Reflecting on Six Years: College Parent Central’s Anniversary
Each year, as April rolls around, College Parent Central celebrates an anniversary. We are always pleased, and sometimes a little amazed, that we’re still here a year later. This year we celebrate our sixth anniversary. When we first launched on April Fool’s Day in 2009, we weren’t sure what to expect. We recognized that college parents needed information and support, and we hoped that we could help provide some of that guidance. Six years later, parents continue to let us know that they appreciate the information that we provide.
Thank you to those who have supported us and shared our information with others!
Our journey and evolution
Over the years, we have seen some important things remain constant and other things evolve. It’s been an interesting journey.
What has not changed is college parents’ hunger for information about how to best support their student’s success. Parents want to understand their role in the college search and throughout the college years. Parents also look especially for guidance when their student struggles or has difficulties. Some of our most viewed articles include those about academic probation, dismissal, and course withdrawal.
Although more and more colleges are “orienting” parents as their students begin college, many schools might do a better job of providing parents with guidance when their student struggles. Parents need support when things don’t go as planned. Parents need to know that they are not alone and that most students, even those with winding paths to success, ultimately find their own way in spite of detours.
One of the areas which has evolved and grown over the past several years has been the increasing recognition – by parents, students, and educators – that students need to be better prepared for college. Many high schools are working to increase students’ academic readiness. This is important.
At College Parent Central, we recognize that parents can play an important part, more important than many parents realize, in helping to prepare their students for college – especially in non-academic areas. The current emphasis on getting in to college needs to be balanced by getting ready for college. You will find an increasing number of our articles in recent months help parents to address this issue. Key among the important skills that students need are grit and resilience, adaptation to stress, and important social and communication skills.
Back in year two for College Parent Central (ah, we were so young then!) we shared some insights as we marked our second anniversary. These insights still guide our work.
Of course, another anniversary gives us an opportunity to look back and see how far we’ve come. During the past six years, we have:
- Published nearly 550 articles.
- Had nearly one million visits to our website.
- Partnered with College Parents of America to provide content for their website and Parents’ Handbook.
- Shared articles with many colleges and other parent organizations.
- Offered a New Parents online course in partnership with a major university.
- Connected with many parents and college professionals through Twitter (@collparcentral)
- Connected with many parents through our monthly newsletter. (Sign up here)
- Supported many students through our FirstTerm! and FreshStart! subscription newsletters.
- Met with countless parents through workshops and college orientation sessions.
Six years ago, we could not have predicted what College Parent Central might look like six years later. We look forward to whatever lies ahead.
We hope that parents will continue to find College Parent Central helpful and a place where they feel validated in the importance of their role in helping their student succeed. As we said when we began, “We hope that you will find information, support, and a celebration of the amazing experience of having a child in college.” This is an incredible journey.
Please leave us a comment and let us know if there are topics you’d like to see us explore, articles 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!