Cal U Parent & Family E-News: August 2011

Welcome to the Cal U 2011 academic year! I always look forward to having our complete student body back on campus. The energy and enthusiasm they bring with them is palpable.

As a parent or supportive family member, you play an important role in your student's college experience, and I'm pleased that you've chosen to partner with Cal U. By providing your email address during New Student Registration, Accepted Student Reception, or an Academic Open House event, you have indicated your interest in receiving monthly updates of special interest to Cal U parents.

Parent E-News is designed to keep you in-the-know, offering timely information and tips focused on enhancing your student's academic success. You'll also find additional University links and resources for further inquiry and support.

E-news is just one of the many ways that Cal U parents stay informed, in touch, and involved. I also invite you to join us on CalU Parents and Families Facebook page to ask questions, get answers, and enjoy all the benefits of the Cal U Parents and Families online community. Continue to visit the Parent/Family Portal, too, for refreshed and comprehensive information from across campus.

I look forward to serving you as you mentor your college student through the coming months. If you should have further questions, comments, or concerns, please remember that help is just a phone call, email, or "click" away!

Best-

Cynthia Young
Parent/Family Portal Manager
family@calu.edu
724-938-4866

 

The Adventure Ahead!

Since every new advenute begins with a first step, help your student get started on solid footing. Here are a few tips for the beginning of the semester:

College is Not High School - Compared to high school, university academics are accelerated in both content and in pace. A general rule: For every one hour spent in class, a college student is expected to spend at least two hours outside the classroom studying. Translation: With the average 15-credit courseload per semester, a student should spend a minimum of 30 hours per week in study mode.

Tools of the Student Trade - Is the computer working properly? Have all textbooks been purchased? Is the campus email account accessible? Determining these basics is important. For example, purchasing books even a week late may place your student in "catch-up" mode.
Cal U Campus Bookstore
UTech Help Desk

Rule #1 Go To Class - Research shows that one of the strongest predictors of student success is classroom attendance. The information your student receives in the first few classes is often the foundation for understanding later material.

Know the Syllabus - Your student will receive a syllabus for each course. A syllabus is a "learning contract" between your student and the instructor. It sets the ground rules for all classroom goals, objectives, activities, assignments, assessment, and policies, including attendance. Many instructors indicate that more than three unexcused absences will automatically lower the overall letter grade in the class by one letter grade. careful review of a syllabus is important. Maintaining a copy throughout the semester is highly recommended.

Student-to-Student Help - The Peer Mentoring Program is designed to help new students during their freshman year, and Cal U freshmen with mentors move on to their second year of college at a higher rate than freshmen students without mentors.

Faculty and Saff Assistance - Find out where the department office is located as new students have a mandatory meeting with the department of their major during the first week of the semester. They will meet faculty members and the department secretary at that time, as well as receive advisor information. If your student is unsure about something, this is a good time to ask questions.

Resources for Academic Success - Even the best students need help from time to time; sometimes it's just a matter of pointing them in the right direction. Then encourage your student to take personal action by checking out the campus resources for himself. Support his/her growth in self-responsibility.  Academic Resources 

Connect with Other Students - Students who make connections with others persist in college at a higher rate than those that don't. With over 200 clubs and organizations, there's something for everyone to enjoy, from Ultimate Frisbee to the Anthropology Club.  Clubs, Organizations, and Activities

Stay Connected - They may not express it, but college students still need to know that their families are behind them. Your informed and consistent support is a priceless gift!