COVID-19 Resources

With COVID-19 continuing to impact students, families, and higher education, we have created a series of tools to help campus leaders to immediately support families as they partner with us to ensure their student is successful and remains enrolled.

Visit the Resource page or call 615-436-4500 for immediate support.


Maximize Parent/Family Associations To Sustain Fall Enrollments

Time is of the essence to build goodwill and sustain positive public perception.

The pace of change impacting our campuses is unprecedented.  That is why we must leverage a wide range of available resources to sustain a culture of caring and goodwill for our students and families.  One of the most overlooked resources are Parent/Family Associations or Parent/Family Councils.  Regardless of their function, these organizations have one thing in common – their members are motivated —  motivated to engage, serve and communicate.  This is the time to enlist their help to support retention for the fall term. We need our Parent/Family Association leaders to attest to our quick responsiveness to COVID-19, the extraordinary efforts underway by faculty to provide quality online instruction, and the many innovative ways we are working to support students through online communities.

Are they part of your COVID-19 communications strategy? 

Now that students are at least a week or two into online instruction, it is time to work in tandem with the elected board members of these organizations.  Parent Education Partners recommends these three strategies:

1) Unify communication:  While most Parent/Family Associations are autonomous 501(c3) non-profit organizations, they are often happy to collaborate with Student Affairs.  Reach out to the president and leadership team to brainstorm how they can help.  Many produce their own digital newsletters and have Facebook Group pages.  Ask them to partner in sharing information provided by your office and Campus Communications, so that parents/families are receiving consistent, timely information.

2) Amplify the halo effect:  Many times, the parents/families who lead these associations are well connected in the community and generally have a few years of direct experience with your campus as parents/family of upperclassmen.  Because of their situational experience and reputations, they have unprecedented credibility with current parents/family.  The goodwill these organizations and their leaders generate create a positive “halo effect” that we must harness right now to sustain enrollments for the fall term. 

Parents, especially those who have recently suffered job or income losses due to COVID-19, may be reconsidering if their student will return to campus this fall. They need to be reminded that college is a worthwhile investment even during times of great sacrifice and duress.  While a college education represents a significant financial investment and may be especially challenging during times of fiscal uncertainty, the national data on the life-lime earnings of college graduates is irrefutable.  The life-time earnings, overall, of college graduates continue to significantly outpace adults who have no college degree. 

Enlist the help of your Parent/Family Association leaders to encourage parents/families to explore new federal financial aid, work study and institutional aid resources.  Some campuses have been highly successful in recent weeks in bolstering alumni and community giving through crowd-sourcing and campaign appeals. Additional scholarships may be available.  Carefully crafted communication from the Parent/Family Association president may motivate those “on the fence” to explore new available resources to keep their student enrolled. 

3) Expand positive storytelling:  We can’t stop the media from covering our challenges and perpetuating long-held stereotypes about the inertia of our institutions, but we can circumvent the media gatekeepers by going direct through our Parent/Family Associations and campus communications channels. 

This is a critical window of time to sustain confidence, especially as students and families are adjusting to financial burdens and the stress and disappointments associated with campus closures, the postponement of graduation and other key milestone and memorable campus events.

Time is of the essence to build goodwill and sustain positive public perception. 

Consider short-term contracted support to seize this window of opportunity.  Parent Education Partners stands ready to provide immediate assistance.  Our team of seasoned, tech-savvy educators and award-winning university communications professionals will help your team and Parent/Family Association maximize this critical time to sustain confidence and fall enrollments.

Learn more by calling 615-436-4500 or visit

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