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A Message to Parents

The transition to college is not only a challenge for students, but it also produces mixed feelings on the part of the family–feelings of hope, anxiety, excitement and apprehension. The mixed bag of emotions is exactly why Summer Orientation and Registration at Western New England University is for parents as well. Parents who have already been through the college scene have told us how valuable the SOAR experience was even for second and third time parents. So imagine how valuable SOAR can be for first time parents. Here are a few examples of what parents can take away.

  • Specific information on topics such as how to remain supportive of your student during the initial phases of adjustment, what changes to expect and how to handle the emotional highs and lows of college life;
  • Academic and course options available for students;
  • A snapshot of the first year and how students are supported;
  • Faculty perceptions on the nature of college teaching and what faculty expect in class;
  • Current student reflections on their challenges, choices, and changes of the first year experience;
  • Campus safety, health services, financial affairs, and varsity athletic information;
  • College life as students experience it (well, almost) by living on campus (separate from students).

After coming to SOAR, one single parent mom commented, “I was excited to get a clear understanding of what my (daughter) will be doing day to day…learning what the campus is like, getting to know the students she’ll be with in class. I know I am more prepared to be a parent of a college student.”

We know that the first six weeks of college are the most critical. SOAR gives students and parents the important edge on understanding the adjustment. Besides, don’t think you will be the only parent present. The vast majority of students attend with at least one parent and we find that students who come with their parents generally get more from the experience because they are able to share it. I look forward to meeting you.


Kerri P. Jarzabski
Dean of First Year Students & Students in Transition