Understanding Students

CARES, DRC, and Campus Life

Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services

The Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES) is a division of the Office for Institutional Diversity. CARES's mission is to provide a comprehensive academic support system as well as enrichment services to aid in increasing the retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students. Programs and activities assist students in achieving academic excellence and adjusting to student life at the University of Kentucky.

Services provided by CARES include: Academic planning through academic progress sessions with a CARES counselor, free tutoring that includes individual tutoring and study groups, assistance with study skills through one-on-one meetings or workshops; and enrichment programs and activities designed to address specific topics at each grade level, i.e. the Critical First Year Program that focuses on topics that range from Understanding Faculty Expectations to Study Abroad Opportunities for first year students, Pathfinders Program that focuses on major exploration and career development for sophomores, and SOAR that focuses on professional and leadership development that enhances career preparedness for juniors and seniors. CARES also hosts the Freshman Summer Program, a six-week academic enrichment program for incoming first year students, and Peer Academic Coaching (PAC) for first year students who have a difficult first semester of college. A University computer lab is also housed at CARES.

Contact Information:
Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES)
104 McVey Hall
Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0045
Phone: (859) 323-6347
Fax: (859) 257-2425

http://www.uky.edu/Diversity/CARES/

Disability Resource Center

Students with documented physical‚ learning‚ or temporary disabilities may receive assistance and support from this office.

The goal of the Disability Resource Center (DRC) is to provide equal access to students who are eligible. They advocate for reasonable accommodations‚ removal of barriers‚ and acceptance of different learning methods. In partnership with students‚ faculty‚ and staff‚ their purpose is to achieve an accessible educational environment where students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of the university community.

It is recommended that students contact the Disability Resource Center early to request specific assistance so that the required medical or psychological documentation can be reviewed and reasonable accommodations can be provided from the beginning of class work in order to achieve the greatest benefit to the student.

Students may register with the Disability Resource Center at any time by the following methods:

  • Schedule a meeting to discuss documentation and accommodation needs;
  • Bring in medical or psychological documentation to support your disability;
  • Complete a registration form.

Many students register during their See Blue U. orientation before their freshman year. It is recommended that students register early. However‚ students are welcome to come in and register at any time.

Contact Information:

Disability Resource Center
725 Rose Street
Multidisciplinary Science Building, Suite 407
Lexington, KY 40536
(859) 257-2754
http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/DisabilityResourceCenter/

Campus Life

The Office of Student Affairs offers an array of activities, programs, services, and initiatives that enhance students’ educational experience. They provide a supportive learning environment, motivate students intellectually, and offer opportunities for personal and professional growth. They provide involvement outside the classroom walls and through the university community which enhances student development.

Student Affairs provides a variety of programs and services for both traditional and non-traditional students. See our Department Websites for more details.

Contact Information for Student Affairs:
103 Frazee Hall
Lexington, KY 40506
859-257-1911
http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/

 

International Students

What are the main characteristics that describe the students you serve?

International student category: F-1 & J-1

The difference between J-1 & F-1 students and the expectations & requirements are nicely written on our websitehttp://www.uky.edu/international/ISSS/Current_Student_Services/F-1_and_J-1_Differences

Visiting Scholar Status: http://www.uky.edu/international/J-1_Status

Do you serve a specific population or are your services available to all students on campus?

ISSS provides leadership and expertise in the advising and immigration needs of more than 1,600 international students, 325 international faculty and staff, and 250 exchange visitors. ISSS also administers university compliance with evolving federal regulations, supports the university and its medical center by managing global student and scholar interactions, and facilitates the well-being of all international students, faculty, staff, and scholars.

In addition to that, we do mentor domestic students on their capstone projects or provide them internship opportunities if they see this field as something they are interested in.

859-323-2121

http://www.uky.edu/international/Contact_us

 

Interpersonal Skills and Advising

Communicating with students and parents is an important part of the advisor role. As a representative of the university, you are often called upon to answer tough questions and deliver news that is not expected. Personal opinion will shape what you think, but you must remember the context from which you speak –as an employee of the university. As such, the utmost professionalism is required – even when your gut is screaming something totally different! 

Most of your interactions will be pleasant – don’t expect that every encounter will require full battle armor. There will be occasions, however, when things will become tense for a variety of reasons. You will be in the position to either defuse someone else’s anger, or keep your own frustration in check before it leads to anger. Following are some tips on listening skills and responding to a confrontational student (or parent) that might help you in those situations.

Remember that listening and hearing are not the same. You hear sounds. When you listen, you must focus, pay attention to the story and how it is told, language used, tone of voice and other messages sent in the telling. 

If you follow the Golden Rule, it is easy to become an effective, active listener. Just think about how you want someone to listen to you. Here are some skills/reminders.

  1. Face the speaker and show attentiveness with body language. Put the student at ease with your expressions.
  2. Maintain comfortable eye contact – that middle ground of just enough to engage without staring holes through the student.
  3. Minimize external distractions – turn down your radio, silence email reminders, put cell phone on vibrate if it’s on your desk. Let voice mail pick up calls that come in during appointments. The person across the desk from you needs to be priority one – unless you are waiting for a call, and then explain that situation.
  4. Respond appropriately to indicate that you are tracking with the conversation.
  5. Don’t doodle or shuffle papers – but make notes if you need to remember things or have questions you want to ask, and tell the student what you are doing.
  6. Focus on the speaker first, not on your answer. You’ll miss something. Try to see the situation from the student’s perspective.
  7. Keep an open mind before deciding if you disagree. It will be tempting to interrupt when a student is explaining some destined-to-fail scheme, but don’t.
  8. Keep personal bias/prejudice in check. Sometimes a person will have a habit or speaking style that makes you nuts. Don’t miss the message because the messenger struggles with delivery. Some students are VERY nervous about meeting with an advisor and they need some practice to know that it’s not scary. 
  9. You don’t always need to respond with advice. Wait to be asked. Sometimes students just need to talk through something and how you responded in a similar experience may have no relevance to them.
  10. Don’t get defensive if the student is complaining about you or another advisor. Let them make their point before you respond. Apologize if you need to for something that has happened. It goes a long way and so does clarifying why you did something. If the complaint is against another advisor, offer to be the mediator in a meeting with the student and advisor. They need to learn how to address conflict and that can be a teachable moment.
  11. Engage yourself by asking questions for clarification, once the student is through talking. Paraphrase points to be sure that you understand what s/he said. Sometimes students don’t say what they mean and it helps them to hear it back. And sometimes, advisors don’t really hear what the student said. 
  12. Be patient – don’t finish a sentence or interrupt. You will know when the student is done. If there is a long pause, it’s OK to ask if there is more before you start to answer but recognize when the student is trying to formulate what to say next.
  13. Keep Kleenex visible on your desk. Students rarely have them and you’ll see tears more than you might expect. They’re young and life is hard sometimes.

Now – about the angry student. If a student comes in the door frustrated and angry, your first move is to remain calm. Acknowledge the anger, and recognize that it is likely borne out of frustration and perhaps a feeling of powerlessness. Your goal is to prevent a full blown explosion while still getting at the issues. Don’t try to reason with the student at first – but do try to lead the conversation into a non-threatening discussion that can lead to come problem-solving. 

 Six elements of defusing anger –

  1. Communicate respect – acknowledge the importance of the issue and your willingness to resolve or in some other way meet the needs/concern. Refrain from openly judging the behavior being demonstrated.
  2. Cooperate – unless you could harm yourself or others. Refrain from saying things like “this isn’t enough to be angry about” because that will make it worse. You don’t have to agree, but you need to show some empathy.
  3. Effective listening – See above because they all apply. Additionally, use open-ended questions such as “What would you like to see happen?” Recognize that you, too, would feel some frustration in the same situation.
  4. Reframe – this is a good way to change directions. It reflects that you understand, but changes the emphasis from differences to common ground, and from the negative to the positive. If it is clear what the person values, you might start with “I can see that honesty and fairness are very important to you and they are to me as well. . .” Then you can begin to redirect the conversation to the point of a resolution of some kind.
  5. Asserting – Sometimes you need to help the student place boundaries on his/her anger in order for you to be effective. It’s OK to expect appropriate behavior and to say so. Be hard on the issues but soft on the person. Use “I” statements (instead of “you”) to lower the tension. (“I feel anxious when you pound on the desk and it makes it hard for me to listen to you effectively.”) Use ‘and’ rather than ‘but’ – ‘but’ is known as the verbal eraser because it tends to erase everything that precedes it in a statement. Using ‘and’ to connect your thoughts keeps the acknowledgement that the issue is real to the student and there are ways to deal with it. 
  6. Disengaging – if the situation is becoming dangerous to the point of physical harm, remove yourself or the student from the situation. If you become angry, step out and acknowledge that you are doing so for a break. Offer to bring the student a drink if that is appropriate. Bring in someone else for assistance – supervisor, a co-worker or university police if necessary. Debrief with someone you trust.

If you see signs that the student is losing control, be proactive.

  1. Get help before trouble starts. Have a prearranged warning signal with colleagues.
  2. Stay calm. That helps the other person stay calm.
  3. Talk slowly and calmly in a firm, confident tone.
  4. Don’t threaten, but inform of consequences of inappropriate behavior.
  5. Try to have an escape route – this isn’t possible in a lot of offices, but think about what you would do.
  6. Seek safety at your first opportunity.
  7. Debrief with colleagues/supervisors and don’t hesitate to call the Counseling Center if you need more help. They will do a good job talking through your emotions following an encounter like this.

Sources

Above information was compiled from the following websites: 

http://access.ewu.edu/caps/facultystaffres/defusinganger.xml
http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/listening-skills.html
http://powertochange.com/students/people/listen/

 

Learning and Time Management

One of the biggest changes from high school to college is the delivery style of content. Students will have options to take online classes or regular lecture-based classes, or in some cases a hybrid model. 

It is important for students to understand themselves in order to make the best selections. While online might seem like the best route since attendance is not required, for some students this is a bad choice because they need the environment of a classroom with live lectures and classmates for discussion. For others, the classroom is more distracting and so the independence of online learning is of more value. 

Students may need some help understanding the differences – and also some guidance on how to navigate in a large class, e.g. PSY 100, where there are several hundred students. Advisors don’t need to have the answers, necessarily, but it is helpful to them to understand the difference in the context of classes.

Time Management & Study Skills

General questions to ask students regarding their study habits and time management

  1. Are you able to understand course material in each of your courses?
    1. If not, is it due to language barrier, not attending class/lack of preparation, skill level?
  2. Do you attend all your classes and are you able to complete other commitments throughout the week?
    1. If no, what’s preventing this? Time wasters, lack of concentration; perform TM activity
  3. Describe your study environment? (consistent, well lit, free of clutter and distractions, etc.)
  4. How many hours per week do you study? (the activity below show help determine this)
    1. Tell student there are 168 hours in a week; completion of TM activity will gauge hours
  5. When would you say you are most alert during the day as well as most sluggish?
    1. This might determine best times for peak concentration versus least productivity. List types of study (reading, writing, reviewing, tutoring, review sessions, etc.) and times of day best suited for student
  6. How are you adjusting to college life?
    1. Are they involved in their residence halls, any organizations; have they made contact/friends with fellow classmates?
    2. Refer student to http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Counseling/ if you feel student would benefit

Here are some guidelines from Academic Enhancement www.uky.edu/AE

There are 168 hours in a 7-day week. Most of us believe that we rarely have the time to do everything that we would like or need to do. However, we often have more time than we think. Studying effectively requires using time quite differently than other commitments. Here are some suggestions for setting up an effective study schedule:

  • Consider your current commitments. Recreation? Worship services? Work? Dating? Personal chores? Meetings? Estimate and list the number of hours per week you spend on all standing activities – making sure you also include the time you spend in class and on sleep
  • Subtract this total from 168. The difference between all your committed hours and 168 is your potential study time.
  • For what time is your biological clock set? Are you a night or a day person? Study your most difficult subjects in your “mental prime time.”
  • Get a schedule sheet. Fill in the time blocks with your commitments. Where does your study time occur? Do you need more time? Are you studying the most difficult subjects at the times you’re at your mental best?
  • A good rule of thumb is that college courses require about 2 hours of studying for every hour of class time. For example, if you are taking 15 hours, you should budget 30 hours per week for studying and homework. You may not use all this time every week, but you should put that in your schedule.
  • Make sure that you give yourself time for breaks. You should allow a 10-minute break for every 45 minutes of studying. You can further divide the breaks and study time if you wish. (A 2 or 3 minute break for every 20 minutes, for example.)
  • The point of setting up a schedule is to commit yourself to using your time in a special way. Indicate what you plan to study when so that you are not simply indicating study time.

Note: It can be difficult to make a schedule you can live with. Do NOT allow your schedule to ruin your life. This is YOUR schedule.

Other commonly used Study Skills (Note taking, Effectively Listening, Reading comprehension, Memory, Exam Prep/Taking) offered through Academic Enhancement: http://www.uky.edu/AE/home

Serving Special Populations at UK

First Generation Students

Miller Hall
http://www.uky.edu/academy/1G

What does it mean to be first generation?

Being a first generation (1G) college student menas neither of your parents earned a Bachelor’s degree, regardless of siblings or other relatives. The Office of First Generation Initiatives was created in 2011 by the Provost to lead campus wide efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate more first generation students at the University of Kentucky.

Who can be served by the Office of First Generation Initiatives?

Aside from first generation students, the Office of First Generation Initiatives house UK Connect as well as UK EMBRACE initiatives to better serve the diverse student population across our campus. If you work with a student or are a current student who feels like you need a little extra support, stop in at 128 McVey Hall to get connected.
 

Veterans

Room 10 Funkhouser Building
http://www.uky.edu/Veterans/newstudent.htm

What are the main characteristics that describe the students you serve?

Student veterans and dependents who are receiving GI Bill benefits.

Are there specific expectations/requirements of students in your program/service area?

Students are expected to apply for their benefits through the VA Regional Office in St. Louis. Once students secure approval from the VA for their education benefits, they need to see The VA representative every semester and fill out the request for benefit form (available at https://www.uky.edu/Veterans/files/VA-form.pdf ) to certify enrollment to VA. 

The VA will only pay for classes that fulfill degree requirements, so students need to work closely with their advisors to make sure that all their classes are meeting program requirements.

Do you serve a specific population or are your services available to all students on campus?

Service is specific to GI Bill recipients.
 

UK ARMY ROTC
101 Barker Hall
859-257-6865/6864

http://armyrotc.as.uky.edu/

What are the main characteristics that describe the students you serve?

Army ROTC seeks out scholars, athletes, and leaders who desire to serve their country and pursue a career as an Army officer on active duty, in the Army Reserves or National Guard. Army officers exemplify and live the Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

Are there specific expectations/requirements of students in your program/service area?

Full time student enrollment to participate in ROTC classes, 2.0 cum GPA or above, pass an Army physical fitness test, and be medically qualified.

Do you serve a specific population or are your services available to all students on campus?

Freshmen and sophomore level Army ROTC classes, leadership labs, and physical fitness classes are available to all full time undergraduate or graduate students and can be taken as electives for academic credit without any military obligation. The Army ROTC junior and senior level classes are only available to “contracted” ROTC Cadets who are pursuing an Army officer commission upon graduation.
 

 

Student-Athletes

What is a student-athlete?

A student-athlete is a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by an educational institution. A student-athlete is required to fulfill the role of a full-time student and a full-time athlete, which requires an optimum level of performance in both roles. Furthermore, student-athletes are subject to eligibility rules that require them to maintain a certain grade point average as well as complete a percentage of their declared major requirements at the end of their sophomore (40%), junior (60%) and senior (80%) year and they are also prohibited from competing in professional competitions.

What issues do student-athletes face?

  • Student-athletes are required to fulfill the role of a full-time student and a full-time athlete, which requires an optimum level of performance in both roles.
  • How can I remain committed to my athletic responsibilities and be the best athlete I can be and have social life?
  • Learning to balance athletic success and or failures with emotional stability is challenging because everyone expects them to perform well at a high level all the time both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Balancing physical health and injury with the need to continue competing.
  • Trying to balance the demands of relationships with entities such as coaches, teammates, parents and friends can be testing. For example, while very supportive of the academic rigors, the coaches expect for the sport to come first but the athlete’s priority may be his/her academic success.
  • Addressing the termination of one's college athletic career can be very challenging. It can be very difficult to transition into the world of non-athletics after having identified as an athlete for so many years, in many cases it leads to deep depression, suicide and a loss of belonging.
     

Center for Academic and Tutorial Services

The CATS Advantage 

  • The Center for Academic and Tutorial Services is unique in that it is located in close proximity to the central academic campus. This means that student-athletes have ready access to CATS before, after, and between classes.
  • Most universities provide tutors upon request. Usually a student requests a tutor after poor performance in a course. At UK, the advisors examine the student-athlete’s schedule at the beginning of the semester then assign tutors immediately. This can help prevent the student-athlete from falling behind.
  • Whereas most universities may have a study table where a tutor meets with a group of students for certain subject needs, CATS provides scheduled 1-on-1 tutor sessions for student-athletes.
  • Another CATS Program advantage is that the Jerry Claiborne Study Center allows student-athletes to complete their required quiet study hours anytime during operating hours.
  • Student-athletes may make arrangements to use CATS resources during non-working hours.
  • CATS has a cadre of mentors, many of whom are retired educators, to assist student-athletes with organizational skills and study strategies.

CATS - Center for Academic & Tutorial Services

Phone (859) 257-1897 - Fax (859) 257-7794

http://catsacademics.com

 

Student of Concern-Reporting

http://www.uky.edu/concern/

The University of Kentucky has an online resource and reporting system/office called Community of Concern that allows individuals to make a report when they develop a concern about the welfare of a student.

Once a report of concern   has been submitted, the Community of Concern (CoC) staff is automatically notified and can begin to take the appropriate action.

The Community of Concern is not intended for emergency situations. The Community of Concern manages the University’s coordinated response once emergencies (suicide attempts, students who are at imminent risk for suicide attempt, or students who are a threat to others) are contained.

In cases of emergency, alert submitters and/or concerned persons should contact the University of Kentucky Police Department directly at 859-257-8573 or call 911.

Do not use the Student Alert system if an immediate response is required.
Once the situation is safe, you should submit a "Student Alert".

Advisors may submit reports to the Community of Concern via two (2) methods:

  1. The “Student Alert” tab accessed via the myUK portal
    1. Select the "Student Administration" tab and then
    2. Select "Student Alert."
    3. Enter the Student name or ID and click "Search."
    4. Review the search result(s) and click your intended student.
    5. Fill out the form as completely as possible and click "submit."
    6. ONLY selections made in the “Behavior” box will go to the Community of Concern.
  2. The public report form found at www.uky.edu/concern
    1. Click the “Report a Concern” box found on the main page
    2. Fill out the form as completely as possible and click “submit.”

The Community of Concern Staff consists of the Director of the Community of Concern and the case managers. The staff in the Community of Concern office process alerts, consult with alert submitters, meet with students, and work with students to develop plans for success.

  • Responsibilities
     
    • Triage and Process Alerts
    • Consult With Submitters
    • Meet With Students
    • Develop Plans For Success
    • Follow-Up With Students as Appropriate
  • Office Hours/Location
     
    • Office is open and alerts are processed during normal university operating hours (M-F 8:00am – 5:00pm).
    • 513 Patterson Office Tower
    • 859-257-3755
    • coc@lsv.uky.edu

The Student Alert system and SOC process is not meant to replace individual interventions by faculty and staff and The SOC process should only be used if other direct methods have been tried and failed!

The Community of Concern Team is the Behavioral Intervention Team for the University of Kentucky and is interdisciplinary in its makeup. The Community of Concern team members provide guidance to the Community of Concern staff on students of high concern.

  • The Community of Concern team is a multidisciplinary team including representatives from the following offices:
     
    • Academic Ombud
    • Dean of Students Office
    • Disability Resource Center
    • Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity
    • Office of Student Conduct
    • Office of the President
    • Office of the Provost
    • UK Counseling Center
    • UK General Counsel
    • UK Police Department
    • University Health Service (Behavioral Health)

Additional faculty/staff may be consulted on a case by case basis

  • Responsibilities
     
    • Meet weekly to provide guidance to CoC staff on students of elevated concern

The Student Alert system and CoC process is not meant to replace individual interventions by faculty and staff and The CoC process should only be used if other direct methods have been tried and failed!

What are examples of appropriate times to notify the CoC via the Student Alert system?
Examples:

  1. If a Resident Advisor or Resident Director becomes aware that a student is skipping class, sleeping much of the day and is in general withdrawn from campus life, and repeated attempts to contact the student are unsuccessful, we recommend that the RA or RD complete a Student Alert. We also recommend that the RA or RD inform the student that due to behavior and academic concerns, the information has been shared with the Community of Concern.
  2. When assessing midterm grades, an advisor  realizes a student is in danger of failing and therefore schedules a meeting with the student. When meeting with the advisor, the student reveals personal details that are affecting the student's academic progress. The advisor member offers information on UK resources available to the student (i.e., the Counseling Center, the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center). After a few weeks, the advisor is notified by faculty that the student's academic status is not improving and the situation may be getting worse. The advisor is now encouraged to engage the Community of Concern for assistance. The advisor should also inform the student that the Community of Concern is being alerted.

 

The Advisor as Informal Counselor

Part of the role of academic advisor may be as an informal counselor. It is important to be aware of social issues that may arise – and to know the resources for referrals. No matter your educational background/training, be careful to keep the lines clear between your role as an advisor and personal counselor. Students should feel comfortable sharing with you, trusting your confidence, but know the boundaries so that the relationship stays healthy and appropriate to your role as academic advisor.

This list is by no means exhaustive but represents some of the most common issues that students might raise with you, as an advisor:

  • Rape/Sexual Assault
  • Self-Harm (cutting, eating disorder, burning, scratching, etc.)
  • Suicide
  • Harming others
  • Threats to safety
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Abuse by family member, boyfriend, friend
  • Drug use or alcohol related issues

When students are up front about these things and ask for help, it is easier for you to know how to guide them. If a student volunteers this type of information, here are resources you should use:

Self-harm, depression, anxiety, abuse, death in the family, trouble adjusting to college – refer them to the Counseling Center 859-257-8701 (licensed psychologists) or University Health Behavioral Health 859-323-5511 (psychiatrists – can prescribe/monitor medication). In some cases, you might feel you need to actually walk a student over to the Counseling Center or offer to do so even if they don’t take you up on it. Call first, and tell the receptionist that you are bringing a student in crisis. There is an on- call counselor available every hour during the day. 

If a student is threatening physical harm to him/herself or others, then you are required by law to call the police immediately. 

A student who has been raped or sexually assaulted may not want to report the crime, but he/she could still benefit from taking advantage of resources that the Counseling Center offers as well as the resources of the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center (VIP) 859-257-3574. If the student wants to report a crime, then obviously you can help make that call to the police. 

If, in conversation with a student, you suspect that something is going on “behind the scenes”, it’s OK to ask (e.g.) “Are you drinking a lot?” or some other probing question to identify the problem. Have resources in mind and be prepared to make a referral if the answer causes you concern.

Safety and Security –

At times, you may feel concerned/threatened by a student’s behavior. This doesn’t happen often so don’t be edgy about this. If an issue arises with a student that makes you feel insecure about safety for yourself or anyone else, there are steps to follow.

  • Campus Security Agents (CSA) in all academic units. These are people identified by their position as being in consistent contact with students. The CSA is trained annually on how to deal with student emergencies. You can use this person as a resource if you encounter a student whose behavior is a concern to you.
  • There is an Office of Student Concern to whom you can refer any student whose behavior is not in the range of acceptable.
  • Should an issue arise in your office, do not hesitate to contact campus security. Find out if your office has a system/code to alert other personnel that you may be in danger. Many offices use signals of some kind either via phone or email.

 

Working with Parents

The main thing to remember when interacting with a parent of one of your students is that the laws designate the information you may share without permission. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows you to share only directory information (phone number, address, etc.) or broad information regarding requirements – what could be found on a major sheet or in the bulletin. If there is a request from parents to have additional information, the student must sign a waiver. It is wise to require the student to sign a waiver in person – don’t trust that the email is coming from the student, or even the phone call.

If you open a student’s record and see the privacy flag, you cannot even acknowledge that the student is enrolled on campus. When there is a privacy flag, then NO information can be given about that student. It’s best to open a student’s record before you begin a conversation with someone, to know for sure the status of the student’s record.

Probably the most important thing to remember is that students are only here for 4-5 years – but they will always be the children of their parents. College personnel refer to them as “students” but the parents are hearing “my child.” Addressing that up front helps them start to see that our role is different from theirs and important for a time. There should never be a sense of us vs. them – but a strong message that we are part of the whole package called student success. 

If you are talking to parents during advising conferences, it is important to explain your role and how it relates to their role. If you can create the idea of a partnership, you will find it helps them to realize that we have the same goal they do – graduation of their child. Describing their role as shifting from manager to consultant helps them visualize what will be happening (we hope) through the fall semester. Then you can make it clear what your role is and how you will respond to the students you serve.