

Graduate Student Affairs Office of The Graduate School:  The Graduate Student Affairs Staff can answer questions about both academic and non-academic resources that are available to graduate students and advisement on strategies for dealing with challenges.  If you are struggling to determine what academic resources are available, you can email gradschool@uconn.edu and a staff member can help connect you to the most appropriate resources. They also administer requests for late course drops and for leaves of absence.  Information about dropping a course after November 2, 2020 can be found on the academic calendar. Graduate students who feel the need to step away from their academic studies temporarily or to withdraw from their program can find more information about taking a leave of absence or voluntary separation at The Graduate School website or by emailing gradseparation@uconn.edu.

Regional Student Services Staff: Undergraduates at the regional campuses needing support of an academic or personal nature should connect with the Student Services staff on their home campus. Regional campus Student Services staff can help students as they consider completing current courses, rescheduling final exams, and processing a withdrawal or cancellation if you are considering taking a break. Visit this website to schedule an appointment with a Regional Student Services staff member.

Student Health and Wellness - Mental Health: SHAW provides mental health services to promote the emotional, relational, and academic potential of all undergraduate and graduate students. SHAW-Mental Health offers:

  • Rapid access screening appointments
  • Emergency/Crisis assessment
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Medication management
  • Mindfulness/Meditation/Yoga workshops
  • Referral and off-campus support services

Storrs students (undergrad or graduate) may access SHAW-MH by calling 860-486-4705 or schedule a screening appointment online.

Regional campus students (undergrad or graduate) seeking mental health resources will find campus specific contact information at this link.

Tutoring: Students in need of tutoring may find help within specific academic programs. Below is a list of tutoring resources students may want to access for potential help.

The UConn Library is available to help students with research assistance.

University Advising: Each school or college as well as each regional campus has an office or center with oversight over advising. These centers/offices serve as a resource to undergraduate students, faculty and staff on a wide range of advising matters, including:

  • Permission to register for excess credit or add or drop a course
  • Requesting a late withdrawal from a course
  • Academic probation, dismissal, and appeals of academic dismissal
  • Requesting a general education substitution

To learn more about Advising resources, visit the University Advising website.

We are here to help. Please reach out to one of the many offices listed and the staff and faculty will try their best to provide support and identify solutions. Questions about this information should be directed to dos@uconn.edu or gradschool@uconn.edu.