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Desired outcomes for parent involvement

From the Winter 2006 Parent Newsletter

Last year, the Office for Student Affairs developed a list of student success outcomes, the skills and characteristics we expect University of Minnesota students to learn as they progress through college.

As we worked with student outcomes, we recognized that when students go to college the personal transitions they make can also affect their families. As the student-parent relationship adjusts, it sometimes can be challenging for the student, the parent, and the University to understand and communicate about the changing roles they each face. To help guide the conversation about appropriate and successful family involvement during the college years, the University has developed a set of desired outcomes for parent involvement.

Families contribute to student success by

  • Being aware of the unique challenges and opportunities facing today’s college students, including academic and non-academic expectations.
  • Learning about student support services and understanding how students can access these services (see “Services” at
  • Supporting the University’s goals for student learning outcomes (
  • Encouraging students to set and achieve personal goals and make responsible decisions related to academics, career planning, social interactions, and community engagement.
  • Understanding and supporting the University’s commitment to academic excellence and integrity, ethical behavior, diversity, and civility.
  • Empowering students to examine personal values; encouraging students to learn about and respect the values and beliefs of others.
  • Challenging students to seek new experiences for personal and professional growth.
  • Supporting students as they face conditions of uncertainty and learn to perform in complex environments and challenging situations.
  • Allowing students to accept consequences of their actions and responsibility for personal errors; urging students to examine disappointments and unexpected experiences in order to assess what caused them, what can be done, and how to avoid them in the future.
  • Knowing when to step in and when to empower students to take responsibility.
  • Understanding the role parents play as mentors to their students.
  • Knowing the limitations on accessing student records under federal regulations outlined in FERPA and HIPAA.
  • Promoting self-advocacy by encouraging students to identify problems and work toward solutions independently.
  • Being alert to signs that a student is under significant stress, is taking unhealthy risks, or is ill; discussing concerns openly with students and assisting them in developing a plan to address the problem.
  • Contacting appropriate campus or community authorities ( if a student’s physical or mental health is endangered.
  • Developing an affinity for the University.
  • Understanding that parents are part of the University community as prime supporters of their students.
  • Participating in campus events; supporting and encouraging all students as they learn, perform, lead, or serve through campus and community activities.
  • Assisting other parents in understanding the student experience.
  • Promoting goodwill on behalf of higher education at the state and federal level.