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Coronavirus: Mentoring and Advising Practices

Mentoring and Advising Graduate Students in a COVID-19 Environment

As campus adjusts to remote work and instruction, graduate programs are also transitioning to providing remote advising and mentoring.  Below are some resources to help faculty and staff adjust to advising students online and guidance on topics to discuss as we face new challenges with the Corona Virus.

Advising Resources for Graduate Program Coordinators and Graduate Program Advisors

Graduate program coordinators and graduate program advisors can provide advising to graduate students through virtual appointments. UC Davis Academic Advising Enrichment has put together the below Zoom resources that may be helpful as graduate programs adjust to remote advising needs.

Fall 2020 Late Drops and S/U Grading Exceptions

Graduate students will have until the last day of instruction (December 11, 2020) to submit a Grading Option Change request form for Fall 2020. 

Maximum S/U course exception: Current Academic Senate policy (DDR A546.A) limits the number of optional S/U courses allowed each term. For Fall 2020, a graduate student in good standing (or who receives approval from the Office of Graduate Studies) is authorized to undertake, in addition to courses graded on a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory only basis, not more than two courses in each session on an optional Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) basis.

Graduate program advisors will play a pivotal role in providing equitable and comprehensive advising to students who are considering exceptions. To help graduate program advisors facilitate these important discussions with students, Graduate Studies has created a one page Important Considerations for Late Drops and S/U Grading Exceptions guide and a more extensive Advising Guide

Remote Oral Exams

Thank you to the MCIP graduate program and the College of Biological Sciences for sharing their remote oral exam instructions (adapted for general use).

Key Campus Resources

Tips for Faculty Mentors

We encourage all faculty mentors to reach out to their graduate students regularly and be a source of support during this stressful time.  Below are some suggested topics to discuss with your mentee with links to relevant resources.  The NIH also recently offered a helpful webinar Supporting Yourself and Your Trainees During the Coronavirus Pandemic, which focuses on mental health and can be applied across discipline.  

Questions? Graduate Studies Can Help.

For more information about provisional changes to graduate education policy, leave options, and degree progress, visit our COVID-19 Graduate Education Guidance page. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact