The Top 10 Things a Parent Can Do
to Promote Student Success in College
- Call your student. Hopefully he will call you first, but if not, call him and let him know that you are interested. Expect some moodiness, homesickness, or stress reactions, and monitor how those feelings seem to affect his happiness or his ability to function as a student. Call the Office of Student Health Services or the Office of Residence Life if you have a concern about your student.
- Do everything you can to make sure she goes to class. Going to class is strongly associated with success. Get a copy of her schedule. Ask.
- Periodically ask your student about specific classes. Make sure he can tell you what’s going on in each class. It matters.
- If at all possible, come to campus and visit at least once after school starts. And don’t just go to an athletic event. Check out your student’s room, meet her friends and find out about how she spends her time. Offer to take your student and one or two of her friends to lunch or dinner ... you can learn a lot by listening to them talk about shared experiences.
- Make sure your student knows that you’re interested in his grades; go over his grades in person.
- Talk about and set expectations. College is a big investment for any family; make it pay off.
- The first 10-12 weeks of school are a stressful, high-risk time. Many students establish their patterns of use of alcohol during those weeks. It is during these difficult weeks of transition that too many students on all campuses experience violence. Be sure to talk to your student about this.
- Have a conversation—several times—with your student about drinking. Talk about what he expects to happen when he gets to campus, and later about what actually did.
- Encourage your student to get involved in student organizations, recreational sports, and campus events.
- Beware of credit cards! Credit card companies target students, and too many students accumulate unmanageable levels of debt and experience disruptive stress because of the competing demands of academic achievement and financial obligations. Don’t assume that a student who hasn’t asked for money recently isn’t having financial problems.
Adapted from: Ascend Student Health Services, LLC