How Parents Can Help Their Student Transition Into College
The transition from high school to college can be challenging, but there are many ways parents can help. Below are some ideas for parents to show their support.
Before the start of the first semester:
- Let your student know how proud you are that he or she is going to college.
- Show them that you are behind them the whole way. They will never be too old or too grown up to appreciate your support.
- Make sure your student has gotten a meningitis vaccine if they will be taking classes on a Dallas College campus.
Verify that your student has provided all vaccine documentation to their high school counselor. Learn more on the Meningitis Vaccine Requirement page.
- Keep asking questions through the summer.
- Ask if your student has the needed books.
- College students usually need a few school supplies, but you can ask if they have basic items like pens, pencils and notebooks.
After school starts:
- Talk to your student about what they want to study and their career plans.
- Help them decide what profession they want to go into by asking about their major choice and what they will do with the classes. Give them the benefit of what you have learned in your own career.
- Ask questions about how your student feels about college.
- Your student may be nervous, excited or worried. Talk to your student about his or her emotions. You don’t have to have all the answers; just listen and show your concern. Encourage your student to talk with instructors and advisors when problems come up. It is important that your student learns how to work through the issue on his or her own to gain conflict resolution skills that will be useful throughout life.
- When school starts, keep asking questions.
- Ask about your student’s classes and instructors.
- Ask what they are studying.
- Encourage your student to make new friends and get involved in campus clubs and activities.
Even as your student transitions into college and adulthood, you as the parent will always have a special place in his or her life. They still need your support. You can help your student have a happy and successful college experience.
Helping Your Student Be Prepared
Your support is one of your teenager’s most important resources. It doesn’t matter whether or not you went to college. By encouraging your children and assuring them that college is important and that they can succeed, you can help them far more than anyone else.
Prepare Them for What To Expect
College gives students a tremendous amount of freedom.
- No one is monitoring their progress on a daily basis.
- No one knows whether they’re doing the assignments.
Students should be prepared to do most of their learning on their own.
- Self-motivation and discipline are important.
- A general guideline is that for every one hour spent in class, college students should spend two hours out of class reading, studying and completing assignments.
Let Them Do It on Their Own
Early College High School or Dual Credit students are treated no differently than any other Dallas College student.
- There are no parent conferences.
- Communication regarding Dallas College students is restricted due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, FERPA.
- College is the time for parents to make the transition from being their child’s primary advocate to becoming a supporter.
- Help your teenagers learn by instilling the message that their academic success depends on their taking responsibility for their own education and behavior.
FAQs for Parents page for more information.