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Parents' & Families' Resources


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Academic Success Tips for Parents & Families

Transitioning from high school to college can sometimes be overwhelming.  Your student may be moving away from home and becoming independent for the first time.  These changes can also affect a student's academic success.  Achieving academic success is the responsibility of the student. The faculty, staff and administration at Kutztown want to see your family member succeed.

 Here are some tips to aid your family member in achieving academic success:

 Be familiar with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  This act prohibits the disclosing of student records to anyone other than the student to whom the records pertain, unless we have the student's consent. For example, unlike high school, you cannot call the university to check on your student's grades or financial aid.  Read more information about FERPA on the Kutztown University FERPA Information page.

 After some of the tips, we have included a sample question you can use to ask your student to gauge how your student is adjusting to this new phase of learning.


  1. Keep the line of communication open with your student.  Ask them specific questions about their classes, professors, and advisors. Use the tips given below to formulate questions about how they are doing. Try and ask questions that will generate insightful answers.
    "What is your favorite class so far? What classes do you find challenging?"


  1. Attend the Parent CONNECTIONS Orientation Program.  At Parent Orientation you will receive valuable information on many of the services provided for Kutztown University students.
    (We encourage you to take notes and ask questions)


  1. In addition to the CONNECTIONS New Student Orientation, your student will also need to attend Fall CONNECTIONS or Commuter Orientation prior to the beginning semester.


  1. Your student will need to learn how to budget his or her time while attending college.  Many students struggle with time management skills in high school because their time has been structured for them.  It is a good thing to practice time management before leaving for college.  Information about Time Management can be found on the Study Tools Kit page.
    "What have you been doing to manage your time?"


  1. As a parent, it is hard to let go but your student is now responsible for their own actions as well as the consequences that come with those actions.  Before they leave for college make sure they are familiar with all of the rules of Kutztown University by reading The Key Student Handbook.  The Key not only outlines rules about student conduct, but it also explains important academic policies, as well as information on Support Services and Involvement Opportunities.
    "What does it say in the Student Handbook about declaring a major, dropping a class, petitioning for an incomplete grade?"


  1. Along with being familiar with the handbook, students should also get to know the campus.  Be familiar with the resources available to them such as Tutoring Services, Financial Aid, and Housing & Residence Life to name a few. Have them become familiar with Campus Resources.
    "Where the Tutoring Services Office is located?"


  1. Students should get to know their professors and ask questions in class. In high school, teachers generally use a textbook as their guide, in college; the book is usually a supplement to the material.  Students cannot just study from the text book alone and expect to keep up with the course.
    "What's your professor's name for ________ class? How do you like their teaching style?"


  1. Students should take advantage of the Tutoring Services.  It is smart to get a tutor as soon as they feel concerned about understanding a course.  Tutoring Services also offers drop-in labs for math and business. 
    "Have you registered for Math Lab?"


  1. Some courses offer Supplemental Instruction. Your student should ask if the course they are taking offers Supplemental Instruction to help them succeed in the class.
    "Does your Math Class have a Supplemental Instructor? What time do you meet with your Supplemental Instructor?"


  1. Encourage your student to visit with and get to know their advisor.  An advisor is assigned to every student and will guide them in selecting and scheduling classes for their major as well as act as a resource for other academic issues. If your student is an Exploratory Studies student they should visit the Department of Academic Enrichment to make sure they are registered for their core courses. This office will also help them in the process of selecting a major.
    "What is the name of your advisor? How many times have you met with your advisor? How many credits can you take before you declare a major?"


  1. Because your student will now be responsible for a great deal of writing in their courses they may want to go to the Kutztown University Writing Center located in Rohrback Library 100C.
    "Have you been to the Writing Lab to get help with your English essay? Do you know when the Writing Center is open?"


  1. Have your student check their email every day. Pertinent information is sent to students everyday by the university.
    "Did you get an email from the Office of Student Accounts regarding your bill?"


  1. Encourage your student to learn how to use their MyKU and D2L accounts.  Students use his or her KU log-in to access information about their grades, assignments, schedules, announcements and financial aid as well as much more. 
    "Have you logged in to D2L to check on your math assignment?"