#065 – Talking College with Transition Expert Dr. Andrea Brenner

Having the right conversations is an important way to help prepare your student for college. In this episode we talked with Dr. Andrea Brenner, co-author of How to College and creator of the Talking College Card Deck, a collection of discussion prompts for parents and students. Andrea is a seasoned college professor and former director of an award-winning first year experience program who recognizes the complexity of the transition to college. She shared ideas about how parents and students can use their pre-college conversations to learn from each other and anticipate the college experience.

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We were excited to talk with Andrea Malkin Brenner in this episode about both her book, How to College: What to Know Before You Go (and When You’re There)co-authored with Lara Schwartz, and her new product The Talking College Card Deck. As you’ll hear during this episode, the Talking College Card Deck is a collection of conversation prompts to help parents and students talk about important college transition issues. It’s a fun way to explore these topics together.

Dr. Brenner has made a generous offer just for our listeners! If you’d like to purchase a card deck for you and your student (think graduation present!), go to Andrea’s website ambrenner.com/publications, and use the promo code CPCSAVE for a $2.00 discount on your purchase.

These 108 cards with over 250 discussion prompts cover 11 different topics including family expectations, spirituality, money, safety, health drugs and alcohol and relationships. One of the many benefits is discovering topics to discuss that you never even thought of.

Dr. Brenner talked about the importance of remembering that students don’t all make their complete transition at the end of their first semester. The second semester brings its own challenges. We talked about this second semester transition back in our podcast episode #007 – Second Semester of College: The Transition No One Talks About.

As she talked about her book, Dr. Brenner reminded parents that if they are looking for books, either for themselves or their students, make sure that the author has worked on a college campus. They will have the most valuable experience to share about college life and transition.

How to College is written specifically for students (parents are welcome to read it too, of course) and contains several essential checklists for things to do even before students arrive on campus.

Our discussion with Andrea Brenner helped us learn some new things about the college transition – and we’ve been in higher education for many years. You’ll definitely want to listen in on this conversation.

We asked Andrea whether she had any books she would recommend for parents and her first suggestion was a book we’ve recommended many times before – How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott Haims.  If you haven’t read it yet, this may be the perfect time.

If you’d like to think more about important conversations and the transition to college, here are a couple of additional articles.

10 Conversations Parents and Students Should Have Before the First Year of College

The Summer Before College: How Eight Questions Can Help Your Student Reflect — and Help You Know Your Student Better

Twelve Things You Can Do To Help You Listen To Your College Student

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

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Once more – in case you want to purchase the Talking College Card Deck remember to go to Andrea’s website ambrenner.com/publications, and use the promo code CPCSAVE for a $2.00 discount on your purchase.

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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