Do you feel this is a family decision? Did you feel that way when you were choosing?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Do you feel this is a family decision? Did you feel that way when you were choosing?
8
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 12:12pm

When Marymount University was planning a “scholars day” a few years ago for high school seniors who had been offered admission, the Arlington County school received a phone call from a mother in Arizona. She wanted to know what was scheduled for parents.

University officials couldn’t interest her in tourist attractions, and they hesitated to allow grown-ups into the student-targeted event. So they organized activities just for parents. It was a hit.

Now Marymount sends parents postcards several times a year, invites them to parent-only events and publishes a full-color “Guide for Parents.” It is one of a growing number of schools to discover that it’s not enough to communicate with prospective students. The colleges are also wooing parents who are digitally tethered to their offspring and want more involvement than writing a tuition check.

“When my first one went to college, all of the parents were sitting there like, ‘Why won’t you listen to us? We’re the ones paying the bill,’ ” said Patrice Searl of Philadelphia, who toured Marymount last month with the youngest of her four children, Caitlin. Universities, she said, “have gotten a lot better about it.”

In this spring admission season, many colleges target parents via their Web sites, and some address financial aid letters: “To the parents of . . . .”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/colleges-catering-to-curious-parents-as-well-as-prospective-students/2011/03/31/AFdIFe9C_story.html

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Somewhat funny you bring this up - no, never went to sample classes, but nor did ds18. Never talked to profs; never had the opportunity but can't say I would've either if I had..

I was asked (with about a dozen others) to be on the newly formed Parent Leadership Council at my ds's U; had our first meeting last Friday. They had provided an online survey to all parents in early March and decided to start us off with 4 of the results that puzzled them, and asked us how to remedy them. The goal of the whole thing is to get more parent participation on campus. For the couple of us with freshmen, we found it ironic - back when you went in the summer for 'U 101' (parents and new students for a weekend of activities; some joint, some separate, kids stayed overnight on campus for 2 nights) they told us to let the kids go, spread their wings, be on their own and now they're saying why aren't you coming to visit/do stuff regularly on campus?! So we gave ideas on how better to get us involved. I think I'll bring up the sample classes - maybe even ones that are just for the parents for new kids (I'd think older kids wouldn't care if their parents attended; freshmen might object early on).

We did comment that we don't just want to think to go to a website and poke around; I suggested they send out weekly bulk emails of 'did you know' where they'd tell you about upcoming events (sports, lectures, bands, etc.) that could bring the parents out too - they're very eager to try that. Going to be a fun committee!

Sue
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Back in the olden days (2001--yikes!) when ds was choosing a school, we accompanied him on an organized tour of the U that was intended for families and we asked questions in the areas that were more our realm (ie. financial office) but otherwise let him do most of the talking. He did meet a couple of profs/dept heads and we stayed in the background for that. We had previously discussed what questions he might want to ask the prof; we felt that it was important that he learn if he had rapport with the profs, not how we liked them. He/we did not sit in on any classes, I don't think it was an option, at least during these tours.

After he enrolled we received occasional emails about campus events or other things that they thought the parents should know about. We also started receiving the quarterly Alumni magazine which told about upcoming cultural events and had a column written for parents by a parent. There was really only one annual event that parents were encouraged to attend, a spring open house/homecoming/college town celebration. Parents were welcome to attend concerts etc but those were open to the general public anyway. Since we lived 500 miles from the U we only attended the Picnic Day once.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

You know, I think this is just ridiculous.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

<<<>>>

No, that would be disruptive. No university I know here would allow "classes to be sampled".

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999

You know, I have to pretty much agree with what sabrtooth posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006

With both of our DSs, I attended the parent orientation while they attended the summer,

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http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/october/meet_the_new_health_.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQTBYQlQ7yM

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

YES, the college should do something to engage and inform the parents. It's really obvious that just because kids have turned 18 and can vote, buy cigarettes, and have private medical records, they are not yet adults.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

This is hardly "grocery store" sampling.