During the recent Parent Weekend, Elaine DeBrine-Howell and her two Peer Facilitators from the Center for Student Success shared some insight into assisting students to be successful at New Mexico Tech. The following is a synopsis of their presentation for those who missed it or would like the outline.
- Stay Connected-communicate by phone, e-mail and especially through care packages. Don't expect a response to all your contacts-just know they are appreciated.
- Listen without judgment-give your student the opportunity to share new ideas and feelings with you. You can expect your student to change. Trust your instincts on whether these changes are signs of problems.
- Know the campus resources. Being able to make the appropriate referral when issues arise shows your student that you are interested and concerned and at the same time you trust them to solve their own problems.
- Ask questions-but not too many. Sometimes supportive and intrusive is a fine line to walk.
- Be prepared to have frank conversations about difficult subjects. You don't have control, but you have great influence. Continue to communicate your values regarding sexual behavior, alcohol and drug use. Provide your student with the facts on these issues and empower them to distinguish between good and bad decisions.
- Trust your student!
Stages at a Glance
- Freshmen-transitioning to college, learning to handle academics and freedom
- Sophomores-exploring connections between interests, strengths and potential careers. Getting involved in campus activities, internships, research and student employment. Sometimes experience the "Sophomore Slump".
- Juniors-developing professional resume, researching career options and graduate schools, developing strong relationships with advisor, employers and professors, taking graduate exams (GRE,MCAT)
- Seniors- finalizing career, postgraduate plans, completing intent to graduate, applying to graduate schools, submitting resumes and interviewing
Avoiding the Bumps
- Go to class
- Do the homework
- Study for exams
- Take exams
- Get help when needed
- Don't blow off the Associate Dean for Student Success (Elaine)
Enjoying Time at Home
- Plan ahead-finals are draining so students need some down time to rest and reboot, try not to cram too much too soon
- Compromise-you may want all their time, but they need to have some balance between their new life and family
- Discuss house rules-old rules may need some renegotiating, but ensure that everyone is clear on expectations
- Set aside a particular time to discuss grades and the upcoming semester, especially if grades fall short of expectations and plans need to change. Don't make these daily discussions-everyone needs to enjoy the holiday break
- Expect the need for all family members to have a period of adjustment to your student being back in the house
- Relax and enjoy the time you get to spend together!