The office of student success and retention receives about 6,000 calls from both students and parents each year—a sure sign that everyone needs an occasional arm around the shoulder. To give parents further reassurance that their freshman son or daughter is in the right hands, the office created its parents participation program.
“Including parents in the process is part of the success of retention,” says Adrian Schiess, director for student retention services. Freshman parents not only receive brochures and surveys throughout the year, but a parent’s card that includes a picture of his or her child along with spaces for the student’s phone number, address and I.D. number as well as numbers for contacting pertinent University offices. Cards have gone out every July since 1991, with some parents carrying them long after the first year.
“I know a father of a graduating senior who still carries his parent’s card,” says Schiess. “It helps him remember what his daughter was like four years ago when this was all new.”