Happy Anniversary! College Parent Central Turns Four!

College Parent Central has just turned four!  We began this website on April 1, 2009 — somehow April Fool’s Day seemed an appropriate launch for something that thrust us into the unknown.  Four years (and 410 posts) later, we continue to believe even more firmly than ever that college parents are an important part of student success, and we’re proud to contribute to the dialogue.

After four years of writing about college parenting, talking to college parents, working with college students, and working and speaking with professional colleagues, we have learned even more than we have shared.  We are grateful to those people who have shared their stories and wisdom and helped us as we continue to reach out to parents who may find our information helpful,

Although our basic beliefs have not changed over the past four years, our understanding of and respect for the complexity of college parenting has continued to evolve.

  • We believe even more firmly than we did four years ago that good communication between parents and their college students is the key to success.  Good communication is not easy, but it is a skill that can be improved.  It is a continuing theme in our articles.
  • We’re fascinated by and we find compelling the work that is being done to understand this generation of students as emerging adults and millennials.  This eighteen to twenty-nine year old age is becoming a unique phase of development which we will all benefit from understanding.
  • We see more clearly than ever the evolving role of parents throughout their student’s four (or five!) year college career and beyond.  Parental support is essential during the initial transition to college, but is equally important, although different, throughout the remaining years.  Increasingly, parental support beyond the college years is changing as well.  Today’s students and parents have a closer relationship than ever and navigating that relationship to the benefit of everyone is an ever more complex task.
  • Over the past year, we’ve begun to share a new theme as well.  We believe that parents can, and must, do more to prepare their child for a successful college experience.  The college parent role begins earlier than September of freshman year.  College readiness is developed over the course of time — and parents have an essential role to play in helping their future college student become armed to be successful.  Unfortunately, this task is often overshadowed by the emphasis on college admissions.  We’d like to see college preparedness become a focus of families as well.

Our primary purpose hasn’t changed

We began College Parent Central four years ago with five basic principles.  Four years later, these basic beliefs still hold true for us.

  • We believe that parents can be important partners in their child’s education from pre-school through college.
  • We believe that most parents want to be involved in their child’s college experience.
  • We believe that parents do have a place in their child’s college experience.
  • We believe that many parents don’t know how to be involved in their child’s college experience.
  • We believe that many parents don’t understand today’s college experience. (Those of us who attended college ourselves need to learn how the college experience has changed in the twenty-first century.)

We hope that you will continue to find College Parent Central a place which will validate your role in your child’s college experience. We hope that you will find information, support, and a celebration of the amazing experience of having a child in college. It can be an incredible journey for your child — and for you.

Please leave us a comment and let us know about your thoughts.  Are there topics you’d like to see us explore?  Posts you’ve found particularly helpful?  Ideas which especially speak to you or with which you disagree?  Let us know what you’re thinking and help us to shape the future of College Parent Central!

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