Reflecting on 2016 – College Parent Update

When you do something once, it is interesting.  When you do something twice, it suddenly becomes a tradition.  We’re now in our fourth year of sharing a look back at College Parent Central’s year.  Clearly a tradition.

Reflection is always a good exercise.  Looking back gives us some perspective to look ahead and think about our goals and plans for the new year based on where we’ve come.

So before we look ahead, make plans, make resolutions we probably won’t keep, or set goals for 2017, we’d like to take a moment to look back at 2016.  What does the past year reveal about the essence of the college parent role and those ideas and issues that most affect the way we relate to our college sons and daughters?

We invite you to take a few minutes to reflect with us, and to think about how you view your role as college parent.  How have you grown into the role over the past year?  Where might you and your college student go next year?

Most popular articles

We shared fifty articles in 2016.  We hope many of them spoke to issues and ideas that are helpful to college parents. Our most read articles, however, haven’t changed in the past several years.  They speak to parents’ need for guidance when students struggle.

What to Do If Your Student Is Academically Dismissed from College

Should My College Student Consider Withdrawing from a Class?

Academically Dismissed from College?  Ten Steps to Move On

Should My College Student Consider Retaking a Course?

How Parents Can Help Their College Student in Difficulty

Important articles — by the month

 It’s difficult to pick our ”best” or ”most important” articles.  After all, if we didn’t think an issue was important, we wouldn’t bother writing about it.  But as we look back over this past year, these are some of the articles we’re proudest of.  We think they provide important insight or at least food for thought.  If you missed them the first time around, take a few minutes to consider them now.


Parents, Help Students Manage that Nasty Time Between Application and College Admission


The Degree Map: Your College Student’s Path to Graduation


Partnering with Your Student’s High School for College Success


College Parent Central Has Just Turned Seven!

(OK, we all like to celebrate, but this is also an important reminder of our mission and purpose.)


Turning the Page on the College Decision Dilemma


Why Your Student Should Have a Personal Departure Plan from College


Should My Student Take Advantage of Test Optional Admission Policies?


Friends Along the Way: Your College Student’s Search for Friends


Does It Matter Who Is Teaching My College Student?


The Delicate Balance of Support and Self-Reliance


Is Your Student ”Present” at College?


Are You Ready for the LONG Winter Break?

Important Themes

Social media sites like to list ”trending” topics, those issues currently getting lots of attention and chatter.  There’s so much that is important to college parents that it’s difficult to pinpoint specifics, but there are three topics that we think are gaining importance for college parents right now — and we expect will continue next year.

Important themes we see for 2017 —

  • student mental health, stress and anxiety
  • college completion
  • student loan debt

What do you think?  What would you add?  Let us know in the comments below if there are topics you’d like to see us cover in 2017.

And so the year winds down . . .

 We’ve covered a range of topics this year, and it feels as though we’re only scratching the surface of college parenting.  There’s much to think about for all of us as we enter this new phase of parenting.  Far from being done, our work has changed significantly but continues in full force.  We hope that College Parent Central can help you understand your new job and support you, and your student, on this new journey.

Take a few moments to reflect on your college parent experience — no matter where you and your student are in the process.  What highlights can you pinpoint each month during this past year? How have you and your student grown?  Then, share your thoughts with your student. It might begin an interesting conversation.

Happy Holidays!


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