We’re wishing ourselves a happy anniversary here at College Parent Central. We’ve reached a five year milestone! Somehow it seemed appropriate to begin this venture on April Fool’s Day — April 1, 2009 — as we launched ourselves into the unknown. We believed then that college parents need support and are an important factor in student success. Five years later we are even more convinced of the importance of parent education and support.
We’ve spent five years sharing nearly 500 posts, writing about college parenting, talking to college parents, working with college students, and working and speaking with professional colleagues. During this time, we are proud to have contributed to the important dialogue that helps parents better understand and work with their students.
Throughout the past five years 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.
Our basic beliefs have not changed over the years, but as our understanding and respect for the complexity of college parenting continues to evolve, we’ve continued to explore new themes and ideas. Still basic to what we believe are the ideas that parents are important partners in their child’s education — including the college years, that parents have an important place as coach and sounding board, that good communication is the basis for building important relationships, and that emerging adulthood is a unique and fascinating phase of development.
We look forward to continued exploration of some new themes as well.
Parents are an essential factor in helping students get ready for college. The current emphasis on getting in to college needs to be balanced by getting ready for college. Although high schools need to continue to improve academic readiness, parents can be leaders in aiding students with the soft skills of readiness. Key among these soft skills are grit and resilience, adaptation to stress, and important social and communication skills. We’d like to see college preparedness become a focus for more and more families.
Parents also need to continue to recognize their changing role as college parent throughout their student’s college, and early career, years. Students often follow varied paths to success — lengthened college timelines, gap years, college transfer, and the emotional roller coaster ride that may include leaving, moving back home, and leaving once again. Parent involvement requires sensitivity and flexibility, and the recognition that each student’s path may be unique.
Finally, we recognize how often parents need support when things don’t go as planned. The ideal image of the four year college experience with a move into a career shatters for many families. Parents need to know that they are not alone and that most students ultimately find their own way to success. Some of our most popular posts over the past five years have the common theme of the college detour — they deal with subjects such as academic dismissal, academic probation, withdrawing from college, withdrawing from a class, retaking a class, and student stress.
We are grateful for those of you who have joined us on the College Parent Central journey so far. We hope that we will be able to continue to provide the information and support that college parents find helpful and reassuring.
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.
Please leave us a comment and let us know if there are topics you’d like to see us explore, posts you’ve found particularly helpful, or ideas which especially speak to you. Let us know what you’re thinking and help us to shape the future of College Parent Central!