Three Tips for Parents for the New Academic Year

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Dear Coyote Families:

In the next week or so, your student will be arriving at Kansas Wesleyan. Whether they are new or returning, we are so excited about them being with us this year for an amazing collection of learning experiences — in the classrooms, labs, fields, stages and exciting locations of six Wesleyan Journeys.President Matt Thompson

I understand that whether you are dropping off for the first time, the last time or somewhere in between, you are feeling a number of emotions. That’s totally normal. Don’t be afraid to fully own and experience them. In this post, I want to share a few things for you to think about in the coming weeks.

As you likely know, we have two Move-In Days at KWU: Saturday, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug. 19. The first one is for all fall athletes and fall activity students. The second Saturday is for all other students. Check-in is in Mabee Arena, and students are assigned to specific times. If your student is unsure of his/her check-in time, just contact the K-Dub Hub at (785) 833-4319. For everyone’s ease in the day, we ask that you please arrive at your assigned time. This helps to minimize lines and make the process go smoothly.

During student check-in from 9 to 11 a.m., my family and I invite you to join us for conversation and special Move-In Day treats in the Hauptli Student Center. Over at the residence halls, there will be sno cones to help everyone beat the heat. That reminds me — it’s going to be hot and humid on Move-In days. So please, pack some extra patience.

We are here to be a partner with you in your student’s collegiate success. As I like to say, “You are an expert on your student. We are experts on students.” Together, we can work to help your student reach his or her goals. To this end, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Communication: During the first few weeks of school, you are likely to see one of two things happen — lots of extra communication from your student or a lot less communication. Both are normal, so don’t be alarmed. Extra communication usually comes from nerves about the transition and the start of a new year. Less calls and texts may mean your student is extra busy (or trying to be brave about all the newness and expectations for this year) and making new friends. Now might be a good time to talk with your student about expectations on communication. If at any time you become concerned about your student, please be in touch with Student Development at (785) 833-4329. They are happy to check on your student and provide support to you.

College-Level Work: Whether starting as a first-year or returning student, college work is designed to be more difficult than the year before.

Some students will have no trouble, even if they are a bit anxious about it. Others will need extra support. That is to be expected, and we have designed the KWU experience with this in mind. I have three tips for you to consider for your student. First, have him or her get to know the staff in the Al Nelson Student Success Center, which is located in Memorial Library. Everyone there is focused on your student’s success. They help proof papers, provide tutoring and offer time management tips. The stigma of using the center because they are not doing well has been replaced by the reputation of being a place where students can improve and succeed. Second, visit with their faculty. If your student misses a class or is having trouble with a concept or assignment, ask your student if he or she has visited with the professor. Our faculty are kind, caring and committed teachers. They are here to help. Third, take advantage of study halls. A number of our programs require study hall hours. Encourage your student to use this time productively — come with homework to accomplish, assignments to read and a good attitude. As we all know, how you approach something can make all the difference.

Career Services: It is never too early to start planning for what happens after graduation. Our Career Services staff has developed a four-year plan to support students. We encourage students to stop by early in their first semester to get to know Courtney and Niki. These passionate and caring staff members are here to help students make decisions about majors and career opportunities, to find part-time jobs and internships, and prepare them for interviews. They have a ton of events and programs planned for this year. Make sure your student stops by their office on the lower level of the Pioneer Hall. Plus, they’ve added a Career Closet for students who need attire for an interview or networking event.

Everyone at KWU is super excited to welcome you and your student to campus very soon. Plus, we are honored to be a part of your student’s academic journey. If you need anything, please be in touch.

All the best,

Matt