Welcome to the College Parent Central Podcast!
This is the place to find a list of all of our episodes. Look for new episodes on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.
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Click on the title of each episode to listen and find the show notes. We’ll share related items and anything specific that we mention in the episode. It’s a great way to take the topic a step further.
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What’s the College Parent Central Podcast all about?
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.
#088 – How Parents’ Fear of Failure Can Influence Students
As parents, it’s in our DNA to worry about our kids. In addition, the messaging about success and failure is all around us and reinforces our worst fears. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki discuss some of the reasons we worry, the effect parental fears can have on our students and how we can address these fears so that our students will own their experiences and believe they are capable.
#087 – Exploring the Why and How of the Gap Year Experience: An Interview with Jay Gosselin of Discover Year and Marie Shea, Gap Year Parent
In this episode we had a wonderful interview with Jay Gosselin, Founder and Director of Discover Year, a year long program that helps young adults build essential skills for their career and life. We explored why students might need or want a gap year experience and the benefits of taking that year between high school and college off from traditional school. We were also joined by Marie Shea, whose daughter Grace chose to spend the year after high school as a Discover Year student. Marie shared the parent perspective and helped us realize that although each student’s story is different, we are all on a journey together.
#086 – Highlights from Jeff Selingo’s Book There Is Life After College
Jeff Selingo’s book There is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow is a hidden gem. Whether you have a student in high school, in college, or a recent graduate, this is a wonderful resource to share with your student. We think higher education professionals will also find this book eye opening and motivating. In this episode Vicki and Lynn touch on some of the key themes and how they have seen these reflected in today’s students. Understanding some of the issues facing students as they prepare for a career will help you support and guide your student.
#085 – A Pathway to Success for Students with Disabilities (and everyone else, too!): An Interview with Elizabeth Hamblet
Elizabeth Hamblet joined us for a second interview to share highlights of the new edition of her book: Seven Steps to College Success: A Pathway for Students with Disabilities. Elizabeth helped us unpack some of the complexities of college accommodations and student responsibilities that help students make a smooth transition from high school to college. The more parents and students know and understand about the differences in laws and the nature of college support the more successful students will be. We learned so much about how different colleges approach support and the questions students and parents need to ask to find a good match.
#084 – Join Us for Our First Read-Along Book Group!
We’re trying something new and we invite you to join us! If you’re a regular listener you know we love to talk about books that help us in our role as college parents and help us support our students. We’ve picked the book There is Life After College: What Parents and Student Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow by Jeffrey Selingo to read over the next several weeks and we invite you to read along with us. We hope you’ll share some of your thoughts, questions and reactions with us. In this episode Lynn and Vicki share why we chose this book and how you can participate in our virtual book group. Once you hear more about the book, we know you’ll be excited about participating in this adventure. We’ll be sharing everyone’s responses soon in episode #86.
#083 – Why Are Students Reluctant to Connect with Professors?
In our post-pandemic teaching we’ve noticed that many students seem nervous about reaching out to their professors and are unsure about how to connect. We know that this relationship is critical to student success. In this episode Lynn and Vicki explore some of the strategies parents can share with their students to coach them in their interactions with professors. These conversations can help students feel more comfortable talking with professors and making their meetings productive.
#082 – Mindfulness for College Students: An Interview with Dr. Eric Loucks
Lynn and Vicki were joined in this episode by Dr. Eric Loucks author of The Mindful College Student: How to Succeed, Boost Well-Being and Build the Life You Want at University and Beyond to talk about the impact that mindfulness can have on student success. Dr. Loucks helped us understand what mindfulness is and how it can help students deal with stress, attention and focus, self-awareness, emotional-regulation and even career choice. This information is not only helpful for college students but for parents as well.
#081 – Pandemic Fallout Part 3: What Can Parents Do to Help Their Pandemic Students?
In this final episode of our 3-part series on pandemic fallout in college students, we share suggestions of how parents can work together with their students to address current challenges. Parents can aid students in developing strategies to feel in control of their living and learning in the college community. This partnership with students can help them articulate goals and maintain high expectations for themselves and establish a path forward.
#080 – Pandemic Fallout Part 2: What Causes Pandemic Fallout and Does It Matter?
This is the second of our 3-part series on pandemic fallout in our students. We discuss what has caused these issues and why they matter for students moving forward. We examine how students bring their high school pandemic behaviors into the college classroom and the impact of online learning on in-person classes. We discuss how these changes in student behavior can affect students’ relationships, mental health and career and professional aspirations. In our next episode we’ll conclude with several suggestions of what parents can do to help students address these pandemic challenges.
#079 – Pandemic Fallout: What We’re Seeing in Our Post-Pandemic Students
In this, our first episode of Season 4, we begin a 3-part series about what we’re seeing in our students who spent their final high school years during the Covid-19 pandemic. Vicki and Lynn share student survey information and observations of their first-year students both in and outside of the classroom. Not only are students experiencing rising depression and anxiety, we also see students with academic learning gaps, engagement and social challenges, difficulty following through on work, and greater reliance on parents. We’ll continue examining Pandemic Fallout in our next episode when we consider what has caused these issues and why they matter and finally in Part 3, we’ll talk about how parents can help student overcome these problems.
#078 – Reflections on Season 3 of the College Parent Central Podcast
As we close out the third season of the College Parent Central Podcast, Lynn and Vicki look back at their favorite episodes of this past year. It’s been another year with some wonderful, informative interviews and a host of topics that can help you parent your college (or almost college) student. We also consider some of the trends we’re seeing in our students and in the field of higher education and invite you to join us for whatever Season 4 may bring.
#077 – Special Episode: Beyond Bandaids – Minding Your College Student’s Health
As parents, we often worry about a lot of things when our students head off to college – and our student’s health can be top of mind for many of us. This special episode is a recording of our college student health panel held earlier this year. We are joined by college student health and wellness experts Dr. Jill Grimes and Jill and Dave Henry who share their insights and expertise about helping our students stay healthy while in college. Topics were wide-ranging, including the greatest health challenges facing college students today, some of the most common stressors students face, the importance of sleep, and what your student should do when they get hurt or feel sick.
#076 – Answering Parent Questions and Concerns
In this episode Vicki and Lynn answer some of the questions they have heard from parents. Topics include transferring colleges, readmission and appeal, timing of internships, and how to figure out how things are really going for your student. We don’t have all of the answers, but we share our observation based on our professional and personal experience.
#075 – Understanding More About Your College Student’s Brain
The concept of Executive Functioning is a popular way of looking at some of the skills that college students need to succeed. Understanding how your student’s brain develops during the college years will help you support your student as they practice managing their lives. In this episode Vicki interviews Lynn to learn more about the challenges that college students often face as they struggle to master planning, organizing, prioritizing, and problem solving. Lynn shares strategies that help students grow their abilities – and some of the success stories she’s seen.
#074 – Fostering Your Student’s Independence and Self-Advocacy: An Interview with College Counselor Judy Bass
Whether your student has learning differences or not, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss. Many students find the challenges of the first year of college overwhelming, not because they aren’t academically ready, but because they still need to develop independence and self-advocacy skills. In this episode, Judy Bass draws from her years of experience counseling students and families to share ways in which parents can foster these skills in their student to help them make a successful transition to college.
#073 – Sleep Matters: Why Don’t College Students Get Enough – and Why They Should
We see sleepy students every day in our classes. Why? They aren’t getting enough sleep. In this episode Vicki and Lynn explore the connections between sleep and learning, the reasons students don’t get enough sleep and what happens when they are sleep deprived. We also share some suggestions to help students make their sleep hygiene a priority. Talking with your student about sleep can help highlight this important issue– and it might even improve everyone’s shuteye!
#072 – What’s Special About Commuter Students?
Once your student has made the decision to commute to college, they’ll need to think about how to make the most of their experiences. Parents also need to think about how to best support their commuting student. In this episode Lynn and Vicki share some ideas about questions to ask during the admission process, shifting dynamics at home, and what both students and parents can do to make the college transition smooth and fulfilling.
#071 – College Cooking 101: An Interview with Sarah Long, Author of a Cookbook for College Students
Although most students on campus have a meal plan, many students either don’t have the time to hit the dining hall or they don’t like the food. When Sarah Long’s oldest daughter went to college, she needed some recipes she could prepare in in her dorm room. After texting many recipes, her mom decided to put them together in a cookbook. In this episode Vicki and Lynn talk to Sarah about her book, and her suggestions for using everything from a microwave and blender to an electric skillet and slow cooker to prepare healthy meals – and a few treats as well.
#070 – Increasing Your Student’s Readiness for College
In episode #068 we talked about how to tell if your student is ready for college. In this episode Vicki and Lynn discuss strategies, conversations and actions that will help your student increase their readiness. We talk about academic readiness, time and self-management, life skills, relationships and emotional readiness. If any of these areas present particular challenges for your student these suggestions will help you better support and prepare them for college.
#069 – Getting the Most Out of College: An Interview with Author Elliot Felix
Wouldn’t it be great if your student could create a successful college experience where they feel connected and supported instead of simply navigating their way through. In this episode Vicki and Lynn talk with Elliot Felix, author of How to Get the Most Out of College: 127 Ways to Make Connections, Make It Work for You, and Make a Difference. Elliot brings his background in college consulting and design to his practical, action-oriented tips that cover everything from knowing options to mastering technology, building relationships, and finding your community on campus. So much to share with your student!
#068 – Is Your Student Ready for College?
We often assume that once our students have been accepted to college that means they’re ready. But many of the students we work with are not prepared for the academic, social and emotional demands of college life. In this episode, Vicki and Lynn identify ways in which parents can evaluate their student’s readiness. We share what to pay attention to and suggest some important conversations to help students and parents explore their next steps.
#067 – College Health Information You Never Knew You Needed: An Interview with Jill and Dave Henry
In this episode we were joined by Jill and Dave Henry, authors of The Greatest College Health Guide: You Never Knew You Needed, to talk about how students can stay healthy in college. As coaches, Jill and Dave have counseled many of their high school athletes about how to navigate the health challenges they will face in the college environment. Jill and Dave shared some of their personal stories as well advice about how students can manage everything from “food, booze, stress, sex, sleep and exercise.” You will enjoy listening to their energy and good humor and you’ll definitely want to share their book with your student.
#066 – New Book Suggestions for Summer Reading
We like to read! And summer seems like the perfect time to dig into some new reading – especially if you have a student heading to college, thinking about college, or already there. It’s always good to have some new book suggestions and we have some excellent college parenting books to share. In this episode Lynn and Vicki share some favorite reads that offer parents support, guidance and suggestions – and we include some books to share with your student as well.
#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.
#064 – Supporting Students Who Struggle – Continuing the Conversation with Dr. Lynn Zlotkowski
Dr. Lynn Zlotkowski, Director of Advising at Southern New Hampshire University first joined us in episode #061 to talk about Advising and Student Success. We know that no matter how much support students receive from their parents and their college, no matter how much they take advantage of the college resources, some students flounder and fail. In this episode, we asked Dr. Zlotkowski to help us understand some of the reasons students struggle and how parents can respond and help them. Lynn shared her down-to-earth wisdom and advice that will help parents better support their student.
#063 – Get Real and Get In: An Interview with Dr. Aviva Legatt
The college admission process can be overwhelming, anxiety-producing, and thrilling all at the same time. We had a conversation with Dr. Aviva Legatt founder of Ivy Insight College Counseling and author of the book Get Real and Get In: How to Get Into the College of Your Dreams by Being Your Authentic Self. Dr. Legatt shared advice for how students can avoid working to impress admissions officers and focus who they truly are in order to find the college that is right for them. This conversation will help parents think about how to be a facilitator in their student’s college search.
#062 – Understanding College Senioritis and How Parents Can Help
Although the transition into college in a common topic, we don’t talk enough about college seniors and their transition out of school. In this episode Lynn and Vicki explore the reasons so many college seniors feel paralyzed, disconnected, and anxious. Understanding the factors that influence a student’s ability to cope with the changes they are experiencing can help parents support their student through this time. Parents can help their student recognize this transition as a normal part of a whole developmental journey and encourage them as they take their next steps.
#061 — Exploring the Role of Advising in Student Success: An Interview with Dr. Lynn Zlotkowski
We had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Lynn Zlotkowski, Director of Academic Advising at Southern New Hampshire University to talk about the role of academic advising in college. Our conversation was wide-ranging and covered the shifting role of parents throughout their student’s academic career. Lynn brought her tremendous insight, energy, humor and fresh perspective to the discussion of how both the college and parents can best support student success.
#060 — Experiences in College That Can Contribute to Wellbeing After Graduation
As parents, we often worry about how our student will fare in college. But college is just a stepping-stone to the rest of their lives. In this episode Vicki and Lynn discuss the results of a poll conducted by Perdue University and Gallup Inc. that identified six factors that influence graduates’ well-being after college. While colleges have a role in providing these experiences, we emphasized the student’s role in in taking specific actions while in college that will increase their engagement and well-being after graduation.
#059 — Preparing for Internships and Career: An Interview with Bob MacNeil
Bob MacNeil has worked in radio and television for many years, but most recently has served as Internship Coordinator at Curry College and has taught courses preparing college students for their internship experiences. Bob joined us in this episode to share a wealth of information about the things students can do during college to prepare for their career and to set themselves apart from the competition. Both students and parents will benefit from Bob’s concrete suggestions and illustrative stories about successful students.
Listening is one of the secret weapons for communicating and building relationships. As parents, we often don’t listen very well. In this episode Vicki and Lynn talk about why our students sometimes tune us out and some of the listening habits parents fall into that can become barriers to communication. We share some tips and suggestions and new ways of thinking about this undervalued skill. Good listening takes effort and practice, but you will be able to help your student feel heard and empowered.
#057 — College Lingo — Can You Talk the Talk? — Part 2
So many mysterious terms and acronyms to understand when your student heads off to college! In this second College Lingo installment Vicki and Lynn define and discuss several of the insider terms that colleges use that may not be clear to parents. We cover topics from Accommodations and Assistive Technology to Degree Maps, Degree Audits, Registrar and Academic Probation. We’re only scratching the surface of this new language, but it should get you started being able to understand and Talk the Talk. (Hear the first College Lingo in episode #047.)
#056 — Using the College Years to Prepare for Career
In this podcast Vicki and Lynn followed up on an earlier episode about professionalism by talking about some of the practical things that students can do during their college years to prepare for career. Students who start early and think about all of their college experiences as preparation for the world of work, will have an advantage. We discuss characteristics that will set students apart as well as how to learn and practice a professional ethic in and outside of the classroom. We consider how parents can support — or sometimes hinder — their student’s professional growth and career development.
#055 — Reflecting on the Past Year of the College Parent Central Podcast
As Season 2 comes to a close, Vicki and Lynn review the past year on the College Parent Central Podcast. It’s been a full year of interviews, trends, important topics, and a few milestones. Join the hosts as they reflect on the past year and preview a new season of the podcast in 2022.
#054 — Thinking About the Transition from College to Professional Life
The ever-lengthening road from adolescence to adulthood has impacted students’ preparation for their professional lives. College provides the ideal environment for students to experiment with and practice those skills that will help them advance their future careers. In this episode Lynn and Vicki use Jeffrey Selingo’s book There Is Life After College as a framework for discussing how students approach this task of career preparation and how they can maximize their college experiences with their future career in mind. This episode encourages parents to be patient and to continue to help their student clarify what will be required of them as they move into the ever-changing professional world.
#053 — Campus Sexual Assault: A Discussion with Author and Public Health Expert Susan Sorenson
This is a sensitive and important issue for anyone who has a student living on a college campus. Susan Sorenson, author of the book After Campus Sexual Assault: A Guide for Parents, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania joins us to discuss how students, parents, and colleges deal with sexual misconduct. Susan shares advice on how parents can talk to their student before college as well as how to respond if their student shares information about something that has happened. Despite the difficult topic, this episode reminds us that as parents we all ”fiercely love our kids” and want the best for them.
#052 — Undecided Students: Is Your Student Ready to Decide on a Major?
20-50% of students enter college undecided about a major. That’s a lot of students! In this episode Vicki and Lynn unpack some of the reasons students may not be ready to make a decision, some myths about undecided students, and some of the questions parents can ask to help their student take control of the process of exploring options. Being an exploratory student may be the best option for some and will help relieve a bit of the pressure on students to make this decision before they are ready.
#051 — Adulting Made Easy — An Interview with Author Amanda Morin
We were joined in this episode by Amanda Morin, author of Adulting Made Easy: Things Someone Should Have Told You About Getting Your Gown-up Act Together. Amanda shared with us why the skills she includes in her book are so important for this generation of students. We covered a host of topics including how to engage in small talk, how to register to vote, how to find the right fire extinguisher for your first apartment and how to zip up a dress if you live alone. Parents and students will both learn new things in Amanda’s book and will definitely enjoy hearing her share her story in this episode.
#050 – We Celebrate Our 50th Episode with 50 Top Tips
We’re thrilled to be celebrating the 50th episode of the College Parent Central Podcast! We hope we’ve shared helpful information, advice and support in our first 50 episodes. We had fun brainstorming 50 helpful tips for parents and students to celebrate our 50th episode. They range from ”Go to Class” (for students) to ”Don’t Call Professors” (for parents.) Find the suggestions that speak to you and your student and see how many you can practice right now. Thanks for joining us on the journey so far! We look forward to our next 50 episodes!
#049 – The Middle Years of College: Getting the Work Done
Sophomore and Junior years make up half of your student’s time in college. Yet these years don’t often get the attention that those transitional first and last years receive. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki explore the unique nature of each of these middle years and discuss the challenges and the growth that your student may face and how parents can best support them.
#048 – Your Freshman is Off to College: An Interview with Authors Laurie Hazard and Stephanie Carter
In this podcast episode we had an opportunity to talk with Laurie Hazard and Stephanie Carter, about their book Your Freshman Is Off to College: A Month by Month Guide to the First Year. This book should be on every new college parent’s bookshelf. Laurie and Stephanie highlight information about healthy transitions from high school to college, how to support students in their growing independence, and how parents can shift into their new coaching role. Listeners will not want to miss the wealth of knowledge and experience that these professionals share.
#047 — College Lingo — Can You Talk the Talk?
So many mysterious terms and acronyms to understand when your student heads off to college! In this episode Vicki and Lynn define and discuss several of the insider terms that colleges use that may not be clear to parents. We cover topics from FERPA through disability laws, admission waitlists and various faculty roles. We’re only scratching the surface of this new language, but it should get you started being able to understand and Talk the Talk.
#046 – A Story of Hope for Parents of Struggling Students: An Interview with Marie Force
In this episode writer Marie Force shares the story of her son’s journey as he struggled with learning challenges throughout school. Now that Jake has graduated from college (with honors!) and is headed to graduate school, Marie recounts her personal journey as a parent. Marie’s story will inspire parents whose students might be struggling. Helping your student find their motivation and staying optimistic will be key.
#045 — Transitioning from Summer to College: The Importance of the First Six Weeks — Part 3
In this final part of our summer college preparation series, Lynn and Vicki discuss how to support your student on Move-In Day and throughout their first six weeks on campus. Parents and students who are prepared for the emotional peaks and valleys of transitioning into the world of college, are better able to feel in control of their experiences. In this episode we offer suggestions for how to support your student on this exciting new journey.
#044 — Summer Conversations to Help Your Student Prepare for College — Part 2
Summer is a perfect time to begin conversations that will help both you and your student prepare for the transition to college. From roommates to money to autonomy and independence, these conversations will help your student articulate both their concerns and expectations and help you get to know your student in a new way. Because Lynn and Vicki are both college professors we also leave parents with a homework checklist of tasks to complete before the summer ends.
#043 – Using Summer to Help Your Student Prepare for College — Part 1
So many decisions! The summer before college is filled with a flood of information, decisions to be made, and a roller coaster of emotions. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki share advice about what to expect during this crossroads summer. They suggest ways you can help your student organize their tasks and make important decisions about the fall.
#042 – The Ins and Outs of College Scholarships: An Interview with Scholarship Coach Janet MacDonald
The scholarship application process can feel overwhelming and complicated to many students and their parents. In this episode, scholarship coach Janet MacDonald shares some of the secrets to making this process more approachable and productive. She helps us understand when to start, what to do, how to get organized and how parents can best support their student. According to Janet, there are more scholarships available now for more types of students than ever before. If you have a student heading to college, this is information you need.
#041 — More Summer Reads for Parents . . . Two Authors, Four Books
In this episode, Vicki and Lynn again share some of their favorite books for college parents. This time, we focus on Jessica Lahey and Julie Lythcott-Haims who have each written two books that are essential reading for parents. Whether your child is younger, or you have someone heading to college, you’ll find information, inspiration and support. After you listen to this episode, you’ll want to find a copy of The Gift of Failure, The Addiction Inoculation, How to Raise an Adult, and Your Turn: How to Be an Adult. Happy reading!
#040 — Our Favorite Books to Share with College Students
The college journey actually begins in high school, so don’t wait until your student is in college to give them food for thought about the college experience. In this episode, Vicki and Lynn discuss some of their favorite books for you to share with your student. Reading these books will inspire students to take charge of the next step in their lives. Topics include making the most of your college experiences, understanding how your brain works, coping with health concerns on your own, and listening to advice from students who’ve gone before you. Several of these books will make ideal gifts for your high school or early college student (and don’t forget to sneak a read before you pass it along!).
#039 — Adulting: Can You Help Your Student Prepare for Life After College?
It’s time to take a look at preparing our student for those first steps out of the door of college. Adulting means ”behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” Basically, it means being a grown-up. College is the perfect time to work on those life skills that don’t necessarily come naturally when you graduate. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki talk about some of the ways that parents can help their student function successfully in the post-college world. From concrete skills like laundry and finances, to abstract questions like ”what gives my life meaning,” parents still have a role in supporting their student’s growth.
#038 – The Addiction Inoculation: An Interview with Author Jessica Lahey
We were honored to be able to spend some time talking with Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, about her new book The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence. Jessica’s new book weaves together her personal story about addiction with a tremendous amount of information about topics such as brain development, drinking culture, substance use disorder, and ways both parents and schools can approach this sensitive topic. The book contains suggestions and scripts for conversations with your kids from pre-school through elementary, middle and high school as well as college. With this book, parents will be armed with the information they need to talk to their kids about alcohol and drugs.
#037 — A Discussion About Academic Coaching and Resilience: An Interview with Adina Glickman
In this episode Adina Glickman, Founder of Affinity Coaching joins Vicki and Lynn to talk about her Resilient Learner Model and how she coaches college students to meet their full potential. Adina’s background in social work as well as her tenure as Director of Learning Strategies at Stanford University inform her holistic approach to building resilience in students. This episode highlights how parents can ask important questions to help their student craft individual strategies for academic and personal success.
#036 — What’s On Your Mind? Answering Some of Your Questions
In this episode Vicki and Lynn answer some of the questions that have come to College Parent Central. Topics include how to start the college search, access to student academic information (FERPA), what to do when your student is unhappy, and dealing with remote learning fatigue. We don’t have all of the answers, but we share some suggestions based on our professional and personal experience.
#035 — Making the Most of Student/Professor Relationships
Professor are people, too! When students get to college, they have an opportunity to work with experts and leaders in their field. But the relationship between professors and students requires effort on both sides. Vicki and Lynn help you understand how you can coach your student to navigate this relationship proactively and positively. This episode includes tips and strategies students can use to build a strong working relationship with their professors
#034 — A Discussion About College Students and Mental Health: An Interview with Dr. Eric Endlich
Dr. Eric Endlich is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with teens and adults and the founder of Top College Consultants. In this episode Lynn and Vicki chat with Dr. Endlich about some of the most common mental health concerns facing college students today. Whether it is anxiety, depression, addiction, or learning challenges, parents and students can work together to help students find ways to cope. Dr. Endlich emphasizes that parents don’t always need to have answers, and that communication skills are key to exploring solutions.
#033 — Looking at Failure Differently: A Layered Approach to Building Motivation
You’re never done with the job of parenting — even at the college level. Many students have a fear of failure and feel pressure to succeed. Some students are unable to handle failure when it happens. As parents is can be more painful to watch our student struggle than to struggle ourselves. We try to build confidence in our students, but we actually need to let them build their own competence by making mistakes and learning from them. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki discuss some of the frustrations college student learners feel and how parents can support them to redefine success and gain the resilience and grit that they need to thrive.
#032 – Helping Your Student Make the Most of Remote Learning
As we look toward yet another semester of remote learning for many, this is an excellent time for students to evaluate their challenges and successes. Some students are thriving in their remote classrooms and others are struggling mightily. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki explore some of the challenges students face and offer suggestions to help students make the most of their online experiences. From their perspectives as a classroom instructor and a Learning Disabilities specialist, Vicki and Lynn have gathered stories of resilience and tips to help students maintain their motivation throughout the semester.
#031 – 30 Episodes In! Reflecting on the Past Year of the College Parent Central Podcast
The College Parent Central Podcast is one year old! During this year, we’ve explored a range of key topics for college parents. In this episode Lynn and Vicki reflect on how the College Parent Central podcast began and where the journey has led throughout this most unusual year. This episode explores some of the core themes that can help parents feel less overwhelmed as they embrace their new college parent role. Join the hosts as they reflect on the past year and preview a new season of the podcast in 2021.
#030 – Transfer Students: Making Decisions and Navigating the Process
Although college transfer may seem the norm for many students these days, when it is your student transferring it is a significant event for your family. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki explore some of the reasons your student may consider transferring and how you can help them make this important decision. They identify ways that parents can help students navigate the sometimes complex information-gathering and application process. Vicki and Lynn offer suggestions for how parents can be instrumental in helping students make the transition and settle in to their new environment.
#029 – Steps to Success for Students with Disabilities: An Interview with Elizabeth Hamblet
The shift from high school to college can be challenging for all students, but it may be even more daunting for students with disabilities. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki talk with Elizabeth Hamblet, author of the book From High School to College: Steps for Success for Students with Disabilities. Elizabeth shares essential information that students and parents need to know as they prepare for and apply to college. Understanding the differences between high school support and college accommodations can help pave the way for a smooth transition. Parents will learn what questions to ask and how to encourage the independence and self-advocacy required of their student in the college environment.
#028 – Signs of Trouble: How Do You Know If Your Student Is Struggling?
Once your child steps into the world of college — even if it is in the next room — both parents and students begin experiencing a new stage in development. Students are exploring the academic and social world of college; parents are exploring the experience of stepping back and watching them do it. But, it is also part of the parenting package to worry. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki highlight some of the signs that parents can watch for that may indicate that their student is struggling. All college students will hit a few bumps in the road, and the more parents can think about how to identify signs of trouble, how to explore situations further, and how to decide whether or not to intervene, the better armed they will be to support their student’s growth.
#027 — Student Anxiety: Helping Your Student Cope
College can be a time when many students face new academic and social challenges that can feel overwhelming. Differentiating the stress of these situations from the anxiety students experience is a first step toward helping them cope with their feelings. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki share some strategies to help students channel their stress in positive ways. Parents learn how to help students understand and handle their own anxiety.
#026 — College Parenting at a Distance
When your student goes away to college you may feel that your parenting job is ending. You’re told to ”let go,” but in reality, your role just shifts to a new stage. In this episode, Vicki and Lynn talk about some of the changes that take place as we find new ways to parent our students from a distance. It is important that parents think about how to stay in touch without hovering, how to make the most of opportunities to communicate with their student, how to detect potential difficulties, as well as what to do when you can’t attend those special events. Parents can use this process of changing roles to establish new and lasting ways to connect with their emerging adult students.
#025 – College Parenting Up Close: When Your Student Lives at Home
Your college student may be living at home out of choice or out of necessity. Whether they are taking fully online classes or commuting to campus, your role as a college parent changes and will require some new thinking and communication skills. In this episode Vicki and Lynn discuss some of the problems students living home may encounter and how to support your student in their transition. As you and your student continually re-evaluate your living situation and roles, you have the opportunity to establish lasting and rewarding ways of being together as adults.
#024 – College Student Health: An Interview with Dr. Jill Grimes
A major concern for almost everyone who has a child in college this fall is their student’s health in the midst of COVID-19. Whether your student is going to be on campus or learning remotely, there are some basic preventive practices that all students should know. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki talk with Dr. Jill Grimes, author of The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook, and specialist in college student health. Dr. Grimes shares valuable information, tips, and strategies about what to do and not to do to avoid getting sick. She also shares personal experiences and advice about common college student health questions, as well as essential tips for parents putting together that all-important college dorm first aid kit. Parents will feel informed and reassured after listening to Dr. Grimes’ frank discussion.
#023 – Parental Anxiety: It’s time to look at ourselves (instead of our college students!)
Anxiety is a part of our DNA as parents. It is normal and natural, but we have a responsibility to honestly look at it. We need to become aware of how our anxiety can affect our students, and discover strategies for all of us to find relief. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki begin by looking at some of the unintended messages we may be sending to our students when we are tempted to step in too quickly to fix their problems. This episode focuses on creative strategies for dealing with parental anxiety so that you can be better prepared to support your student.
#022 – College Secrets of Highly Successful People: An Interview with Lindy and Tom Schneider
Students and their parents focus a lot of energy on the process of getting into college. It is also essential to think about how students can use their college experiences to build a path to future success. In this interview, Vicki and Lynn talk with Lindy and Tom Schneider, authors of the book College Secrets of Highly Successful People and explore their tips for making the most of the opportunities college presents. They share some of the colorful stories of famous and not so famous people who have taken advantage of their college experiences to build successful careers. Tom and Lindy’s use of humor and real life, practical stories and suggestions make their book, and this podcast, especially enjoyable.
#021 – College Roommates: Navigating This Complex Relationship
The topic of college roommates looms large for many students and parents. It is common for students to feel anxious as many anticipate sharing a living space with a stranger for the first time. But with careful preparation, attention to communication, and an openness to new experiences, students can create a positive relationship with their roommate. In this episode, Vicki and Lynn discuss the important skills required and lessons learned from the work of building this important relationship.
#020 – Our Favorite Summer Reads for College Parents
Whether you are doing your reading this summer on the beach or safely at home, it is always nice to have some new book suggestions. In this episode Lynn and Vicki share some of the college parenting books they have found helpful. These books offer parents support, encouragement, guidance and suggestions for all stages of the college parenting journey. Some of these books are for parents and some should definitely be shared with your students.
#019 – Students With Learning Differences: What Are the Key Changes Between High School and College?
What colleges and universities do to support students with learning differences changes from K-12, not only because the laws are different but also because the goals for students shift in college. These changes may be bigger than most students and parents expect. In today’s podcast, Lynn and Vicki explore differences in how the laws protect students and how the key responsibilities of both the institution and the student change. The more you understand these differences, the more comfortable you and your student will be, and the better you will be able to support your student in transition.
#018 — Spiritual Health and College Students- An Interview with Rev. Terry Hofmann
We talk a lot about college student intellectual, social and emotional development, but there are fewer conversations around college students’ spiritual development. In this guest interview, Lynn and Vicki talk with Rev. Terry Hofmann who has served as a Director of Spiritual Life at a small liberal arts college for ten years. Terry brings to this conversation her wealth of knowledge and experience with college students as they explore their spiritual and religious identities. Terry shares ideas for supporting students in the various aspects of spiritual health and wellness.
#017 – How to Move Forward after Academic Probation or Dismissal
If your student is placed on probation or dismissed from college, it can feel devastating — like a virtual punch in the stomach — but this does not have to be the end of the road. In this episode, Vicki and Lynn suggest ways you can talk to your student about the situation. They help you understand what probation and dismissal mean, how to analyze what might have gone wrong, and create an action plan for next steps. No one begins college expecting to fail (though many may fear it.) Although this roadblock may feel overwhelming, focusing on moving forward will help you and your student find the opportunities this detour may provide.
#016 – Staying on Track to Graduate On Time
For those students who enter college intending to finish in four years, taking ownership of their progress is essential. However, not all students will be on the four year plan. Whatever timeline your student plans to follow, it is essential that they carefully track their progress toward the finish line. In this episode, Vicki and Lynn help parents understand what their student needs to know and do in order to complete college ”on time.”
#015 – Special Episode — COVID-19 — One Month In — Challenges of Staying the Course
Now that your student has transitioned to their new online college environment, they face new challenges. Staying motivated and focused isn’t easy. Students are overwhelmed by coursework, miss their friends and social life, and don’t know how long this new way of life will last. Although the college semester has a finish line, it still seems a long way off. In this episode Lynn and Vicki share with parents some observations about the specific challenges many students are facing right now both academically and in their daily lives as well as some suggestions for coping with these obstacles. Parents can’t fix all of their student’s issues, but understanding what they are can help parents provide the guidance students may need.
#014 – The College Decision Dilemma: What Happens Once Those Admission Letters Arrive?
The college admission process begins earlier and earlier and sometimes seems to go on forever. When those highly anticipated acceptance letters begin to arrive, the process enters a new phase. The ball is now in your student’s court to make a decision. What is your role as a parent at this stage? In this episode Vicki and Lynn unpack some of the emotions and practical steps you and your student can take as your student looks for the school with the best ”fit,” perhaps moves to their second choice of school, or copes with being on a Waitlist. As your student makes this final decision, everyone’s roles begin to shift.
#013 – COVID-19: When Your College Student Needs to Complete the Semester at Home
It seems as though the entire world has turned upside down. As the coronavirus rages worldwide, most colleges are sending students home to complete their coursework online. College-at-home comes with significant challenges for both students and their parents. This special episode contains essential suggestions for helping students learn to adjust to their new online learning environment.
#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.
#011 – Should Your Student Take a Gap Year Before College?
What if you think your student may not be ready for college? What if your student feels they just need a break? In this podcast, Lynn and Vicki look at college admission deferral, high school postgrad programs and other gap year options. If you are thinking of a gap year you’ll need to consider the advantages and disadvantages, how to investigate options, and what to expect. This is an excellent opportunity for conversations about readiness, motivation, and specific goals for a possible year out.
#010 — Tips for Using Senior Year to Prepare for College
Senior year of high school can feel overwhelming. But this can be an excellent time to help your student work on the skills that can lead to success in college — and in life. In this podcast, Vicki and Lynn talk about your student’s path toward independence. Topics include the college application process, time management, and specific life skills that students need to make the transition to college. From getting themselves up in the morning, maintaining their own calendar, to doing laundry and managing their finances, this podcast explores how you can use senior year as a training lab for life at college.
#009 — The Importance of Anticipating the Key Differences Between High School and College
Understanding the key differences between high school and college directly impacts how we ”parent” our students as we help them prepare to make the big transition. No one gives us a roadmap of exactly how to do this. It is helpful for parents to understand how their role changes when their student heads to college as well as the important skills that students need to succeed. In this podcast Vicki and Lynn examine changing roles for everyone, explain FERPA rules and regulations, and look at specific differences in time management and expectations in college.
#008 — Helping Your Student Take Advantage of College Resources
Many college students don’t utilize of all of the support available to help them succeed. The reasons for this can be as varied as the students themselves. Does your student feel comfortable asking for help when they need it? Does your student know how to find what they need and how to take advantage of every resource? In this episode Lynn and Vicki look at six essential resources on most college campuses, how they can help students, and how students can make the most of what these services have to offer.
#007 – Second Semester of College: The Transition No One Talks About
You worry about a lot of things when you send your student off to college for the first semester — and then you think you’re done. You and your student may be taken by surprise when the start of the second semester of college seems so difficult. In this episode Vicki and Lynn explore why some students may experience the ”second semester blues” and why some parents feel they need to increase their involvement. This episode focuses on strategies you can use to calm your fears and help your student make the most of this fresh start. There are some wonderful aspects to the second semester of college and knowing what to expect can help you send your student off more thoughtfully.
#006 — Home from College: That LONG Winter Break
Winter Break is special because for many families it is so LONG. Some students have as much as four to six weeks of vacation. That’s a long time to have them home. It’s wonderful, of course, but some structure and focus may be needed as you adjust to the new person that your student has become. In this episode Lynn and Vicki share some ideas about what to expect, how to ensure this is a constructive time for everyone, and how to enjoy your time together.
#005 – Communicating with Your College Student
When we think about our communication with our students, we often think about how to get them to talk — but we less often think about our end of the exchange. In this episode Vicki and Lynn talk about three different aspects of communicating with our students — how we listen, how we encourage them to share, and how we respond when they do. Good communication is not going to fix every problem, but it is a great way to help both you and your student feel connected and on the same team.
#004 — Here We Go! It’s Final Exam Time!
When you provide just a bit of understanding, encouragement, and support from home, you can do a lot to help your student through the final weeks of the semester. 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.
Your student is coming home for break! Vicki and Lynn help you think about what to expect, how to prepare for your student’s return and survival strategies for the whole family.
Mid-semester is a great time for you to check in with your student to see how the semester is going. Lynn and Vicki discuss potential concerns, available resources, and specific conversations that can help you and your student connect at this important time.
#001 — Welcome to the College Parent Central Podcast
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. 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.
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