Why Your Transfer Student May Be in Shock

There is a phenomenon called Transfer Shock.  If you have a transfer student, she may be experiencing this tendency for students who transfer from one school to another to experience a temporary dip in their GPA during their transitional first or second semesters.

If you have a transfer student who did reasonably well in her original school and she is facing this transitional grade dip, she may be alarmed.  She may wonder whether she should have transferred after all – or whether she transferred to the right school.  It may help if you can reassure your student that this struggle, this dip in GPA, is normal; and that most transfer students recover their grades within a semester or two.

If you have a student who is considering a transfer next semester or next year, warn her ahead of time. Your student may be able to avoid it, but more importantly, if transfer shock does occur, she’ll worry less because she’ll know that others may be experiencing the same thing.

Why does transfer shock happen?

Some students may underestimate the difficulty of transitioning to a new school.  They’ve already made the adjustment to being in college, and they feel that a new school won’t be all that different.  However, once at the new school, students realize that there are new ways of doing things, new expectations, new traditions, and new policies.  Students may also encounter more difficult upper level coursework than they had at their previous institution.  Some students may also be taken by surprise at the social disorientation that they feel in a new environment and the effort that it takes to make new social connections and friends.

Read moreWhy Your Transfer Student May Be in Shock


Support for Students with Learning Differences in College: Do Your Homework!

This is the second article by College Parent Central contributor Dr. Lynn Abrahams.  Lynn specializes in college transition and success for students with learning differences.

Over the past ten years more and more programs have been created to help prepare and support college students with learning differences. In fact, there are now so many models out there that it has become crucial to do your homework before making the decision about the best post-secondary environment for your student. As a learning disabilities specialist over the past 30 years, I have seen families pay a tremendous amount of money for programs that may not be the right fit, because they did not fully understand what was or was not being offered.

Here are a few issues to keep in mind:

 Support in High School

Look at how much support your student is getting in high school. Shifting the amount and type of support when entering a new college environment is not usually a good idea.

  • Is your student in a substantially separate classroom?
  • Is your student fully mainstreamed in all high school classes?
  • Is your student in college preparatory classes?
  • How much time does your student get for support in a resource room?
  • How much time does your student work with other therapists, such as speech and language, occupational therapy, English language learner support, or counseling?

Read moreSupport for Students with Learning Differences in College: Do Your Homework!


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.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


When Your College Senior Hates Her Major

You’re almost at the finish line.  You’ve made it through that somewhat scary freshman year, the potential sophomore slump, junior year, and your student is now top of the heap – a senior!  It’s time for celebration and planning for Commencement.

But then it happens.  Your student decides that she hates her major.  She’s devastated.  You’re devastated.  You’re both at least a little scared.  Perhaps it’s the courses she’s now taking that sealed the deal.  Or perhaps she had an internship or opportunity to get out in the field and she hated the experience.  She’s upset, depressed and at a loss.  And so are you.  What now?

It’s a very difficult situation and it’s natural to be upset.  Discovering late in the college experience that your major doesn’t seem right can feel overwhelming.  And, as is often the case, it’s almost harder as a parent to watch your student be so unhappy.  But the situation is not unique.  Many students have second, and third, and fourth, thoughts about major and career – even in their senior year.

Read moreWhen Your College Senior Hates Her Major


Why Some College Parents’ Involvement Increases During the Second Semester

You sent your child off to college this fall.  It was hard. You said goodbye.  You worried. You worked at adjusting to the empty nest. You worried some more. But somehow, both you and your student survived.  You got through that difficult first semester.  It may have gone brilliantly, or there may have been some hiccups and room for improvement, but you both made it through.

So sending your student off for the second semester should be a breeze, right?  No big deal.  Maybe.  But maybe not.

The college parent timeline

Every parent’s experience is unique – because every student’s experience is unique. But there are some universals, and there is a cycle of college parenting for many families.  If you are having a difficult time with the second semester of college, you are not alone.

One problem, however, is that you don’t realize that you’re in good company.  No one talks about it.  When you sent your student off to college for the first time, you knew everyone else was feeling similar heart-tugs.  From articles, to the stories other parents shared, to the communication from the school, you knew you weren’t alone, and everyone told you it would be OK.

Read moreWhy Some College Parents’ Involvement Increases During the Second Semester


How Do American College Students Manage Their Finances?

We have written an earlier post about college students and their use of credit cards.  The picture seems have improved over the past ten years. In general, students have fewer credit cards and lower balances. If your student has a credit card, have a conversation with him about how he uses his card and how he feels about credit.

We’d like to share some additional information from the same Experian study that gives an extended view of college students and their finances.  Clearly, many students are thinking about their money and their finances and are working to be responsible.  But there are also areas where there is room for improvement.

We hope this information may provide additional conversation starters with your college student.  Where does your student fit in the college student financial picture?

Read moreHow Do American College Students Manage Their Finances?


10 Reasons Why Your Student May Have a Case of the “Second Semester Blues”

It’s winter.  In many places in the country it’s cold, and it’s dark a lot. The holiday break is over. The novelty of being a new college student has worn off.  May, and summer vacation, seem a long way off.  And now it’s time to get started with a new semester.

Is it any wonder that your student may have a case of the Second Semester Blues?

If your student is heading back to school but not particularly excited about the prospect, know that she is not alone.  There may be mild reluctance (who doesn’t hate the end of vacation?) or there may be serious resistance to returning.  Help your student to understand that this feeling is common.  There is no instant cure, but it may help your student to know that there are others who feel the same way – and that the feeling usually passes.

Why is your student feeling this way?

There are many reasons students may feel less than enthusiastic about their return to school for second semester, and some students may have multiple reasons.

Read more10 Reasons Why Your Student May Have a Case of the “Second Semester Blues”


Some “One-and-Done” New Year’s Resolutions for College Parents

The New Year has rolled around again – seemingly ever faster.  It feels as though we were just making our resolutions and plans for 2017 and here we are again.  As always, the changing of the year provides an excellent time to reflect, and then to look forward.

Several years ago, we offered some thoughts about the qualities that make good New Year resolutions.  If you’re a person who makes resolutions, we recommend reading our earlier article to see how your resolutions hold up.

But the problem with resolutions is that they often don’t hold up.  We make plans and promises (notice all of the ads this month for weight loss and quitting smoking!) but for most of us, they fade away quickly.  We’ve suggested resolutions in previous years, and we think they are still good suggestions for college parents.

But this year, we’re offering a slightly different list.  Each item in the list – or each resolution – contains only one thing.  They are, essentially, one-and-done resolutions.  Do something once and you’ve completed your resolution.  You don’t need to maintain a new habit; and you don’t need to feel guilty if you don’t.  We’re offering 12 suggestions, so you might even consider one each month for the year, but we hope you don’t wait that long.  And who knows, some might even become habits and stick in spite of it all.

Read moreSome “One-and-Done” New Year’s Resolutions for College Parents