Partnering with Families 

During this time of transition, you may have questions about the roles that families and universities should play in the lives of students. While each student and each situation is different, the following guidelines may provide some insight to make the most of the college experience.

The Role of the Student

At UPIKE, we expect our students to take responsibility for their actions, to put forth their best effort in academic pursuits and to take advantage of the opportunities and resources available to them. We ask our students to be responsible members of the UPIKE community.

The Role of the University

We strive to support our students and provide them with the resources they need to succeed in all aspects of their lives. UPIKE Family Connections disseminates information and assists with the sometimes-challenging role of parenting college students.

The Role of the Family

Families of today’s college students often underestimate their influence. In order to support your student and encourage collegiate success, the following advice may be helpful:

  • Maintain a dialogue with your student. Discuss classes, friends, organizations, alcohol, and drug use, communication, values and expectations. Be interested, but not intrusive, in their activities. Be open, honest and supportive.
  • Coach through difficult situations and decisions, but let your student make decisions and take responsibility. Avoid becoming the principal problem-solver in your student’s life. Offer help and encouragement, but remember to ask, “And what are you going to do about that?” 
  • Serve as a referral service for your student. Take the information from Family Connections and share it with your student. Encourage him or her to use the campus resources that are available. 
  • Realize that your student and your family are going through a transition that can be challenging. Be patient. 
  • Reassure your student that being homesick and feeling academically overwhelmed are common experiences among college students. Encourage your student to seek help from friends and university resources. 
  • Let your student know you are proud and that you are there to offer support through triumphs and mistakes. 
  • Encourage your student to connect with faculty and staff who are available to help them throughout their college career. 
  • Don’t be surprised if your student tells you, “UPIKE feels like a family.” Our students and alumni often make lasting connections with faculty and staff. 
  • Learn about common stressors for college students, especially first-year students. UPIKE Family Connections will share information via social media and email to support families throughout their student’s first year on campus. 

Adapted and reprinted with permission from the University of Kentucky’s Insider’s Guide.