#012 – Talking About the First Year Experience – An Interview with Dr. Silas Pearman

In our first guest interview, Lynn and Vicki chat with Dr. Silas Pearman, First Year Coordinator at Curry College. Si discusses various types of first year programming and how students can benefit from classes that help them transition. Topics include questions parents and students should ask during the admission process to find the best fitting first year program, specific challenges first year students typically face, and strategies to help parents prepare their students for the transition. Si shares advice to parents on how to support their college student throughout their first year. Parents are urged to do their homework to evaluate options and find schools with intentional programming for first year students.

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     We were pleased in this first interview to chat about first year students with Dr. Silas Pearman. Si has been responsible for guiding first year students at both Furman University and Curry College.  The more that parents understand about their students’ experience during that first year of college, the better they will be able to guide them. Si shared a lot of information with us and covered so many important topics for parents.

We ambushed Si with the question about what books he would recommend to parents who want to read more. He sent us a list afterward and we’d like to share that with you.  These are a great way to gather even more helpful information. Here’s Si’s list. (Check out our review of some of them!)


51 Tips for First Year Students (College Edition) by Alan Farber and Linda O’Brien

Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Coburn & Madge Treeger

You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years by Marjorie Savage

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap & Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims

Lynn and Vicki also mentioned a couple of additional titles on their list of favorites:

The i-Connected Parent by Barbara K. Hofer

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey

Our conversation with Si touched upon a range of topics. If you’d like to follow up with some further reading, here are some articles that may help you dig a little deeper.

College Residence Assistant: Your Student’s Live-in Mentor

First Year Seminar: Your Student’s First Step Into College

Should My College Student Come Home for Weekends?

Helping Your College Student Living at Home

Is Your College Student Investing Enough Time Studying?

Help Your Student Get Started Talking to Professors

Is Your Student’s College Dorm Room Too Comfortable?

We also discussed the importance of using campus resources for student success.  Be sure to listen to our podcast Episode #008 – Helping Your Student Take Advantage of College Resources.

Don’t forget that you can listen to all of our previous podcast episodes here or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also go to followthepodcast.com/collegeparentcentral to add our podcast so that you’ll receive each new episode as we release it.

Let us know what you’d like to hear about on future podcasts! Leave a comment here or email us at podcast@collegeparentcentral.com.

And finally, a request for your help. Podcast ratings and reviews are important to help our podcast become visible to more people who might want or need the information we share. We’ve made it even easier for you to leave us a review! Simply go to lovethepodcast.com/collegeparentcentral and leave us rating or review.

Note: Some links in our post are for affiliate products. If you use our links, College Parent Central receives a small percentage of your purchase price. This does not change the cost to you.  We think it’s only fair to let you know that.



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