Campus Resources Nov08

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Campus Resources

• Great Campus Resources •

Colleges spend a lot of time making sure students and their parents know about the resources available on campus to help students succeed. During Orientation, and again during Parents and Family Weekend, schools may talk about on-campus tutoring centers, career services, student health services, availability of professors, faculty advisors and administrators, and a host of other on-campus resources for students. The trick is getting students to actually use these resources.

College is a new world. If a college student needs help, no one else may know about it, unless they ask. Therein lies the problem. Many students feel embarrassed, think they are the only ones struggling, or assume that they can just handle things on their own — and don’t access the available resources.  Some students might also mistakenly believe that if a professor’s office hours don’t fit with their schedule, they simply won’t be able to meet with their professor. This is where some parental advice can really come in handy.

One college parent, for example, received a panicked call from her daughter who claimed to be completely confused in class, went to the tutoring center for help (where she found a waiting list), and learned that the professor’s office hours conflicted with one of her other classes. What could she do? After taking a breath and pointing out that a waiting list meant many others were struggling too, this parent suggested her daughter e-mail the professor to set up a private meeting outside of office hours to discuss the class work. Most professors are more than willing to accommodate a student’s schedule. She had no problem making an appointment.

As a college parent, it is helpful to be aware of the specific resources available on campus so you can provide some advice to your student, if necessary. Check the college website for information, talk to your student and make sure they know what services are available. If your student is struggling, remind them that they’re not alone and that there are people at school who are more than willing and able to help.

For academic assistance, your student might seek help in the tutoring center, attend review sessions, meet with their teaching assistant or professor, talk to their peer advisor, academic advisor or faculty advisor, and even meet with a dean or assistant dean of the college. All of these resources are there for the students, included in the cost of tuition, and should be easily accessible. If your student encounters a waiting list or any difficulty scheduling, let them know that the college wants them to succeed and that they need to have some patience and persistence, since many other students are no doubt also seeking help.

For health issues, both physical and mental, encourage your student to visit the student health center. Some campus health centers take appointments, and most allow students to “walk in” when their schedule allows. It is important that students take care of their physical and mental health during what can be a very stressful time in their lives, particularly during exam periods. If your student feels ill, overwhelmed, or simply needs someone to talk to, health services should be able to help. And if they can’t, they will generally refer your student to someone who can.

One resource all students should take advantage of is career services. If your student would like assistance finding a job or summer internship, career services can help them prepare a resume, learn and hone interview skills, find networking opportunities, and attend job fairs. Visiting career services is also a great way for your student to learn about how to access job and internship opportunities through the school’s alumni network.

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Encourage your student to visit career services on campus, beginning freshman year.  They can access invaluable information about jobs and internships for the school year, summers, and beyond. With the difficult job market facing college graduates, your student will be ahead of the curve if they begin using these resources early in their college career to start building their resume and learn about opportunities in their field of study.

Colleges today offer a multitude of other resources, including campus security, assistance with study abroad programs, offices for students with disabilities and special needs, multi-cultural centers, spiritual centers, LGBT support centers, and recreational facilities.

As a parent, you may need to encourage your college kid to be pro-active in getting what they need to succeed. Terrific resources on college campuses are there for the taking. There’s no reason for college students to go without help. All they need to do is ask!

 

Want to know more?

What College Students Who Need Help Academically Should Do by Kelci Lynn Lucier

3 Campus Resources for Your College Student by Suzanne Shaffer

Where to Go for Help in College by Kelci Lynn Lucier

Eight Campus Resources Your College Student Should Know

 

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Learning Challenges and College: A New Role for Parents

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