DUS News - November 16, 2020

A Message from the Dean

Dear DUS Students,

As we approach November 20 and the transition to all remote, I hope all of you are finding effective ways to manage your well-being along with your academics. Be sure to read and think about the information provided on the Transition to Remote Learning website so that you are better prepared for this change.

During the week of Thanksgiving, I hope that everyone can disconnect and find ways to simply recharge. I am really encouraging not only you all but also academic advisers and other staff in DUS to use that week as a moment for them to recharge and to practice self-care. If you have questions, do not hesitate to reach out by email, but please know that many in DUS may be taking some much-needed vacation time and responses may be slightly delayed. It does not mean you are going unnoticed or unheard, just that we all need to take care of ourselves with downtime occasionally.

I truly want everyone to finish the semester as strongly as possible. We continue to be present to support and guide you in your academic journey and wish you the very best at Thanksgiving.

Be well,

David R. Smith
Associate Dean for Advising
   and Executive Director

International Education Week

Did you know that Penn State recognizes students from more than 100 countries around the world? Or that we are ranked 19th nationally for the number of students studying abroad? Help Penn State celebrate our global community by taking part in International Education Week, November 16–20, 2020. International Education Week is a worldwide, federally recognized week of celebrating international education and exchange. Take the time to broaden your perspective, and learn about a culture different from your own. Since we can't get together in person, we created a web page where DUS staff members could share interesting facts and experiences they encountered while traveling abroad

Learn more about all the International Education Week events at Penn State.

Alternative Grading Reinstated for Fall 2020

Penn State is reimplementing its opt-in alternative grading system for the fall 2020 semester to support and provide flexibility to undergraduate students who may be facing significant challenges academically due to circumstances beyond their control related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Students should use alternative grading very cautiously and with a great deal of attention to the potential long-term implications of these decisions, especially for the selection of SAT (Satisfactory) grades. Please plan to talk with your academic adviser to ensure you have a good understanding of the pros and cons of using alternative grading. Additionally, students who have received an academic sanction as the result of a violation of academic integrity will not be allowed to select alternative grading for that course. 

Departure Plan and COVID-19 Testing

In preparation for the departure from campuses after in-person instruction ends on November 20, Penn State has announced an aggressive fall departure plan offering all students COVID-19 testing, at no cost to students. Students can now book their appointment to receive an administered test or to pick up a self-test by using the Return Home Event on the Penn State Go App or by visiting virusinfo.psu.edu/departure-testing. Plan to test at least three days before your scheduled departure, as the turnaround time for results will be approximately 48 hours from the time your test is received at the lab. If you have not already done so, we are asking you not to wait to schedule your appointment.

Keep in mind these days for University Park testing:

Departure  Last Day to Test
November 19 November 16
November 20 November 17
November 21 November 18
November 22 November 19
Important Dates: 
Resource Spotlight: 
Global Penn State

Are you an international student? Interested in education abroad? Wanting to make a global impact? Visit the Global Penn State website to learn more about how you can think, act, and contribute globally from your campus

Events and Announcements: 
Help with a Student Project in the College of Agricultural Sciences
All Campuses

Nolan Martin (Senior, College of Agricultural Sciences) and his research partner, Janelle Guidarelli, are conducting a project for the Community, Environment, and Development senior capstone course (CED 475) to understand DUS students’ awareness of majors within the College of Agricultural Sciences. Nolan and Janelle’s goal is to gain an understanding of how the College of Agricultural Sciences is perceived by DUS students. What they learn will then be used by the College of Agricultural Sciences to create a marketing strategy to further promote the college’s majors. Please consider completing a short survey for Nolan and Janelle’s project: https://pennstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6zorjnpL9BdL31P. The survey is open until Sunday, November 29. 

Internships Abroad Fair
All Campuses

Interested in pursuing an internship abroad? Come to the Virtual Internships Abroad Fair on Wednesday, November 18 from 4:00–6:00 p.m. Education Abroad will have internship providers present to talk about their placement process, career coaching opportunities, and activities they organize for students to make the internship abroad more meaningful and a true learning experience. Organizers will also talk with students about the application process for the summer 2021. Students are encouraged to register in advance for the event.

Study Smarter, Not Harder
All Campuses

How can you better monitor your learning so that you don't waste time and effort on ineffective study strategies? This workshop presents research-based evidence that metacognition (awareness of how you learn and the predictable effects of the related choices you make) can help you successfully transition to the demands of college-level courses as well as the flexibility of setting your own schedule. All sessions will be held online via Zoom, and all times listed are Eastern Time (ET).

Upcoming Study Smarter Sessions: 

Join the New Student Orientation OTeam
University Park

Interested in helping the Class of 2025 to join Penn State? Join the Orientation Team! We are seeking diverse, dedicated, enthusiastic, resourceful, and motivated students to join our 2021 Orientation Team (OTeam). New Student Orientation (NSO) begins the transition to Penn State, and the OTeam makes the difference for new students and their families. Members of the OTeam will serve as group facilitators, resource persons, role models, and ambassadors for Penn State during NSO. You can learn more about the Orientation Team by visiting oteam.psu.edu.

Applications due by December 2, 2020.

Quick Question Advising
University Park

Have a question that can be resolved in a short 5-10 minute conversation? Join us for quick question advising via Zoom on the dates and times below. Some of these topics include: discussing adding/dropping courses within deadlines; getting a form signed; using LionPATH; reviewing entrance-to-major requirements; learning about general education information not related to schedule planning; and transferring credits. Quick question advising is not intended for in-depth conversations.

For students enrolled in DUS:

  • Click here for quick question advising via Zoom - Please note that a DUS adviser is only available during the times listed below. All times are Eastern Time. 
    Day Time
    Monday 1:00–3:00 p.m.
    Tuesday 9:00–11:00 a.m.
    Wednesday 9:00–11:00 a.m.
    Thursday 1:00–3:00 p.m.
    Friday No Quick Question Advising

For students not enrolled in DUS:

Alternative Grading Workshop
All Campuses

Curious about alternative grading and how it will influence your academic career? Come to the group advising session titled “Everything you need to know about the NEW alternative grading policy,” to learn more about the fall 2020 alternative grading options.

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • What the NEW alternative grading policy is for fall 2020
  • Why letter grades matter
  • How decisions about opting in to alternative grading relates to Entrance-to-Major requirements, graduation, and beyond
  • How to make appropriate decisions regarding alternative grading for yourself

Two workshop dates are available and students must register in advance: