Parents and Advising

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Over the years, parents have become more involved in their child's education. Many faculty and staff have witnessed or experienced parents accompanying their children to advising offices across campus. Below are links to great resources for advisors who would like to learn more about advising students with their parents.

Websites for Advisors

Advising and Communicating with Parents

Retrieved and Adapted from Mark D. Menezes' Article "Advisors and Parents: Together Building Stronger Advising Relationships"

Advice when communicating with parents

  • Provide parents (whether in person or by mail) with some written information they can read later about advising theory used at the institution.
  • Be sympathetic but not apologetic: if the student has run afoul of the college's rules and policies, he or she needs to take responsibility.
  • Stay cool and clearly outline the student's options.
  • Do not attempt to interpret or fix family dynamics. However, continue to emphasize the student's responsibility for his or her progress and encourage student-parent communication about grades and progress.

Outlining Roles

Advisors should outline the roles of the advisor, the student, and the parent at the first advising session. Suggestions include:

Academic advisor's role

  • Monitor student progress and guide the student toward academic success
  • Help the student understand his or her responsibilities toward academic success
  • Act as a liaison between the institution and the student
  • Act as an advocate for the student
  • Refer the student to appropriate institutional resources
  • Encourage the student to maintain an open line of communication with parents

Student's role

  • Be responsible for learning and understanding
  • Monitor his or her own academic progress
  • Know the degree requirements of the college and major of interest
  • Communicate with the advisor regarding issues and/or concerns about academics or student life
  • Attend classes
  • Manage time for class preparation
  • Become familiar with university resources
  • Understand and adhere to university policies
  • Communicate regularly with parents about academic progress, student life, finances, etc.

Parent's role:

  • Be available for support and encouragement
  • Maintain regular contact
  • Offer advice (when appropriate)
  • Encourage students to do things they can do for themselves
  • Allow students to make mistakes in this safe environment