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Parent Email–July 23, 2012

  • Online Chat with President Kaler
  • Save the Date
  • Common Books
  • Free Course for U of M Parents
  • Finance Update
  • Campus Calendar
  • Data Privacy and Parent/Guest Access
  • Miscellaneous

Since we have so many new parents whose students are preparing for their first year on campus, we are re-posting a couple of YouTube videos. Follow the YouTube links to see everyone's favorite mascot, Goldy, learn the basics of laundry and discover a few quick time management skills.

Online Chat with President Kaler

Parents are invited to participate in a live chat with President Kaler this Wednesday, July 25, from noon to 1 p.m. To join the conversation, log on to the Star Tribune website

You can also request an email reminder for the online chat by signing up in advance.

Save the Date for Parents Weekend

A reminder that Parents Weekend is scheduled for September 28-30. This year's activities will include several new Parents Weekend events. For the first time, most undergraduate colleges will host open houses for parents on Friday afternoon, September 28. Each college will design and schedule its own open house—we will let you know the details when we hear the final plans. Saturday programming will begin with a welcome from the University's Center of Indigenous Nations, and parents and students will have the opportunity to meet Karen Kaler, the wife of President Kaler. The College of Design will present an engaging program showing how creativity and teamwork can impact the tasks we perform in our daily lives. Programming for the weekend is still being finalized—watch for the Parents Weekend schedule and registration information that will be mailed to students' home addresses in early August.

Common Books

Two of the University's colleges are assigning common readings to their incoming students this fall, and the Parent Program invites all parents to read the same books. First-year students in the College of Liberal Arts will be reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage Books, 2006), described as a “novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss.” Told from the viewpoint of a 31-year-old woman, it describes her upbringing at an exclusive boarding school for special children and how her past made her and her friends the people they became. CEHD’s common book is The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. The book describes two boys, both named Wes Moore, growing up in similar circumstances four blocks apart, but leading them to very different outcomes as adults.

We will post discussion questions on the University of Minnesota Parent Program's Facebook page and invite your responses. University of Minnesota Bookstores is offering a discount rate on the two books.

Free Course for U of M Parents

Just when you thought you had this parenting job figured out, your son or daughter heads off to college. Parenting from a distance and dealing with the unique issues related to college life require a new set of skills. In order to help parents understand some of the challenges students face as they make the transition to college life, we have developed "Parenting 1001: A Course for Parents of U of M Students."

This free, online course begins by introducing parents to the basics of a college course and teaches you how an online U of M course is structured. It continues with five additional lessons:

  • College Finance: Conversations with Students on Money Management
  • Alcohol Use in College
  • Student Health
  • Career Planning
  • Course Evaluation

The information is useful for parents of all college students. We have posted the course introduction and the College Finance lesson online today. Additional lessons will be posted each week from now until the end of August—right in time for your student to start school.

To take the course, please follow the instructions below:

Steps to Self-Enroll in Parenting 1001

  • Step 1: Create a Guest ID
    Fill out this online form:
    • The email address that you enter will become your U of M Internet ID for the course.
    • The password that you choose on the form will become your Guest ID password for the course.
    • Note: if you don't use your guest account frequently enough, the password will stop working. If this happens, your will need to select a new password.
  • Step 2: Activate Guest ID in Moodle by going to the course site and logging in with your guest ID. (If you go to the course site immediately after creating your guest account, you will not have to log in with this information). Use the enrollment key below to self-enroll in Parenting 1001.

If you have any questions about enrollment or about the course, please contact Chelsea Petree at

Finance Update

Financial aid packages (Financial Aid Notices or eFAANs) for fall semester will be emailed to students the last week of July. Financial aid awards will be disbursed the week before fall semester begins. Please remind your student to check his/her U of M email account regularly. Students will need to confirm or deny their financial aid award in order for disbursement to be made. If the family has experienced unusual financial circumstances (loss of job or income, divorce or separation, death in the family) since the FAFSA was filed, your student should contact a One Stop counselor to see if she or he qualifies for additional financial support.

Campus Calendar

If you're looking for important dates for the 2012-2013 academic year, the One Stop website now includes upcoming deadlines and events on its home page. Calendars are also featured as a top-level link on the One Stop site.

Data Privacy and Parent/Guest Access

College-aged students are among the most vulnerable population for identity theft. Please talk to your student about the importance of protecting passwords and pin numbers, keeping their credit and debit cards safe, and reporting any problems or card losses immediately. Students have a tendency to share their personal information with the people they love, including parents, best friends, roommates, and boyfriends or girlfriends. When relationships go bad, however, that personal information can be used for all the wrong reasons.

The most powerful message students can receive about protecting privacy is when their parents say, "Don't share your passwords or pin numbers with anyone--not even me." You can arrange for them to record their codes or passwords in a secure place, to be accessed only in case of emergency. When parents emphasize the importance of privacy, students are less likely to share that information with friends.

Students' academic records are protected by federal legislation. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) specifies that college students own their academic records and control who has access to them. Students can grant access to parents, providing a separate log-in process for you to view your student's records. The University has made it as easy as possible for students to give you access to view—but not change—your student's records. Please be sure to have your student provide Parent/Guest Access to you for the records you need to see.


Starting this Wednesday, students can go online to order a U-Pass. The U-Pass provides students with unlimited rides on city buses; the $97 pass covers the whole semester and is valid from August 27, 2012 to January 21, 2013.

Please respond to our Parent Question of the Month. We very much appreciate the input parents provide on our monthly questions.

Here it is—your live view of Northrop Mall. You know it's hot when students are not playing Frisbee or napping on the lawn on a sunny afternoon.