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Parent Email–September 16, 2013

University Parent

Office for Student Affairs

September 16, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • Parents Weekend: Learn About Housing Options for Next Year
  • @home in Minnesota: Chicago Area Families
  • Dream Act Eligibility
  • Student Job Documentation
  • Happening This Week
  • Influenza Vaccinations
  • On-Campus Support Groups and Workshops
  • Future Teachers
  •  Parents' Role in Student Success
  • Miscellaneous

We didn't expect to be sending messages as frequently as we have recently, but there's so much to tell you! Things will slow down soon, and we'll revert to our "about every two weeks" schedule. For now, please check this message for any information you or your student might need.

We appreciate hearing from parents, and we welcome your questions and concerns. Please note, however, that for security reasons, messages sent by "reply" through the University Parent listserv are not opened or read. We want to avoid having parent emails sent inadvertently to the entire listserv. We do not want to compromise personal information about a parent or a student. Please send your questions or comments to parent@umn.edu. If you want to remove your name from the listserv, send a message saying "remove" to parent@umn.edu.

Parents Weekend: Learn About Housing Options for Next Year

With the number of new apartment buildings near campus, advertising pressure begins early and apartment complexes are promoted aggressively. Students already may be hearing the message, "Sign now or you won't get have a nice place to live next September." Parents Weekend, scheduled for October 18-20, features a new component this fall to help students and parents weigh options for on- and off-campus housing for next year.

On Saturday, October 19, Parents Weekend will feature a session presented by University Housing & Residential Life, University Student Legal Services, and Student and Community Relations, discussing housing options for next year; legal issues and responsibilities related to off-campus housing; and neighborhood characteristics and concerns in the campus area. For families whose students are currently living off campus, Student Legal Services and Student and Community Relations will discuss issues that students may be facing in their apartment or rental home. Finally, for families whose students are living at home, the Commuter Connection will present information specific to students who commute and their families.

Be prepared for housing decisions for 2014-2015. Register by October 1 for Parents Weekend.

@home in Minnesota: Chicago Area Families

We are considering hosting a Parent Reception for families from the Chicago area from 7-9 p.m., Friday, October 11, at Bruno's in Glenview, IL. We know that sending your student out of state for college presents somewhat different concerns than if you send your son or daughter an hour away, and our hope is to meet with families from the Chicago area to talk about how your students are doing and to answer any questions you may have.

  • Why Chicago?
    This is a new venture for the Parent Program, and we want to give it a try in an area where we know there are a number of U of M families.
  • Will we have similar programs in other out-of-state regions?
    We'll see how the Chicago program turns out!
  • What will we do?
    Talk, have light refreshments, meet other families from the area (which might be helpful when planning student trips back home), develop ideas for future events or activities.
  • What will it cost?
    We will provide the light refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages or additional dining options are your responsibility.

In order to plan for this event, we need an indication of how many will attend. We need preliminary confirmation by the end of this week (Friday, September 20) to determine the feasibility of the event. If you plan to attend, please send an email to parent@umn.edu before noon on Friday.

Dream Act Eligibility

The MN Dream Act will provide certain benefits to undocumented students, and the University of Minnesota wants to make sure that all students who are eligible for this program receive all the benefits they qualify for. While the Minnesota Office of Higher Education will make the final determination of who is eligible to benefit from the Dream Act, in most cases, students are eligible if they have attended a Minnesota high school for at least three years, have graduated from a Minnesota high school (or earned a GED in Minnesota), and have registered with the U.S. Selective Service (applies only to males 18 to 25 years old). The complete details on eligibility and a Dream Act Application are available at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Dream Act website.

Students must apply by October 2, 2013 to receive financial aid benefits for Fall 2013 semester. Please contact One Stop Student Services at 612-624-1111 if you have any questions.

Student Job Documentation

We recently heard from an on-campus employer who typically hires students, but often is unable to complete the hiring process because the student does not have an original birth certificate, passport, or Social Security card. Parents are understandably concerned about having their student take possession of those documents, but when students are hired for a job, they are required to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the United States. Acceptable forms of documentation include a driver's license as well as a certified copy of their birth certificate, Social Security documentation, or a U.S. Passport. For a list of acceptable documentation, please refer to:  http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/backgroundcheck/a/background_2.htm.

Happening This Week

  • The University's largest-ever Science and Engineering Career Fair, with 187 employers, will be taking over Mariucci Arena from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, September 17. Science and engineering students can find information on full-time, part-time, and co-op positions as well as internships
  • The 2013 Learning Abroad Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 18, on the West Bank Plaza. (Rain location is inside Willey Hall.) Staff will be available to provide information on learning abroad destinations and opportunities for study, internships, and travel.
  • A Community Involvement Fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, September 18, in the Great Hall of Coffman Union. Students will find information about involvement and internships from more than 90 organizations.

Flu Vaccinations

University of Minnesota students can sign up for a free flu vaccination on campus. They must be 18 years of age or older, and sign up is online. Vaccinations start September 25.

On-campus Support Groups and Workshops

In addition to counseling services, University Counseling & Consulting Services (UCCS) offers group sessions and workshops to support student success. Topics range from assertive communication, time management, and stress reduction to grief support, cross-cultural communication, relationship skills, and support for victims/survivors of assault. Information is available through UCCS.

Speaking of workshops, a workshop website provides information on a number of online and in-person workshops available to U of M students on campus. When students are seeking information on topics that may help them succeed academically, explore careers, get involved on or off campus, or improve their well-being, please suggest that they consider opportunities available on the Workshop website.

Future Teachers

Students who are interested in becoming teachers can find information on how different majors apply to different teaching positions. For all kinds of information for future teachers, encourage your student to check this website.

Parents' Role in Student Success

In our last email, we discussed how parents contribute to student success when they understand the student experience, support student learning, and empower students to take personal responsibility for their social and academic choices. In order to help parents understand those steps at the college level, the University of Minnesota has developed a set of Desired Outcomes for Parent/Family Involvement to help facilitate appropriate and successful family involvement during the college years.

The second of our outcomes asks parents to support the University's guidelines for student learning and development. College is all about personal growth and discovery. Students gain critical skills when they set and achieve their own goals and make responsible decisions related to their academics, career planning, social interactions, and community engagement. A major part of student development during the college years is the process of examining personal values and learning about the values and beliefs of others. There will be times when students face uncertainty as they make decisions and as they compare their beliefs with those of their friends and classmates. As tempting as it may be for parents to set ground rules and boundaries for their students, the reality is that students will be making decisions and choices based not only on family history and expectations, but also on the academic, social, and practical influences they experience on campus. By thinking through their values, goals, and choices, students' beliefs become more deeply ingrained as part of their core identity.

It is almost inevitable that at some point, college students will face disappointments, and they will make mistakes. It's a natural reaction for parents to want to prevent their child's disappointments and protect them from the consequences of their mistakes, but students do need to accept personal responsibility for their choices. Parents help most when they encourage their student to examine their disappointments and look hard at the unexpected outcomes. Encourage your student to assess what caused the problems, consider what can be done to improve a difficult situation, and take steps to avoid similar problems in the future.

Miscellaneous

If you have not yet responded to our Question of the Month for September, please visit the University Parent website and answer the question, "As this academic year begins, what do you think is your student's biggest concern regarding the University experience?" While you're there, take a look through the website—there is a lot of information included on that site.

For a view of campus today, see the Northrop Mall webcam, courtesy of the College of Science and Engineering.