Tips for Parents
Handling Academic Concerns
Reconsidering a Major/ Minor. Some questioning may occur, as your student rethinks her major or minor. Talk through the pros and cons with her, while also suggesting that she discuss it with her academic advisor and/or another trusted faculty/staff member.
Failing a Class. Does your student need to retake a course? If so, encourage him to be attentive from day one and to engage the professor should he need assistance. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that!
Shaken Confidence. Not doing particularly well academically can shake students' confidence. Hard work and smart work will help her get back on track. The learning center and campus counselors can help with a confidence crisis, too.
Needing More Study Time. Lower grades often mean that students need to study more — and to learn how to maximize their study time. Folks in the learning center can provide tips. Help your student reconsider where he studies, too. If he sits on his bed, the temptation to nap can be great. If he studies in a noisy lounge, the distractions can be great. Brainstorm other options, from library cubicles to the laundry room, as your student takes a good look at his study mode of operation.
Focusing Too Much on Grades. If your student is only focusing on grades, rather than what she is learning, she's not getting the most out of her academics. So, ask her about classes from a "What are you learning?" perspective now and then. Sometimes having to verbalize it can help students really take a look at what they're getting out of a particular class.
Not Approaching Professors. Most faculty members have office hours and stick around after class because they want to be available to students. Encourage your student to seek clarification in person if he has questions. Face-to-face encounters are often much more valuable than emailing professors because students become known that way, in a positive light.
Academics don't have to be a taboo subject. Reserve judgment when possible so that you can be open to helping your student examine her current approach, both what's working and what's not. With your assistance, she can dig into a more positive academic career.
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