Transition to university for students and parents
September 1, 2017
King’s University College, rolls out the welcome mat to more than 3,500 new and returning students including more than 330 who will move into residence on Monday, September 4, 2017 starting at 10 a.m. Set to greet them, and assist with the move-in, are dozens of Residence Assistants and Sophs (upper year volunteers) along with Dr. David Sylvester, King’s Principal, Joe Henry, Dean of Students, King’s Campus Ministry Team and our Students’ Council.
Move-in day is also an important time of transition for parents of the incoming class. Joe Henry, King’s Dean of Students, will offer a seminar for parents on Monday, September 4 at 1 p.m. in Labatt Hall, Room 105. Henry offers some important communications tips for parents as their young adult children move from living at home to attending university:
- Set some communications ground rules: From my experience in over 15 years working in post-secondary institutions I have seen students and parents step on campus without any ground rules around how and when they will communicate with each other. Part of independence is to let students experience the journey. This is built on trust and openness. Families should be talking about which situations they will communicate about, how often to expect emails, texts or phone calls. More importantly, in the parents case, decisions need to be made about who will be calling when situations do come up on campus. Hint: Let the students handle it.
- Become aware of resources and support: Universities like King’s have many resources to support students including counselling, learning skills seminars, library information sessions and mindful meditation sessions. Parents and students should be reviewing websites and information from post-secondary institutions to help support the transition of students as they adjust to their new surroundings. These resources often have no extra cost and studies have shown that this step positively impacts students’ overall success and engagement.
- Encourage Involvement: Studies have shown that as students become more involved in campus life and activities then the higher the likelihood is that students will persist in their studies. Now, it doesn’t mean that students have to be at every activity, but encouraging students to volunteer with a student group, to get involved in a club or intramural sports, can have a positive impact and create great social connections.
“This is a great time of year. New beginnings and new opportunities are awaiting students on campus. Though careful planning and communication, parents can help coach their students so that students can begin their new academic journey as successfully as possible,” says Henry. King’s Opening Convocation for first-year students is on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 1 p.m. in the Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre. This is a formal welcome from the Principal, Students Council and other community leaders. A variety of Orientation Week activities include everything from academic information sessions and safety programming to karaoke, yoga, dances, concerts and mass. The first day of classes is Thursday, September 8th. “This is a highlight day of the year for us at King’s as we welcome, for the first time, our Class of 2021, their families and friends,” says Dr. Sylvester. “This year we have 531 students arriving from 38 countries, making King’s a globally connected campus.”