There are usual planning and advising tools for University students

In response to the Minnesota Daily’s editorial from Sept. 17 “A long-term advising relationship,” I agree that a student’s academic adviser is a critical resource and that a student’s academic success should not be put in jeopardy by a change of adviser.

However, I must disagree with your statement that when an adviser leaves, “students’ information, plans and basic necessities can be lost in the chaos.”  The University of Minnesota has developed and put into place several tools to assist advisers and students, all designed to maintain continuity and to support student success.

First: Graduation Planner. Students are encouraged to plan their four years at the University using Graduation Planner. Here, each student’s plans are stored centrally and can easily be shared with a student’s new academic adviser, as can all the communication that took place through that system before the adviser departed.

Second: the APAS report. Students can assess their own academic progress by using their APAS report or by generating a “What if?” APAS report if they are considering changing their major. Academic advisers have access to APAS reports.

And finally, the third and most important tool: APLUS. All academic advisers on the Twin Cities campus use the APLUS online advising tool that provides them with an overview of their advisees’ progress, including enrollment, holds, grades, GPA, major and minor, study abroad and other information advisers need to assist students. The APLUS tool also stores advising notes, tracks advising appointment history, and documents email communications with the student.

The information contained in APLUS is available 24/7 to any adviser who is serving a student. APLUS makes it possible for multiple advisers to serve a student who, for example, is majoring in one college with a minor in another college, or a student who moves from one college or major to another. APLUS also enables a student to work with a different adviser, if the student’s primary adviser is out of the office, and a quick response is needed.

  The University is committed to student success. These tools and others are in place to ensure our advisers and our students have access to full, accurate and timely information when they need it.