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Graduate Coordinator Network

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Graduate Coordinator Network (GCN)

Graduate Coordinator Network Meeting Minutes
November 19, 2013 SAC 2.302

GCN Meeting
November 19, 2013

Kimberly Terry called the meeting to order.


Our next GCN meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 28.

New GC’s were introduced.

The GCN Holiday Party is planned for Monday, Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Littlefield House.  This is a “come and go” event and is being held in lieu of a December business meeting.

Remember to pay your GCN dues if you haven’t already done so.

We are highlighting a Graduate Coordinator each month beginning with December.  Our first GC to be highlighted is David Justh of Middle Eastern Studies.

We had a report from the GSA president.  There are approximately 13,000 graduate and professional students on campus.  Sandra Catlett attends the GSA meetings as our liaison.

Julie Meyer from the Graduate School reminded us that Casen Brown’s last day is Wednesday.  We should now send all inquiries, etc. to Rachel Manning

Renee Babcock reminded us that master’s students have until Nov. 22 to apply to graduate.  A Brown Bag will be held in the OGS conference room on Nov. 22 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. to go over various forms, petitions, and needed signatures.

Dean Judy Langlois shared her thoughts on the Graduate School.  Some of the things she mentioned are as follows:

  1. The Graduate School has a list of changes they are working on implementing (including doing the Gold Sheet electronically).  She does not yet know how difficult the transition will be regarding the replacement of DEFINE and the Mainframe by the new Enterprise Resource Planner (ERP).
  2. The change to ERP will happen at the same time as the implementation of Shared Services.  (Graduate Coordinators probably won’t be affected much by Shared Services.)
  3. The Graduate School is making an effort to be more active in the professional development of our graduate students and in providing our graduate students with non-academic career services.  (Please send a note to Dean Langlois stating what your department does to help students interested in non-academic careers.)
  4. The Graduate School is undergoing a lot of staff turnover.
    1. Lynn Margason is retiring in either February or March.
    2. Elizabeth Korves was recently hired as the new Fellowship Manager.
    3. Rebekah Sylvia is working directly with Michelle Broadway.
    4. Molly is the new person at the front desk.
    5. Rachel Manning is now Dean Kahn’s assistant.
  5. UT Austin is in a very tight situation for probably the next three years.  We may have to get smaller (accept fewer graduate students) for a short period of time.

Margaret Luevano and Liz Smith shared information on the International Office and introduced many of their staff.
Margaret shared the following information:

  1. ISSS includes Student Advising, Faculty and Scholar Services, Sponsored Student Services, and Student and Scholar Support Services.
  2. Their website contains information for departments, an advising tab, a list of contacts, a list of resources for undocumented students and an Ask Us function.
  3. They are holding an Open House in their new abode on Nov. 20 from 2 – 5 p.m.  Their new location is 2400 Nueces St.
  4. Students with F1 and J1 visas need their immigration documents signed at least once per year.  ISSS is holding a Signature Drive on Nov. 21 and again on Nov.25 in room 328 of the FAC.
  5. 2014-2015 tuition expenses are not expected to change.  Living expenses will be gradually increased from now on (students = $500 increase per year; spouse expenses = $300 increase per year; child = $300 increase per year).

Liz shared information on Sponsored Student Services.  This section is growing because of the Foundation year program.  Sponsors are private companies, foreign governments, and sponsoring agencies.  Unfortunately, the Ford Fellows program is ending this December.

The top five countries represented by our international students are as follows:
Saudi Arabia

The Foundation Year Programs are between 12 and 18 months in length.  They include ESL courses, study skills, test prep, customized programs, pre-matriculated undergraduates, academic courses, and intercultural learning and experiences.

Angela Branigan was unable to attend.  Some of her areas include the following:

  1. Health Insurance Advising (Anna Beale)
  2. Financial Aid and Nonresident tax advising (provide emergency cash and tuition loans)

Need volunteers for the upcoming tax filing season.

  1. Intercultural Programs – excursions throughout Texas, coordinate CMHC lunch sessions, sponsor PALS student organization
  2. Special Programs.

Alison McGregor shared information on ESL services and the ITA Exam.

  1. 50 ESL teachers/instructors are available.
  2. 90% of our international students take the TOEFL exam
  3. 10% of our international students take IELTS
  4. Be sure to look at the test date, score, and score breakdown when making decisions regarding these scores.
  5. Scores for the ITA speaking test break down as follows:
  6. Passing = 250 or above
  7. Conditional pass = 230 – 249
  8. Fail = 229 or below
  9. In general a score of 25 or above on each part of the TOEFL is a passing score.
  10. Exemptions regarding these tests are listed on the website.

The TOEFL is not waived if you earned a Master’s degree in the U.S.; however, the speaking part can be waived.
If you received your undergraduate degree in the U.S., the TOEFL requirement is waived.

  1.  You can look up these scores on *GSADM site by entering GS80.
  2. Alison sent a copy of her Power Point presentation to all of us.

Pat Ellison from GIAC gave an update.

  1. She introduced several staff members who were present.
  2. Her office processed approximately 26,000 graduate applications for fall 2013.  They also processed all of the international undergraduate applications.
  3. They already have 5000 graduate applications for fall 2014.
  4. GIAC staff can provide us with tools for looking up current applications.
  5. We can use EASI to compare numbers from last year and this year.
  6. Remember to use the priority switch on the Graduate Worksheet for applicants in which you are very interested.
  7. There are very complete instructions for students on the website concerning how to upload transcripts.
  8. We can do proxy uploads for everything except letters of recommendation.
  9. All GRE and TOEFL tests in Nigeria have been cancelled due to security concerns.
  10. UT Austin is one of three universities participating in a pilot project with the National Clearinghouse.  This is especially helpful for receiving transcripts from China.
  11. GIAC is working on new implications regarding the “ultimate degree sought”.

Thank you to the International Office for providing the refreshments for this meeting!

Respectfully submitted by Sherry Melecki

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