20071004 Hovering parent

300 dpi John Alvin color illustration of parent hovering like a helicopter over child at school desk. Ran with story about parents who are overly involved in their children's education may actually be setting them up for failure in college. The Fresno Bee 2007

KEYWORDS: hovering parent illustration overbearing overinvolved hyperparenting school child children homework helicopter parenting, 05008000, 05010001, krtteacher teacher, learning, pupil, student, teaching, upbringing, 05000000, EDU, krteducation education, 2007, krt2007, krtnational national, krt, mctillustration, fr contributed alvin fr contributor coddington mct mct2007 2007

Hello Parents! Welcome to ISU. I am sure it’s not easy for you to see your child move on to college life, watch them grow and witness their changes. So let’s talk.. 

Parents know the positives and negatives, the good and bad sides of their children. Hence some of you may be in shock and find it hard to believe your child has made it this far. Some days, you might not have dreamed your child could ever complete high school. So I totally understand if you are flabbergasted with what your child has achieved or maybe you knew it was possible all along. Either way, New Student Orientation is upon you and Move-in Day is fast approaching.

Today’s college life is not easy to fathom for some parents. So much has changed in the years since you were a student or maybe your child is the first in the family to enroll in a higher education program. Regardless, let’s see how can parents can best encourage their children and be involved at the university and explore the opportunities to stay connected to the world your child will live in for the coming years. 

First, congratulations and a round of applause to families whose children are enrolled at ISU. It’s through your combined efforts and trust that they have reached this point in life. Admission in college is not only an achievement, but also a great responsibility. Proud parents want and do contribute to a student taking this responsibility seriously.

The first thing that parents must do is attend Family Orientation, which runs parallel to New Student Orientation. Family Orientation provides parents and guardians a space to voice their doubts and fears, then get questions answered.

Parents are offered all required information about resources, campus services and more. They get a more thorough  understanding of academic expectations and opportunities, and get the chance to interact with current students, who give first-hand experiences about life on campus. These information sessions help parents understand how they can support their children during their educational career. 

Secondly, parents should peruse the Family Resource Guide they receive during orientation. Think of it as a print version of Google™ for ISU. This guide defines university lingo, activities, programs, on-campus buildings and locations of important offices.

The Family Resource Guide details important campus services including the Office of Financial Aid, where students and parents can go for information about FAFSA, student and parent loans, scholarships, holds on student accounts, etc.

Parents also find insight on the Safety and Security Department which is dedicated to students’ safety. Safety and Security Officers patrol campus, respond to Emergency Call Stations on campus, issue parking permits and student IDs, among other responsibilities. Parents and students can also sign up for RAVE, a campus security text alert system. 

Moving on, parents should try to participate in ISU Family Weekend, September 19. This is an annual event where families of students get an opportunity to visit the campus and spend the whole day learning about the activities, communities and people of ISU. 

To stay in touch with updates about the university and its programs, parents should sign up for the digital newsletter, STATEments. It is published several times a year and provides parents important dates, upcoming events and university trends. 

The Indiana State Parent Program Facebook page provides a visual look at upcoming events, important deadlines, happenings on campus, plus fun photos. It also provides information on what is and is not expected from you to support your children during their collegiate life. A word of caution, resist the temptation to resolve issues for your student. Instead, encourage your student to seek advice and solutions using campus resources.

The ISU website showcases tools and resources that Indiana State offers to students and parents. It is crucial for parents to make themselves aware of FERPA and Proxy Access. Please read the information from ISU’s website to clearly understand the rules and your role in your child’s life now that they are over 18 years old.

Beyond the rules, facilities, events and amenities at ISU, it’s important to understand and know the community in which your daughter or son will be living for the coming years. There are many off-campus community events that can draw families together with their students.

Blues at the Crossroads is a downtown street festival on Wabash Avenue, just a block from campus, on September 13 and 14 that centers on music and food. October 11-20 is the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. These and many other events might help you get to know and understand the people and give you insight about Terre Haute’s diverse community. 

It must not be easy to see your children move to a new place.. You might be wary of their safety and security, but by understanding the space and its people, it becomes less scary. ISU always welcomes you to be a part of the Indiana State family and before long, this university will feel like home to your child. So it will hold a bit of home for you too.