Parents and Guardians often wonder what level of involvement is appropriate at the college level. First, while tough, realize that your student is a young adult and this may affect how much information an office or instructor can provide you. However, we encourage you to speak with your student about both of your expectations for communication and involvement.
Whether you are a parent, guardian, or a student curious about what to expect from your parent(s), it is important to understand the new role of a parent within the college context. These role changes generally progress from heavy, direct involvement to less frequent, more indirect involvement in the educational process.
Parental Differences Between:
High School - "Direct Involvement"
- Information is generally freely given to parental figures since most students are under 18, and thus, minors.
- Parents and family are frequently involved in parent/teacher meetings, open houses, and other contacts with instructors. These contacts may be initiated by the instructors or parents at any time.
- Parents generally see students daily and are able to inquire about school events, schedules, and progress.
- Student conduct issues inside and outside the classroom directly involve the parents or guardians.
- Students may work throughout high school for spending money if he or she still lives with family members. Major financial obligations are generally parental responsibilities.
College - "Indirect Involvement"
- FERPA, or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, prevents higher education officials and instructional staff from releasing any information to friends, family, or others without a written release from the student even if the student is a minor.
- Instructors and parents very rarely interact. As a result of the number of students, the level of expected self-advocacy, and FERPA, instructors will not initiate parental contact.
- Parental contact may range from several times a semester to multiple times daily. Average student contact is once or twice a week. Please talk with your student about both of your expectations for contact via email, letter, visit, or phone.
- Students will deal exclusively with conduct issues both in and out of the classroom. Parents may coach students on how to confront conflict while respecting professional and personal boundaries.
- Academic bills will be sent to students online and be his or her responsibility. Budgeting and spending issues will be the student responsibility. Parents and students are advised to talk about spending, earning, and borrowing expectations that may exist.
- Students must motivate themselves to work, attend courses, study, get involved, and complete coursework.
Opportunities for Getting Information and Assistance
SRJC provides opportunities to receive more information or assistance at many of the high schools within our District. Among the services offered, your student might have access to assistance completing Financial Aid applications, OpenCCC Apply (Application for Admission) workshops, or presentations about the success steps to SRJC and other general information called "Seniors Presentations". Some high schools also schedule group placement testing at SRJC. College Nights (great for Parents and Guardians) are also offered at many schools throughout the District. Be sure to have your student watch and listen for announcements about activities scheduled at their school, or check with the high school Counseling Office for more information.
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- Student Guide
- Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
- Transfer Track at SRJC Petaluma