Author: Debra Charlesworth

Nominations open for KCP Future Faculty Fellowships

Applications are being sought for KCP Future Faculty Fellowships, a program funded by the State of Michigan.  The purpose of the King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship Program is to increase the pool of academically and economically disadvantaged candidates pursuing faculty teaching or administrative careers in post-secondary education.

Applications are due no later than 4pm on June 10, 2020 for funding starting in Fall 2020 or later.  KCP fellowships provide students up to $20,000 (MS students) or $35,000 (PhD students) to pursue their degrees.  Funds may be used to support students, including faculty and staff, pursuing degrees at Michigan Tech.  For Michigan Tech students, the Graduate School and nominating department must also contribute matching funds to help support the student.

Complete information about eligibility criteria and materials needed for an application is available on our web page.

Nominations open for the 2020 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award. Please submit nominations to the Graduate School no later than 4pm, June 2, 2020, following our online instructions. This year, nominations are being accepted from dissertations in the fields of:

  1. Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering
  2. Social Sciences (note: history is classed within the humanities and is not a field of competition in 2020)

Michigan Tech may nominate one student in each field. PhD students who have completed all of their degree requirements between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2020, are eligible. The fields of competition for 2021 will be humanities/fine arts and biological and life sciences.

Nominations must be delivered to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m. on June 2, 2020; e-mail nominations to gradschool@mtu.edu are preferred.  Contact Debra Charlesworth (gradschool@mtu.edu) if you have any questions about the competition.

Submission 101 and Formatting 101-103 for Summer 2020

Students who are completing a dissertation, thesis, or report are invited to join the Graduate School to learn about the resources available to them to assist in scheduling their defense, formatting their documents, and submitting their documents.  In one afternoon, you can learn everything you need to be successful and complete your degree in a timely fashion! Faculty and staff who assist students with submissions are also welcome to attend. Attend the entire event, or stop in for the seminar that interests you.

  • When: Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 2 – 4pm (see detailed schedule below)
  • Who: Students completing a dissertation, thesis or report; faculty and staff who assist students with submission
  • Where: Attend online; please register to receive reminders and the Zoom URL. The seminar will be available online as well as on campus.

If you are unable to join us, the event will be taped and available online after the event. The previous semester’s seminars are always available online.

Information on submitting, formatting, and more can be found online for dissertations and theses or reports.

Detailed schedule

  • 2 – 3pm – Submission 101
    Learn what is required to submit your document to the Graduate School and the deadlines for the upcoming semester.  Best for students who are completing their degree this semester or next semester.
  • 3 – 4pm – Formatting 101-103
    Learn about templates, checking your document with Adobe Acrobat, and how to use copyrighted materials. You’ll also learn where resources are on the web page so you can learn more about the topics that interest you.


Graduate academic standing and pass/fail option for spring 2020

Dear students,

We hope this email finds you and your family well and that the close of the semester gives you some time to relax and refresh your spirit.

Grades for spring semester have been recorded, and your academic standing has been updated if you are a degree-seeking student. For all classes with a letter grade, you have the option to change those grades to Pass (SCV), Low Pass (LCV), or Fail (ECV) grades. Pass, low pass, and fail grades do not count in your GPA calculation. A limited number of SCV grades may be allowed to count toward your degree, with the approval of your graduate program. Please consult with your advisor and graduate program director to determine what options will best support your academic progress.  Additional information is available online.

The option to change your letter grade to Pass (SCV), Low Pass (LCV), or Fail (ECV) will be available on Banweb from 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, May 12. To change your grade from the letter grade earned to SCV, LCV, or ECV:  

  • Go to Banweb and click on the Student tab  
  • Then click the Student Records link  
  • Finally, select the COVID-19 Pass/Fail Grade link 

The Graduate School has put a hold on processes to place students on academic probation or academic suspension for spring 2020. The decision to change your grades to pass/fail may impact your academic standing by changing your cumulative GPA. As a result, your academic standing as shown on MyMichiganTech may not be correct until after May 12. On May 13, the Graduate School will carefully review your academic record and update it as follows for all degree-seeking students:

  • If you were on probation after fall 2019, and you have returned to good standing, your record will be updated to good standing.
  • If you were on probation after fall 2019, and you have not returned to good standing, you will remain on probation. No student will be suspended based on their spring 2020 academic standing.
  • If you were in good standing after fall 2019, or are a new student in spring 2020, you will be in good standing, regardless of the grades earned in spring 2020.

If you have any questions about your academic standing or related to degree completion, please reach out to the Graduate School. We want to hear from you and we’re here to help.

Be well and keep in touch,

Michigan Tech Graduate School

Summer 2020 Track B and research labs

Greetings!

An email has been sent to graduate students with more information about the decision to continue to conduct instruction remotely during Track B, the reopening of research labs, as well as an update on the forthcoming graduate student MTU Flex web page (email is attached).

We realize you are anxious to return to the lab and to the regular advising and instruction of graduate students. We have frequently received the question, “What do I need to do to get my lab and students ready for continuing in-person research and advising in the laboratory?” 

For Track A, research activities will continue to be conducted remotely. For Track B, we are putting in place plans to conduct in-person research; however, under the current executive order, we must limit activities to those deemed critical. We are not sure at this time whether these restrictions will remain in place during Track B. Several Michigan universities are working with State entities in an effort to reopen research labs as soon as possible. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will keep you updated as the situation changes. We have directed graduate students to work directly with their supervisors and refer to the resources and VPR guidelines on mtu.edu/research/COVID-19.

As we continue to monitor the situation, it is imperative that we protect the health and safety of our students and faculty as we return to research activities, while increasing our research activity in a stepwise fashion in line with governmental guidance. As colleges and departments are planning their return to normal activities, the specifics will vary greatly with the type of research activities, the nature of research laboratories and equipment, and whether fieldwork is involved.

There are some common guiding principles that we should all follow: 

  1. Follow local, state, and national directives regarding shelter-in-place and social distancing. 
  2. Under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s extended “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, all persons are required to wear face coverings when entering enclosed public spaces, including campus buildings and workspaces, where social distancing cannot be maintained. 

    Michigan Tech strongly encourages employees to provide their own personal face coverings in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. There is additional information about masks in the April 30 edition of Tech Today.
  3. Protect the physical and emotional health and safety of our researchers and students.
  4. Prioritize graduate students nearing graduation when selecting activities to ramp up first.

There is additional guidance about conducting research on the Vice President for Research website, but we recommend that all advisors begin to develop a plan for their labs that addresses the following fundamental issues:

  1. Protection of the health and safety of students and faculty
    • A social distancing plan
      • How many people can safely work in the lab synchronously following social  distancing (six feet/two meters) guidelines?  
      • Do you need to set up a staggered schedule so that no more than two people are present in the laboratory? (In many cases two people need to be present for safety concerns.)
  2. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for personnel in the laboratory and cleaning procedures
    • What PPE should students and staff wear in your laboratory? (Mask? Lab coat? Gloves? Goggles? Others?)
    • How should the lab be cleaned up after each use?  
    • Should you maintain a log for student schedule and lab cleanup?   
  3. Activities that must be conducted in the lab and those that can be carried out remotely
    • Prepare a list of activities that have to take place in the laboratory, such as sample prep, experimental work, and equipment use.
    • Prepare a list of activities that can take place remotely, such as work on the computer and data entry, group meetings, individual meetings, and writing.
  4. A communication plan 
    • Prepare a plan to communicate all the details for working safely in the laboratory. Require students and staff to sign that they have read and understood the plan.
  5. A social distancing plan
    • How many people can safely work in the lab synchronously following social  distancing (six feet/two meters) guidelines?  
    • Do you need to set up a staggered schedule so that no more than two people are present in the laboratory? (In many cases two people need to be present for safety concerns.)
  6. How many people can safely work in the lab synchronously following social  distancing (six feet/two meters) guidelines?  
  7. Do you need to set up a staggered schedule so that no more than two people are present in the laboratory? (In many cases two people need to be present for safety concerns.)
  8. What PPE should students and staff wear in your laboratory? (Mask? Lab coat? Gloves? Goggles? Others?)
  9. How should the lab be cleaned up after each use?  
  10. Should you maintain a log for student schedule and lab cleanup?   
  11. Prepare a list of activities that have to take place in the laboratory, such as sample prep, experimental work, and equipment use.
  12. Prepare a list of activities that can take place remotely, such as work on the computer and data entry, group meetings, individual meetings, and writing.
  13. Prepare a plan to communicate all the details for working safely in the laboratory. Require students and staff to sign that they have read and understood the plan.

We realize this is an uncertain time and we are all anxious to return to our normal research and advising routines. Please continue to ask questions of us and we will answer them with as much speed as we are able.

Take care and be well,

Pushpa

Updated Course Grading Options for Spring 2020 – for Accelerated MS students

This information was emailed to students accepted into an accelerated MS program for summer or fall 2020 on April 24, 2020.

Congratulations on being accepted into an accelerated master’s program at Michigan Tech for summer or fall 2020.  We hope that you and your family are doing well.

At the University Senate meeting this week, new policies were approved in response to the challenges of this academic semester. Pending administrative approval, these policies will give you additional options and flexibility toward completing your courses this semester.

  • The accelerated master’s program allows you to double-count up to six credits of undergraduate courses toward your graduate degree, with the permission of your graduate program director.  
  • The University will allow graduate level courses to be converted to pass/fail.
  • The Graduate School will allow a limited number of pass (SCV) grades in courses to be used to satisfy degree requirements.
  • Each graduate program may allow up to six credits of BC, C, or SCV grades to count toward a graduate degree. At the discretion of the graduate program, an additional three (3) credits of SCV may be allowed to count toward degree requirements.  Please consult with your graduate program director to determine the scholastic standards in your program.

For more information about the pass/fail option, please consult the University’s web site.

Please let us know if we can assist you in any way as you begin your career as a graduate student.

Sincerely,

Michigan Tech Graduate School

Updated Academic Policies for Spring 2020

This information was emailed to all enrolled graduate students on April 24, 2020.

We hope this email finds you and your family doing well during these extraordinary times.  At the University Senate meeting this week, three new policies were approved. Pending administrative approval, these policies will give you additional options and flexibility toward completing your courses this semester.

Policy 1: Pass/Low Pass/Fail option

Pending administrative approval, graduate students will be able to change the grading mode of their classes with letter grades to pass/low pass/fail.  Pass/low pass/fail grades will not be included in a student’s GPA calculation. See the next section of this email for information on how these grades may be considered for degree completion and the University’s FAQ page for more information. Research credits will not be eligible for conversion, as they are already graded as Progress (“P”) or Inadequate Progress (“Q”). 

Graduate students will be able to view their spring grades and have until 11:59 PM Eastern on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 to decide if they would like to switch any spring 2020 classes to pass/fail grades (grades of SCV, LCV, or ECV). 

  • A pass grade (SCV) will be assigned for a grade of C or better.  
  • A low pass grade (LCV) will be assigned for grades of CD or D.  
  • A fail grade (ECV) will be assigned for a grade F. 

To change your grade from the letter grade earned to a Pass (SCV), Low Pass (LCV), or Fail (ECV) option, go to Banweb and click on the Student tab and then click the Student Records link.  Finally, select the COVID-19 Pass/Fail Grade link.

Policy 2: Scholastic Standards

Pending administrative approval, and at the discretion of the graduate program, a limited number of SCV grades may be used to satisfy degree requirements.

A graduate program may allow up to six (6) credits of  BC, C, or SCV grades to count toward degree requirements. The BC or C grades may be from any semester.  At the discretion of the graduate program, an additional three (3) credits of SCV may be allowed to count toward degree requirements.  Please consult with your graduate program director to determine the scholastic standards in your program.

Policy 3: Repeating courses

Pending administrative approval, students may repeat any course taken during Spring 2020, regardless of the grade they earned in that course or the number of times they have taken the course.

The following policy changes have been previously announced and are already in place:

  • Drop deadline extended: The deadline to withdraw from classes with a “W” grade has been extended to 5 p.m. on April 24. W grades do not impact cumulative GPA calculation.  Please email the Registrar’s Office (registrar@mtu.edu) with your M-number and the course(s) you would like to drop.  International students and supported students can be registered with fewer than nine credits without impacting their support or student status.
  • Probation and suspension: The process to place graduate students on probation or suspension will be placed on hold for spring 2020. Students will maintain their current academic standing after semester grades are posted and no student will be suspended. Students currently on probation may return to good standing if their academic performance has improved in spring 2020. Dismissals (if any) will be handled on a case-by-case basis after consulting with the graduate program.

We are concerned about your health and well-being. If you have concerns about your workload, educational experience, or personal matters, please contact us (gradschool@mtu.edu) so we can connect you with resources. Anna McClatchy, our Student Support Coordinator, is available to help students. HuskyFAN is available to provide emergency food for those in need. The University has gathered a wide variety of resources to assist students. Finally, Counseling Services is providing individual services, group sessions, and seminars through remote services and referrals. 

We understand that you might have reservations about openly discussing your concerns. If you prefer, you may address concerns or questions confidentially. Students may contact Counseling Services at 906- 487-2538, or the Office of the Ombuds at speters@mtu.edu or 906-487-2391. Concerns can also be reported anonymously online

Take the time you need to take care of yourself and your family. We wish you the very best as we navigate through these extraordinary times. Please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions you may have. 

Sincerely,

Michigan Tech Graduate School

Guidance from the Graduate School during the COVID -19 pandemic (1)

Dear Graduate Program Directors, Chairs, and Deans,
Please distribute to appropriate people

Graduate students are currently experiencing a high degree of stress from the uncertainty of funding, changes in instruction, academic progress, fulfilling their research and teaching duties, and the safety of their family and friends across the world. We are charged with providing them the best educational experience that we can, and part of our responsibility this semester is to include ways to mitigate the stress and anxiety they are facing.  

While graduate programs should continue to maintain academic standards, please make allowances for the extraordinarily stressful times our graduate students are facing. Some items you might consider:

  • BC/C grades: The Graduate School allows up to six credits of BC/C grades to be used toward completion of a graduate degree. If your graduate program does not allow some BC/C grades to be used, you might consider whether that requirement can be relaxed for spring and summer 2020.
  • Deadlines for completion of exams: Your graduate program may have deadlines in place for completion of qualifying exams and research proposal examinations. Relaxing these deadlines and postponing exams until students can adequately prepare for them and perform well might be something you could consider.
  • Number of attempts for completion of exams: For students who took a qualifying exam this semester, you might consider an additional attempt if the student did not successfully pass the exam.  
  • Q grades: Research is graded as progress (P) or no progress (Q). For research grades, please consider whether your students have made adequate progress, based on the circumstances in your research group this semester. As we are all well aware, this is  not a “normal” semester with an uninterrupted schedule. Therefore, although we encourage “Q” grades when no progress has been made, please account for the difficult circumstances that we are all working under when considering student progress this semester.
  • Research progress: Student progress on research is likely to be impacted due to the disruptions on campus. We would encourage faculty to consider whether changes to the research project can be made to allow students to complete their degree in a timely manner.  
  • Delay in graduation for research-based MS degrees: Master’s students whose graduation is delayed because of research progress this semester may want to consider the coursework option. The Graduate School can allow research credits to be considered toward a coursework option. In order to do so, the department would provide the Graduate School with a statement of learning outcomes achieved, work accomplished, evaluation process, letter grade, the number of research credits completed, and the number of equivalent coursework credits requested. Please reach out to us for additional details.

The Graduate School will make the following adjustments to policies to support student success and lessen their anxiety:

  • Probation and suspension: The process to place students on probation or suspension will be placed on hold for spring 2020. Students will maintain their current academic standing after semester grades are posted and no student will be suspended. Students currently on probation may return to good standing if their academic performance has improved in spring 2020. Dismissals (if any) will be handled on a case-by-case basis after consulting with the graduate program.
  • Extensions given: The Graduate School normally places registration holds if students fail to complete the following in a timely manner: select an advisor, complete basic RCR training, and provide original proof of degree(s). For this semester, all the holds on registration will be released. This will give students additional time to complete these requirements and allow them to register for future semesters.

FYI: The following policy changes have been previously announced and are already in place:

  • International students: May be registered for fewer than nine credits this semester without approval from International Programs & Services (IPS) and without impacting their student status.
  • Supported students may be registered with fewer than nine credits without losing their support. 
  • Drop deadline extended: The deadline to withdraw from classes with a “W” grade has been extended to 5 p.m. on April 24. W grades do not impact cumulative GPA calculation, and any graduate student with a CD, D, or F in a class should strongly consider dropping classes to help maintain good standing.
  • Deadlines for completing a dissertation, thesis, or report have been extended by the Graduate School.

We hope you are taking the time to take care of yourself and your family. We wish you the very best as we navigate through these extraordinary times. Please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions you may have. 

Sincerely,

Pushpa Murthy

Academic Policies for Graduate Students (2)

Dear Graduate Students,

We hope that this email finds you and your family doing well with the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in. We recognize that graduate students, in particular, are dealing with many issues that impact your degree progress, including balancing full-time work, loss of income, changed teaching positions, child care, research disruptions, and more. In recognition of these, and to minimize the anxiety and stress associated with them, the Graduate School has some policy changes and reminders for you.

  • Probation and suspension: The process to place students on probation or suspension will be placed on hold for spring 2020. Students will maintain their current academic standing after semester grades are posted and no student will be suspended. Students currently on probation may return to good standing if their academic performance has improved in spring 2020. Dismissals (if any) will be handled on a case-by-case basis after consulting with the graduate program.
  • Extensions given: The Graduate School normally places registration holds if students fail to complete the following in a timely manner: select an advisor, complete basic RCR training, and provide original proof of degree(s). For this semester, all the holds on registration will be released. This will give students additional time to complete these requirements and allow them to register for future semesters.

The following policy changes have been previously announced and are already in place:

  • International students: May be registered for fewer than nine credits this semester without approval from International Programs & Services (IPS) and without impacting their student status.
  • Supported students can be registered with fewer than nine credits without losing their support. 
  • Drop deadline extended: The deadline to withdraw from classes with a “W” grade has been extended to 5 p.m. on April 24. W grades do not impact cumulative GPA calculation, and any graduate student with a CD, D, or F in a class should strongly consider dropping classes to help maintain good standing.
  • Deadlines for completing a dissertation, thesis, or report have been extended by the Graduate School.

Each graduate program has been asked to consider allowances to programmatic policies. Please consult with your graduate program to determine the changes to the following policies:

  • BC/C grades: The Graduate School allows up to six credits of BC/C grades to be used toward completion of a graduate degree. Please consult with your graduate program director to determine if programmatic policies have changed for spring 2020.
  • Deadlines for completion of exams: Please consult with your graduate program to determine if these deadlines have been changed.
  • Number of attempts for completion of exams: Please consult with your graduate program to determine if you took a qualifying exam this semester, but did not pass it, whether an additional attempt will be allowed. 
  • Research progress: Please consult with your advisor to determine if there are changes that can be made to your project to account for any disruptions to your research to allow you to complete your degree in a timely manner. 
  • Delay in graduation for research-based MS degrees: Master’s students whose graduation is delayed because of research progress this semester may want to consider converting their degree to a coursework option. The Graduate School can allow research credits to be considered toward a coursework degree. Please reach out to your graduate program director for additional details.

We are concerned about your health and well-being. If you have concerns about your workload, educational experience, or personal matters, please contact us (gradschool@mtu.edu) so we can connect you with resources. Anna McClatchy, our Student Support Coordinator, is available to help students. HuskyFAN is available to provide emergency food for those in need. The University has gathered a wide variety of resources to assist students. Finally, Counseling Services is providing individual services, group sessions, and seminars through remote services and referrals. 

We understand that you might have reservations about openly discussing your concerns. If you prefer, you may address concerns or questions confidentially. Students may contact Counseling Services at 906- 487-2538, or the Office of the Ombuds at speters@mtu.edu or 906-487-2391. Concerns can also be reported anonymously online

Take the time you need to take care of yourself and your family. We wish you the very best as we navigate through these extraordinary times. Please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions you may have. 

Sincerely,

The Graduate School

Academic Policies for Graduate Students

Dear graduate students,

We hope this email finds you well, engaged with your academics, and taking time to take care of yourselves.  We realize that this is a stressful time and that the disruption caused by covid-19, coupled with social and physical distancing may have impacted your ability to be successful this semester.  We’d like to share some information to support your academic success this semester.

Dropping classes

The University is allowing students to drop classes through the Friday of Week 14 (5pm, April 24) with a grade of W.  A W grade is not calculated in your cumulative GPA. There is no refund for dropped classes.

If you are supported as a GTA/GRA/GTI, please contact the Graduate School prior to dropping classes, if possible, to receive permission to be registered for less than 9 credits.

International students may drop below 9 credits in the spring 2020 semester while maintaining their student status.  If you have questions regarding your status, please contact International Programs and Services.

To drop a class, email the Registrar’s Office at registrar@mtu.edu making sure to include both the course information and your M number. The deadline for withdrawing from a single course with a W will be extended through Friday of week 14 (5pm, April 24). Please submit your request no later than 5pm.

Withdrawing

If you would like to withdraw from all of your classes, please complete a Student Withdrawal form no later than 5pm on the Friday of week 14 (April 24).  You will receive a grade of W in all of your courses. There is no refund for your tuition if you withdraw.

If you are supported as a GTA/GRA/GTI, please contact the Graduate School prior to withdrawing, if possible.

International students should contact International Programs and Services to ensure that their student status and I-20 are updated.

Non-graded classes

(EDIT: 4/24/2020. If approved by the administration, pass/fail grades will be allowed for graduate students. Please see the updated information on our blog.)

The University Senate has passed a policy to allow undergraduate students to convert graded classes to non-graded classes (pass/fail). Graduate students will not be able to change the grading mode for their classes.  The Graduate School requires that classes earn a letter grade (A, B, etc.) in order to be used toward a graduate degree.

Each graduate program may allow up to six credits of BC or C grades to count toward a graduate degree. Please consult with your graduate program director to determine the academic standards in your program.

Student support

Our student support coordinator, Anna McClatchy, is available to help you find additional resources for your personal and academic concerns.  HuskyFAN is available to provide emergency food for those in need. Finally, Counseling Services is providing individual services, group sessions, and seminars through remote services and referrals. 

Academic grievances

If you have a grievance about any grades you have received this semester, please use the Academic Grievance policy to address these concerns.

Good standing

(EDIT: 4/24/2020. Senate Proposal 54-20 puts probation and suspension on hold for spring 2020.)

Graduate students must maintain good standing in order to continue pursuing a degree.  In general, this requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and making progress in research.  

A switch in academic standing from good to probationary status may occur after a poor academic performance. This is simply an indicator (or warning) that improvement is needed and has no impact on a student’s ability to participate in a degree program in the next semester.

However, if a student is currently on academic probation, continued poor performance would lead to academic suspension.  All students who are suspended are encouraged to appeal this decision so that they can remain active in their academic program.  The Graduate School reviews these appeals holistically and understands that it may have been an extra challenge to return to good standing this semester.

We are here to help.  Please let us know how we can assist you this semester. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Graduate School