Dear Parents and Family Members,
We are so glad that a member of your family has joined the Baruch Family. Our job is to make their experience at Baruch a successful and enriching experience.
A student’s transition to college can sometimes be as challenging for parents as it is for the student. Helping your son or daughter make the transition to a university setting raises a lot of questions, and finding the balance between guiding your student and supporting their independence can also be a challenge.
Encourage your student to develop a relationship with his or her academic advisors.
Academic advising is one of the most important services that college campuses offer. It is concerned with the basic reason your student is in college not only to earn a degree but to become an educated person, a lifelong learner, and a contributing member of the workforce. (From A Family Guide to Academic Advising by Smith and Gordon, 2003, pp. 6-7.)
Advisors provide students with information and guidance as it relates to program/curriculum requirements, academic policies/procedures, and various academic issues and concerns. Advisors will review transfer credits for applicability to programs of study, assist with course selection, and refer students where appropriate to support systems, informational resources and individuals. Ultimately, students are responsible for their education. Students should make sure to register for their courses on time, familiarize themselves with university policies and procedures, and take an active role in their education by developing a plan of study.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents Baruch College from releasing your student’s information to anyone without his or her written consent. You are welcome to join the student in the initial meeting with an advisor to address individual questions and concerns. For your student to develop independence and self-sufficiency, it is vital that he or she take the initiative to meet with his or her advisor and campus personnel individually throughout their undergraduate studies.
Seven Suggestions for Parents
- Let Go
- Listen and reassure
- Encourage them to get to know faculty members
- Encourage them to learn for the sake of learning
- Don’t focus on grades
- Help them learn the difference between disappointment and failure
- Call us if you are concerned or need reassurance
Let them make their own decisions, solve their own problems, pick their own courses and, eventually, choose their own major. When they do choose a major, let the choice be based on intellectual passion, not perceptions of which major is safest or most pragmatic.
At some point in their first year, many students feel overwhelmed. They may call home, fearing their admission was a mistake. We often hear this. Listen, encourage and reassure. Suggest they talk to their academic advisor. Remind them of the support resources at Baruch College, such as tutoring, help with study skills and counseling.
The academic programs at Baruch are designed to encourage interaction between students and faculty. Surveys show that students who develop close relationships with faculty get more out of their education than students who do not.
Baruch’s general education requirements are designed to encourage intellectual exploration. Suggest they study a subject they have never studied before. Many students are accustomed to collecting credentials needed for college admission. Encourage them, instead, to learn for the sake of learning.
When you do talk to your kids, try not to focus on grades. Ask which faculty members they have met, which classes they enjoy, what they are learning and what they are doing for fun. Baruch students put plenty of pressure on themselves. What they need to know from you is that you believe in them.
Many Baruch students are used to being the smartest kid in their class. At some point, they will experience something they will choose to label as failure-perhaps a "C" in a cours, even if it is not. Not everyone can be first in his or her class. Assure them that their best effort is all you expect.
Colleges and universities are severely limited by federal law about what information about students they can share with parents. Nevertheless, if you are concerned about your first-year son or daughter or need some reassurance, call us.
Adapted from Stanford University