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.

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Is Your College Student Considering Graduate School?

It may seem as though it was only yesterday that you were worrying about the college admission process and then sending your freshman off to her first year of college.  How can she be at the point that she is now considering graduate school?

Seeking a graduate degree is on the minds of many college students.  Obviously, some students are just ready to be done with school (at least for a while) and can’t wait to finish college.  Others, however, may have been inspired by a topic or field of study and are considering further study.  Some students have chosen a career that requires a graduate degree for employment or certification.

If your student is considering graduate study, be prepared to be less involved in the process this time around.  Your student is in charge.  One area where you may be most helpful in the first stages of considering graduate school is in helping your student think through whether more school is the right move.  Attending graduate school is not as automatic after college as college often is after high school.

What should your student consider in making the decision about graduate school?

Help your student think about her reasons for graduate school and the realities of that path.  Here are a few questions you can ask her to consider:

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Book Review: A High School Parent’s Guide to College Success

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. See the Recommended Reading section of our Resources page for more suggestions.

A High School Parent’s Guide to College Success by Amy Baldwin and Brian Tietje should be on every parent’s reading list at the time their student starts high school.  It takes time to get a student ready for college and this book guides parents through the process.  Don’t wait until your student is ready to head to college.

In the race to college that the high school years have become, it is easy for parents to become overwhelmed and not know where to start or how to fit in.  We like that this book presents twelve essentials for parents to focus on.  No overwhelm here.  Twelve skills for parents to help their students develop.  Twelve skills that will prepare a student to start college on the right foot and then keep him headed in the right direction.

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Why College Peer Tutoring Works

Working with a good tutor can make a tremendous difference in your college student’s success. Having a tutor can mean that a student has a stronger grasp of the course material and may receive a better grade.

Most colleges offer tutoring or academic support in some form.  One commonly used form of student support is the use of a peer tutor.  Peer tutors are students who have strength in a subject area and work with students who are having some difficulty or need support.  Occasionally, parents worry that their college student is working with another student and not with a professional tutor.  They are concerned that the tutoring help will not be sufficient.

Although professional tutoring is very valuable, and can work well for many students, peer tutoring also has great advantages.  As in any one-on-one tutoring situation, your student will receive individual attention and support for his academic needs.  Some peer tutors may work with a student on several subjects, or the tutor may have expertise in one particular area.

Why Peer Tutoring May Be Helpful for Your College Student

There are unique advantages of peer tutors, and parents need to be aware that peer tutoring is used by many colleges because it is effective, not because it is ”cheap labor.”  Peer tutors are usually trained; some are trained extensively.  They are not teachers with professional qualifications, they do not give grades or control curriculum, however they do have expertise in their subject area and some expertise in how to help other students succeed in that subject.

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How One Exercise Can Improve Your Communication with Your College Student (or Teen) Without Saying a Word

Kids are different.  As parents, we know this.  Some will talk your ear off and share everything going on in their lives.  Some talk a lot, but never really share what’s below the surface.  Others stay mum and it’s difficult to pry their thoughts from them.

As parents, most of us crave quality communication with our kids.  So when they don’t share, we’re frustrated.  Sometimes we beg for more information.  Sometimes we get angry.  And sometimes we just talk more.  These approaches seldom work.

We’d like to offer an exercise to improve your communication with your student – even before you open your mouth.

Yay! Uh-oh! And Lost Opportunities!

One of the first things that you can do to help you begin to improve your communication with your student actually has nothing to do with your student directly.  Spend some time in the company of others and unleash your powers of observation and analysis.

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