Information for Parents
Adjusting to the many changes that come with starting college can be a stressful experience for students as well as the influential adults in their lives. The challenges a new student will face and his or her eventual success in negotiating those challenges are unique to each individual. General life experience, which can vary greatly from person to person, plays a major role in how these challenges are viewed and ultimately how they are dealt with.
Because of the endless number of factors involved it is impossible to create a ‘To Do’ list that will ensure an ideal outcome for every situation. Instead, we provide the following information to help address some common questions you may have and to suggest some ways you may be able to support a student who is adjusting to college life.
Keep In Touch, But Not Too Much
It is common for new college students to miss the comforts of home, especially during the first 4–6 weeks of their first semester. It is equally common for parents to miss children who have recently gone off to college. Finding the balance between “keeping in touch” and “too much” can be tricky. While it may be tempting to pick up the phone and call every time something happens, your son or daughter may benefit from some time left to “live and learn." Some families find it helpful to establish a designated weekly time for calling and catching up.
As is the case within the classroom, practicing the skills one hopes to retain outside of the classroom can have a significant effect on the actual retention of those skills. Instead of telling a student how to handle a situation or worse yet, actually handling the situation for them, support them as they work through the problem on their own. Encourage them to think about the situation, to come up with a list of possible approaches and to seek assistance from the appropriate professional staff members. When in doubt, housing staff is always available to help!
Communication Is Key
When a resident is struggling with a particular situation, in many instances it is because they have fallen out of communication with one or more individuals central to the issue. By identifying the persons involved with the issue one can often determine where the communication has broken down. Depending on the situation, a faculty member, an academic advisor, a roommate or a member of housing staff may be the person who can help. In any case, housing staff is available for assistance at any time.
Parent Contact With STI Housing Staff
It is not uncommon for parents to contact housing staff to gather general information and, on occasion, assist a son or daughter with an issue he or she is dealing with. We encourage open communication on all levels and we also want to respect our residents as adults and treat them as such. Accordingly, all official communications that come from housing staff are done so directly with our residents. If it is the wish of a resident to include a parent while working through an issue, housing staff asks that the resident complete a Release of Information form available in Student Services. While communication with parents is ultimately the resident's choice, housing staff recognizes the important role parents play in the educational process and therefore we always encourage students to keep parents informed of important issues they are dealing with.
Coming to Visit
One of the best ways to show interest in the college experience your son or daughter is having is to visit them. When planning a visit, be sure to let them know you are coming. Because we do not have single-occupancy apartments, there will always be roommates who may appreciate knowing in advance when visitors are coming to the apartment.
STI Emergency Alert System
Southeast Tech utilizes email and telecommunication technologies to quickly communicate emergency information with students. While the system has been used primarily for weather-related class cancellations to this point, it can also be used in the event of any other emergency situation which affects the campus. Southeast Tech email addresses are the only email addresses used for this system, but students do have the ability to control the phone numbers at which they will receive emergency notices. Students can change/add phone numbers by contacting Student Services. Learn more about the STI Alert System.