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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Tis the Season: 12 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your College Student (plus nearly 100 more!)

It’s that time of year again.  Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday.  We’re thinking about family and friends and we’re thinking about gifts.  If you have a college student, or an about-to-be college student, you may be searching for some ideas for useful or fun gifts.

You know your student best, and can tap into interests and needs, but we’d like to offer some suggestions that may stimulate your imagination. We have ten new suggestions for 2019, but we’ve offered some suggestions in the past.  Don’t stop with this post! Check out our Gift suggestions tab for nearly 100 additional suggestions.  There’s something for everyone there!

Check out our ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!  If you have additional suggestions, share them in the comments!

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5 Situations that May Be Paralyzing Your College Student Right Now

There’s a rhythm to a college semester.

There’s the nervousness at the beginning of the semester as students look at the syllabus for each class and realize that there will be a lot of work to do. Gradually, however, routine settles in and work feels more manageable, and not as overwhelming as it seemed at first. This may be a bit of a honeymoon phase.

For many students, the first reality check may be midterm exams and midterm grades. This is the time to discover what has been working and, for some students, a recognition that some things need to change.

As students near the end of the semester, a second reality check occurs. Now there are only a few weeks remaining and some students may become paralyzed as they face their situation. They freeze because they’re not sure how to begin or how to deal with what needs to be done. If you feel that your student may be overwhelmed by any of these situations, start a conversation.

5 situations that may be paralyzing your student and how to take action

Attendance — Your student has missed a few classes.  Actually, your student has missed many classes. They haven’t been to class in a few days, or maybe even a few weeks.

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The College Parent Central Podcast is Here!

This is it! A new podcast is born!

We’ve thought about it, we’ve planned it, we’ve been busily recording it, we’ve hinted at it and announced that it was coming, and now it’s here!  The new College Parent Central Podcast.

Does the world really need another podcast?

The world may not need another podcast. (There are currently 550,000 podcasts listed on iTunes.) But we think you might.  The College Parent Central Podcast isn’t for the whole world, it’s for parents (and grandparents and aunts and uncles and siblings and guardians and friends) who have a student who is heading to college, in college or just finishing college. If that describes you, then you need this podcast.

If you’re a college parent or almost a college parent, chances are you have some questions about what you need to do, what your student needs to do, how you can help, and what to expect. Chances are that you have some concerns or worries about how your student will succeed in college. Chances are that you need more information about what to expect and what your student’s life at college will be like.

Chances are that you wish you had someone who’s been through this and who understands the ins and outs of college life who will answer your questions.  Someone who could give you advice, or at least share some information.

We can do that!

That’s where the College Parent Central Podcast can help. Hosts Vicki Nelson and Lynn Abrahams are parents whose children have gone to college, and they are also higher education professionals. Lynn is a Learning Disabilities Specialist and professor with two sons, and Vicki is a professor of Communication and former Director of Academic Advising with three daughters. They’ve lived the parent role and work with college students every day.

On the podcast, Vicki and Lynn discuss all things college parent. Topics range from what to expect when your student comes home for break, helping your student through midterms and finals, differences between high school and college, how to prepare your student for success in college, what to do if your student is on probation or dismissed, parent anxiety and parenting from a distance, college transfer, communicating with your college student — and so much more.

Think of the College Parent Central Podcast as a conversation

Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to spend some time with someone who’s been there?

Join Vicki and Lynn on the podcast twice each month to feel as though you’re sitting down with a friend who’s been there, lived through it and is ready to share some stories and advice. You may gain a new perspective on your student’s experiences, understand better what your college parent role can and should be, and gather some tips and suggestions to help you work with your student.

Becoming a college parent is something to celebrate! We hope that we can share together not only information, but the concerns — and joys — of having a child in college. You’re not alone!

How can I be part of this?

You can find the College Parent Central Podcast on your favorite podcast directory. Find us on iTunes, Stitcher,  Spotify or whatever directory you use. Subscribe to the podcast so each episode will be automatically downloaded when it is released.

You can also access each episode right here through the College Parent Central website. Each time we release an episode, we’ll share an article with the link to listen and some related information you might find helpful.

We’d also love to hear about the topics you’d like us to cover. Send us an email at to share your questions, suggestions and feedback. This podcast is for you, so let us know what you’re thinking.

We’re excited. Let’s get started!

#004 – Here We Go! It’s Final Exam Time!

stressed man at computer

The final exam period is an intense, stressful time for many students.  But, thankfully, it is  relatively short.  When you provide just a bit of understanding, encouragement, and support from home, you can do a lot to help your student succeed.  In this episode, Lynn and Vicki discuss how you can help your student deal with anxiety, prepare for the end of the semester and cope with the results.

Subscribe to our podcast: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

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#002 – Mid-Semester Check In

Just when you think your student has settled in to that first semester of college it’s time for a reality check.  Mid-semester is a great time for you to check in with your student to see how the semester is going.  In this episode Lynn and Vicki discuss potential concerns, available resources, and specific conversations that can help you and your student connect at this important time.


Subscribe to our podcast: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

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#001 – Welcome to the College Parent Central Podcast

Vicki Nelson and Lynn Abrahams lead a parent workshop

Meet Lynn Abrahams, learning disabilities specialist for college students and Vicki Nelson, Communication professor and former Director of Academic Advising. Lynn and Vicki are also parents of 2 boys (Lynn) and 3 girls (Vicki) and have lived through the college parent experience. In this new podcast Lynn and Vicki draw on their many years of experience and blend their perspectives as college professionals and parents as they look at the college parent role. Join them for stories, suggestions, strategies, and a celebration of being a college parent.


Subscribe to our podcast: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

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Coming Soon! The New College Parent Central Podcast

A lot has been going on behind the scenes at College Parent Central in recent weeks. We’re busy preparing for a new adventure! That’s right, it’s a podcast.

Yep. We’re stepping into a new world and launching a podcast to share information with you in a new form. Hosts Vicki Nelson and Lynn Abrahams will be chatting about all things college parent in the new College Parent Central Podcast.

You don’t stop parenting the day you drop your student off to college on Move-in Day.  Your role simply changes.  (Actually, it’s not simple at all, but it changes.) You’re a parent for life. Join Lynn Abrahams and Vicki Nelson, higher education professionals and former college parents, as they explore the topics that can help you be a more effective and supportive parent to your college bound student.  Whether you already have a child in college, college is still a year or more away, or your student is about to step out, start now to gather the information that empowers you to be an effective college success coach to your student.

We’ll cover some of the topics we’ve written about on the website, as well as some new ideas. We’ll be joined occasionally by some guests who can bring their expertise and perspective to share with you as well. We’ll help guide you through your parenting role as you prepare your student for college, support them during the college years, and help them step out into the world after college.

We’re excited and we hope you’ll want to join us on this adventure. It’s still a week away (look for our launch on November 20), but we wanted you to know it’s coming.  Get your earbuds ready!


Who’s Behind College Parent Central?

Tread Lightly, But Be Present: Supporting Your Student Through the Stressful End of the Semester

stressed man at computer

As the end of the semester nears, many college students feel their stress levels rise. Students realize how much work they still have left to do, and they realize that their time-management skills may not have served them well. They are overwhelmed, tired, possibly sick, and definitely nervous about the outcome.

As you begin to sense your student’s stress, your parental instincts kick in and you want to do everything you can to help. It’s a tricky time. It is important that you let your student know that you’re there for them, you’re ready to listen and offer an encouraging word, but your student needs to find ways of coping on their own. It’s part of the growth of independence and being a college student.

College parenting can be difficult. As parent, you need to tread lightly. It is difficult to step back and watch your student struggle, but sometimes all you can do is offer those encouraging words and a listening ear.

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