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Are You Kidding Me? Parents as Partners In the PSE Experience. Brooke White, Director - Student Development & Support Beth Oakley, Director - Educational Development Centre. What has changed in the relationship between university students and their parents?. Relationship changes.

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are you kidding me parents as partners in the pse experience

Are You Kidding Me?Parents as Partners In the PSE Experience

Brooke White, Director - Student Development & Support

Beth Oakley, Director - Educational Development Centre

relationship changes
Relationship changes
  • Technology - instant and constant communication
  • Prolonged period of adolescents
  • Parents and their students welcome the increased level of involvement and communication
story sharing
Story sharing
  • Groups of 4-5
  • Discuss a unique circumstance that your university experienced with a “helicopter parent”
  • How did you resolve it?
survey says
Survey says……
  • National Survey of College Parent Experiences (2006)
    • High level of communication
  • College Parents of America Survey
    • 74% of current college parents communicate at least 2-3 times per week while they are at college/university
    • 34% contact on a daily basis
    • 90% use cell phones
    • 58% use email frequently
college parents of america survey
College Parents of America Survey
  • 29% instant messaging
  • 7% regular mail
  • 90% attended parent orientation
  • 75% visit campus at least once or twice a semester
  • 17% visit once a month or more
parent student contact
Parent & student contact
  • 72% of respondents agree:
  • “I feel that my child’s college/university includes parents in the school community”
how should universities respond
How should universities respond?
  • Embrace rather than push away
  • Look for the positives of having them involved
  • Let go of telling them to “let go”
  • Accept that the consumer attitude is here to stay
  • Forward thinking universities can channel the involvement positively and productively
parent involvement questions of concern
Parent involvement -questions of concern
  • Academics - 34%
  • Finances - 24%
  • Career planning - 12%
  • Health and Safety - 12%
  • College Parents of America Survey (2006)
students most requested advice or assistance from parents
Students’ most requested advice or assistance from parents
  • Finances - 35%
  • Academics - 19%
  • Health & Safety - 5%
parents contacting universities
Parents contacting universities
  • Top 3 reasons identified by parents as to why they contact universities
    • Concern for their student
    • To resolve an issue
    • To complain
increase in parent interaction attributed to
Increase in parent interaction attributed to:
  • Concern for safety
  • Student development
  • Consumerism perspective
  • Technology
the emergence of the helicopter parent
The emergence of the “Helicopter Parent”
  • Media Stories
    • ABC -Do Helicopter Moms Do More Harm Than Good?
    • Newsweek -parents buying text books and follow syllabi
    • Globe and Mail - parents handing out resumes at career fairs
  • Parent Groups
    • College Parents of America, Arlington Virginia
  • Web Support Groups
    • www.mofchat.com
helicopter parents
“Helicopter Parents”

Involvement:

  • Took their children to sports practice and games
  • Took their children to lessons, music, dance
  • Arranged for tutors for their children
  • Talked to children’s teachers about their grades
  • Advocate for students with disabilities
  • Use the phrase “we” when discussing details of a request for your child, or when discussing child’s performance
helicopter parents16
“Helicopter Parents”
  • What may have been considered “involved” in their grade school years, could very well become helicopter behaviour when in university/college
  • Sometimes occurs when parents see education as an economic investment and they want to ensure that their investment “pays off”
initial university college responses to these behaviours
Initial university/college responses to these behaviours
  • “parent bouncers”
  • Parent liaison offices
  • Don’t call them, they’ll call you
  • Parents given the strong message that it’s time to “let go”
emerging philosophy from the universities
Emerging philosophy from the universities
  • More attempts to foster the relationship with parents to make them our partners and utilize their close relationships in more positive ways
  • Orientation programs, parent websites, chats, listservs, parent/family weekends
typical parent program content of the 1990 s
Typical parent program content of the 1990’s
  • The provision of a variety of information about campus life sprinkled with advice on letting go and allowing students to be the adults that we expect them to be
  • Made assumptions that parents hadn’t changed when in fact they had
u of windsor parent program
U of Windsor - parent program
  • 20 year history
  • Designed to compliment student orientation and occupy parents
  • Eventually recognized that it is also a time of transition for parents
  • Provided programming that we thought would benefit the parent and the student
u of windsor parent program in the beginning
U of Windsor - parent program - in the beginning
  • Initially - heavy on student development theory
  • Utilized lectures and skits to illustrate types of transition issues faced by new students and their families
u of windsor parent program embracing change
U of Windsor - parent program -embracing change
  • As parental involvement grew, the program was revamped to provide more balance between factual information and student development information
  • Although received with strong reviews, more changes were made
recognize and capitalize on the the student parent bond
Recognize and capitalize on the the student/parent bond
  • Parents were still being “intrusive”
  • Communication from campus community told us that others were also experiencing this
  • Realization that parents and students today now have a very close bond and are interdependent
embrace parents as partners
Embrace parents as partners
  • Began to examine ways that we could encourage parents to act as our partners (coaches/mentors to their students rather than “fixers”)
  • Support our efforts to assist students to become independent and confident problem solvers and self advocates
campus consultations
Campus consultations
  • Collaborate with campus community about the nature of their interactions with parents
  • Provide them with information on the characteristics of today’s students and their parents
  • Develop other means for communicating with parents
  • Goal is to best serve the student, the parent and ourselves
benefits of embracing parents as partners
Benefits of embracing parents as partners
  • Reinforcement of just-in-time information
  • Make the information meaningful to their own experiences
  • Help to keep expectations realistic by being up to date with university expectations
  • Ask for students input
meeting parents current needs
Meeting parents’ current needs
  • Consider what parents want and need to know
  • Sequence the information based on Maslow’s hierarchy of need theory
  • Develop learning outcomes
  • Learning outcomes + relevant information for parents = positive development for students
consider varying parent populations
Consider varying parent populations
  • What do they need to know based on who they are?

Parents:

  • Of first generation students
  • Of students with disabilities
  • Who are university grads
  • Of students living in residences
  • Of students commuting
  • Of international students
when do we really need them to be involved
When do we really need them to be involved?

Issues surrounding

  • physical and mental health
  • financial concerns
  • crisis situations
parent service providers programming
Parent service providers: programming
  • Parent Orientations
  • Parent handbooks and resource guides
  • Parent receptions
  • Parent websites
  • Listservs
  • Telephone help lines
  • Newsletters -paper and electronic
programs services
Programs & services
  • Parent weekends
  • Technology based communications
    • Emails -weekly, monthly, biannually
    • Monthly webcasts, pod casts,
    • Online workshops
    • Message boards for advice and feedback
    • Parent councils -more U.S. based
final words of advice
Final words of advice
  • Be clear and upfront about your desire to partner
  • identify learning outcomes you are targeting
  • Provide easy to understand information about student development
  • Provide a consistent philosophy and desired outcomes across campus
final words
Final words
  • Develop crisis management protocols for communication with parents
  • Keep in touch with your students and ask them what they need parents to know
  • Listen, listen, listen to parents’ concerns
  • Keep up to date on resources
web resources
Web resources

University of Windsor Parent Program

http://www.uwindsor.ca/parents

National Resource Centre for First Year Experiences

http://www.sc.edu/fye/

National Association for Student Personnel Administators http://www.naspa.org

National Orientation Directors Association http://www.nodaweb.org

additional resources
Additional Resources
  • National Survey of Parent Programs http://www.parent.umn.edu/ParentProgSurvey.pdf
  • APPI – Administrators Promoting Parent Involvementhttp://www.appi.gmu.edu
  • New Directions for Student Services
    • Consumers, Adversaries and Partners: Working with the Families of Undergraduates. Number 94 Summer 2001
    • Serving the Millennial Generation. Number 106, Summer 2004