19 Feb Parents/Families are the solution not the problem
Parents are not to blame for why incoming freshmen are confused and anxious about selecting college courses. Yet, an article in the February 2020 issue of The Hechinger Report, pegs helicopter parents as the problem.
Parent/family education and engagement are a solution to combating student stress and confusion. At most, helicopter parents are a minority. Parents/families want their students to grow into mature adults who are confident decision-makers. However, many do not know how to best support their student through to graduation.
The current body of research doesn’t support the assertion that parental/family involvement negatively impacts students success. To the contrary, the research to date affirms that intentional student-focused parent/family engagement in college is vital to social and academic integration – the foundations for college retention and completion at two- and four-year institutions. And, when we invest the time to cultivate parents/families as educational partners, students earn higher grades, take more units, transfer and graduate.
Until now, we’ve relied on the advising office and faculty to provide students with guidance regarding courses and majors. Parents/families have a vested interest in ensuring their student finds his/her right path and graduates on time.
It’s time to rethink the role of parents/families in our student success equation. Parents/families are not the problems. They hold untapped potential and are a key research-based solution for improving student outcomes.