Information for the parents of college students

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You Can Influence Your College Student’s Classroom Success

Success in college means many things to many people. For some, it means a 4.0 GPA, for others it means landing the perfect job at graduation or being accepted to graduate school, for still others it may mean opportunities such as studying abroad and completing internships, and for still others, success may mean having a good time or finding a husband or wife.

However broadly you and your student define college success, it almost always includes at least some amount of success in the classroom. In spite of the importance of networking, social life, athletics, leadership, broad experiences, friendships, or job opportunities, the college experience centers around the classroom. And success in the classroom is important.

As a college parent, you hope for academic success, but there is little you can do to influence it. Your student’s success will depend on many factors, but they are, and should be, generally out of your control. In your role as sideline coach, you can cheer your student on – and occasionally give some advice – but the task of learning how to learn belongs to your student.

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August 25, 2014   No Comments

New Student Convocation May Launch Your College Student’s Year

What is college convocation? You’ve dropped your new freshman off at college and he says that he will be attending convocation. For anyone unfamiliar with college traditions this may be a strange term and you wonder what is going on. Fall convocation for new students, or for all returning students, is a common experience at many colleges and universities.

According to most dictionaries, the most technical meaning of convocation is a large formal meeting of people. The term used to refer to gatherings of bishops and other religious clerics, but now has been broadened to refer to meetings of members of a college or university to observe some sort of celebratory ceremony. Convocation is often associated with the beginnings and endings of the school year or of a student’s college career.

Some colleges include convocation along with a commencement ceremony to mark the ending of a student’s college education as well. At some schools, degrees or diplomas may be handed out at convocation. Many schools now include an opening convocation at the beginning of the school year as a ceremony to welcome new students or to welcome students back for a new year.

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August 21, 2014   No Comments

In Case of Emergency – Is Your College Student Prepared?

We all hope we will never need it – or know anyone who will ever need it. But like any good insurance, having an Early Warning or Early Alert system in place is an essential – legally mandated – element of every college campus. It is a sign of our times, and it is at least some assurance that the school has a plan in place for an emergency.

Almost all colleges now have some form of Emergency Alert or Warning system which is a mass notification system allowing the college to reach students, faculty, staff, and sometimes family members in case of a campus wide emergency. This emergency might range from an active shooter on campus to a weather emergency. An amendment to the Cleary Act, following the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, now mandates that all schools create an emergency notification system.

An alert system is generally part of a larger campus emergency response plan. In case of emergency, students, faculty and staff members might receive messages on computers, home or office phones, or cell phones. Messages might come in the form of e-mail, voice messages, or text messages. Messages would give basic instructions about what to do – perhaps to evacuate a building or area or to shelter in place. Messages are generally disseminated as soon as there is sufficient information available to provide constructive information to all who need it. [Read more →]

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August 18, 2014   No Comments

College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation (Part 6): Participating in Extracurricular Activities

This is the sixth and final post in a series of articles about experiences in college that can affect graduates’ engagement and well-being after college. Be sure to read the first five in the series as well: Part 1 – Getting Excited, Part 2 – Feeling Cared For, Part 3 – Having a Mentor, Part 4 – Long Term Project, and Part 5 – Having an Internship.

A recent poll of nearly 30,000 college graduates conducted jointly by Purdue University and Gallup, Inc. looked at the relationship between college experiences and college graduates’ lives post-graduation. The study examined workplace engagement and graduates’ sense of well-being as well as factors influencing students’ life while in college.

According to the results of this study, six factors emerged as important influences on graduates’ engagement and well-being. Over a six week period, our series, College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation has examined each of these factors and how students can take control of their college experiences to make sure that they participate in the activities in college which will help them in the future. We hope parents will share these ideas with their college students to help them work to pursue these important experiences.

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August 11, 2014   No Comments

College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation (Part 5): An Internship or Job

This is the fifth in a series of articles about experiences in college that can affect graduates’ engagement and well-being after college. Be sure to read the first four posts in the series as well: Part 1 – Getting Excited, Part 2 – Feeling Cared For, Part 3 – Having a Mentor, and Part 4 – Long Term Project.

A recent poll of nearly 30,000 college graduates conducted jointly by Purdue University and Gallup, Inc. looked at the relationship between college experiences and college graduates’ lives post-graduation. The study examined workplace engagement and graduates’ sense of well-being as well as factors influencing students’ life while in college.

According to the results of this study, six factors emerged as important influences on graduates’ engagement and well-being. Over a six week period, our series, College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation will examine each of these factors and how students can take control of their college experiences to make sure that they participate in the activities in college which will help them in the future. We hope parents will share these ideas with their college students to help them work to pursue these important experiences.

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August 4, 2014   No Comments

College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career. However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research. We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

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July 31, 2014   No Comments

College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation (Part 4): Working on a Longer Project

This is the fourth in a series of articles about experiences in college that can affect graduates’ engagement and well-being after college. Read the first three in the series here, here, and here.

A recent poll of nearly 30,000 college graduates conducted jointly by Purdue University and Gallup, Inc. looked at the relationship between college experiences and college graduates’ lives post-graduation. The study examined workplace engagement and graduates’ sense of well-being as well as factors influencing students’ life while in college.

According to the results of this study, six factors emerged as important influences on graduates’ engagement and well-being. Over a six week period, our series, College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation will examine each of these factors and how students can take control of their college experiences to make sure that they participate in the activities in college which will help them in the future. We hope parents will share these ideas with their college students to help them work to pursue these important experiences.

I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete.

Thirty-two percent of graduates responding to this question strongly agreed. That means that nearly one third of college students worked on a long-term project – but nearly two-thirds did not. That means that a large majority of students have not had the experience of seeing through a longer project before they enter their career. Since many projects in the workplace are longer term projects, these students may be missing a key piece of preparation for workplace demands. And more importantly for this study, the majority of graduates have not engaged in one of the activities which will help them thrive beyond college.

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July 28, 2014   No Comments

Is An Online Class Right for Your College Student?

Online classes are becoming more and more prevalent in every corner of higher education. Some colleges offer entire programs online and have no “bricks and mortar” campus. Well established traditional colleges and universities are offering more options for online courses or programs. There is a good chance that at some point in your student’s college career he will have the opportunity to take an online class. The question is, should he?

There are many appeals to online classes. Convenience may be one of the strongest of these appeals. Students can complete their entire class without having to go to a classroom or sit through a lecture, and very often, students can complete the work at their own pace and at whatever time of the day or night is convenient.

However, online classes may not be for everyone. If your student has the option of taking an online class, and is considering registering for one, here are a few questions you might ask him to consider before he makes his decision.

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July 24, 2014   No Comments

College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation (Part 3): Making the Most of a Mentor

This is the third in a series of articles about experiences in college that can affect graduates’ engagement and well-being after college. Read the first in the series here, and the second here.

A recent poll of nearly 30,000 college graduates conducted jointly by Purdue University and Gallup, Inc. looked at the relationship between college experiences and college graduates’ lives post-graduation. The study examined workplace engagement and graduates’ sense of well-being as well as factors influencing students’ life while in college.

According to the results of this study, six factors emerged as important influences on graduates’ engagement and well-being. Over the next six weeks, our series, College Experiences That Lead to Well-Being After Graduation will examine each of these factors and how students can take control of their college experiences to make sure that they participate in the activities in college which will help them in the future. We hope parents will share these ideas with their college students to help them work to pursue these important experiences.

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July 21, 2014   No Comments

Parenting College Students: Reading List #4

This post includes a list of twelve books of interest to parents of college students. We’ve previously published a list of fourteen titles, another list of twelve additional titles, and still another list of fourteen titles which you might want to check out. There are certainly even more resources available, but these lists should give parents a good start on more than enough material to support them through the college years. All of the books have different styles and approaches, so it is important to find the books which resonate for you.

We are not necessarily endorsing these books, but we’d like to help you find material available. You won’t want to read them all, but you might look for some titles and approaches that intrigue you.

Over the next few months, we will continue to review some of these books to provide a bit more guidance about their content and perspective. Check our “Reviews” category to see what we’ve reviewed so far. Happy reading!

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July 17, 2014   No Comments