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Being the parent

From the Orientation 2009 Parent Newsletter

The University Parent Program works with families to help them understand their student's experience, support their student's learning, and help their student take responsibility for social and academic decisions. Families can help by: Understanding the student experience and knowing about resources available at the University of Minnesota.

  • Learn about student support services and how students can access them; encourage your student to identify and obtain support and assistance from appropriate resources (see "Academic Planning and Achievement" at

Supporting the University's student learning and development goals (see below).

  • Challenge your student to identify, define, and solve problems independently.
  • Encourage your student to set and achieve personal goals and make responsible decisions.
  • Understand and support the University's commitment to academic excellence and integrity, ethical behavior, diversity, and civility.
  • Encourage your student to examine personal values and learn about and respect those of others.
  • Support your student as he or she faces uncertainty and other challenging situations.
  • Allow your student to accept consequences of his or her actions and urge him or her to learn from them.

Knowing when to step in to help their student and when their student must take responsibility.

  • Understand parents' role as mentors.
  • Understand limitations to accessing student records, as delineated by federal requirements in FERPA and HIPAA.
  • Allow your student to make decisions independently.
  • Be alert to signs that your student is under stress, is taking unhealthy risks, or is ill; discuss concerns openly and help him or her draw up a plan to address the problem.
  • If your student's physical or mental health is endangered, contact appropriate campus or community authorities (

Developing an affinity for the University of Minnesota.

  • Understand that parents are part of the University community as prime supporters of their students.
  • Participate in campus events.
  • Help other parents understand the student experience.
  • Promote goodwill toward higher education at the state and federal level.