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Parents & Grandparents

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Parent Engagement
Good Question What resources does CASE have for engaging parents? Any samples of what other institutions are doing is great too.

Parent Engagement Samples
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of parent engagement samples for all CASE members. The collection includes material on parent councils, such as brochures, applications and role expectations, as well as material on parent giving campaigns, newsletters, welcome guides and material specifically for parents of international students.

Happy Campers
CURRENTS Article Each June, Central Michigan University hosts Grandparents U, a three-day residential summer camp for more than 250 alumni and their grandchildren, ages 8 to 12. During the day, they attend classes together, and in the evenings, they visit the Student Activity Center, take in a movie, or enjoy quality family time.

2015 National Survey of College and University Parent Programs
Marjorie Savage & Chelsea Petree
Article This report, summarizing the seventh national survey by the University of Minnesota Parent Program, builds on longitudinal information about parent/family services provided by colleges and universities. The surveys have been conducted biennially to track best practices in services and programming, changes and developments in the field, costs for providing parent/family services and experience levels of the professionals who work with parents and families of college students.

Engaging Parents in an Institution's Overall Advancement Program
Podcast Alejandra Naranjo from The American School Foundation discusses some practical ways that advancement professionals can engage parents. Also, learn what special training and guidance parent volunteers should receive.

Sweet Suite Tradition
CURRENTS Article This brief article highlights an annual winter holiday tradition of the Greenhill School: the kindergarten Nutcracker. The school integrates the Nutcracker into the kindergarten curriculum. Members of the Greenhill senior class who performed the Nutcracker, along with their parents, are invited to attend the dress rehearsal performance, which has become a sort of rite of passage for seniors and their parents.

K-12 Parents Prefer Email, Website Communication to Social Networks
Article,  BriefCASE Article Parents of elementary- and secondary-school-age children prefer to be contacted by schools via email—but they give low priority to social media, according to a new survey.

Influencing the Influencers
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the growing trend of U.S. four-year institutions collecting e-mail addresses from parents of applicants. Some institutions are using this information as a marketing tool to involve parents in the college selection and decision-making process.

Key Constituency
CURRENTS Article California State University, Chico, a 17,000-student public university, has built a parent program within the alumni office—with great assistance from many other campus departments.

One Big Happy Family
CURRENTS Article Whether public or private, small or large, two- or four-year colleges, institutions are actively catering to parents, hoping to turn them into an essential student support system—and enthusiastic donors.

Big Mother
CURRENTS Article The "Hi, Mom" webcam at St. Olaf College allows parents to check in with their kids, and the college's president held the webcam's inaugural conversation with his own mother.

Parents Continue to Hover, Especially in Admissions Process
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new survey reveals that nearly 80 percent of college admissions officers say parents are more involved than ever in the process due to growing competition and application costs.

Advancement Achievers
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2002 Circle of Excellence winners

The New Communications Frontier
CURRENTS Article Advancement professionals should begin to enlist today's "helicopter" parents as partners in support of students and as advocates for colleges and universities. Institutions that define an appropriate role for parents can better tap into this group to contribute to institutional goals in the areas of affinity, recruitment, student retention, and development.

Strong Parent Programs Generate Engagement, Support
Article,  BriefCASE Article Parents are as important to schools, colleges and universities as alumni and donors and should be treated accordingly.

Talking Points: The Parent Gap
CURRENTS Article The phrase in loco parentis isn't as commonly heard or used on campuses as it once was, but the authors of this article believe that the doctrine of in loco parentis is not a relic of the past; it has a strong presence in higher education and student affairs practice. This article briefly examines the history of in loco parentis and recent related legal decisions, and includes recommendations for how institutions can respond to the recent shift in public perception and institutional policy.

Advance Work: Face Time
CURRENTS Article Surveying parents in person may take time but can pay off in more ways than one.

Advance Work: Dressed to Spill
CURRENTS Article Alumni clothing and paraphernalia are no longer just for the walking and talking set. The Georgia Tech Alumni Association started the Baby Buzz Club so that alumni can garb their young ones in yellow jacket style.

Learning Curve
CURRENTS Article The University of Virginia Alumni Association has developed two approaches to help alumni and their children navigate the legacy admissions process. Alumni Family Days events bring alumni and prospective legacy students in contact with admissions officials, and the alumni association's admissions counselor helps legacy prospects with the admissions process, gives them a realistic picture of their chances of admission, and serves as a contact point for alumni and their children whether they are admitted or not.

Mutual Interests
CURRENTS Article Although most parents aren’t alumni of the campuses their children attend, they constitute an audience that demands involvement. Alumni staff members can serve this constituency by recognizing parents as partners and showing them how they can assist the campus. Institutions involve parents in such activities as career development, legislative advocacy, and student recruitment. In return, campuses invite parents to attend Parents Weekends, participate in special meetings with top administrators, and enjoy other perks. To improve parent programming, alumni directors must examine their expectations and commit resources to training staff members and developing services. Those who don’t want to offer stand-alone parent programming can team up with other departments across campus to create an overall mission for parent relations.

All in the Family
CURRENTS Article Campuses are responding to parents' need to be involved and informed in their children's education by engaging them in parent-to-parent fund raising. This article examines why parents are so effective as volunteer fund raisers, how to recruit and train them, and how to best make use of their volunteering.

A Separate Piece
CURRENTS Article Parents have become increasingly important as a campus constituency, a change driven by both financial and generational factors. Their increased involvement--from recruitment to commencement--demands an organized communications effort that strikes a balance between information and involvement, and many campuses have responded by adding programming and dedicated staff. This article outlines essential strategies for communicating with parents, including creating separate experiences for them.

Ties that Bind
CURRENTS Article The relationship between independent school officials and parents is complex and ever-changing. Although both sides are working toward a common goal--giving students the foundation they need to lead happy and successful lives--they often don’t, or can’t, understand the other’s point of view. This article examines the school-parent relationship, as perceived by both sides, and recommends strategies school officials can implement to transform parents into partners rather than adversaries.

Giving Up on Letting Go
CURRENTS Article On campus, in the press, and in society at large, parents often are blamed for not letting go of their children, for being too pushy and overinvolved. But contrary to popular belief, kids don't want their parents to let go, and the "helicopter parent" phenomenon may be related to changing notions of adulthood. College is no longer considered the threshold to adulthood, researchers say. This article traces the historical and societal changes in the way parents relate to their college-age children and their institutions, from in loco parentis to the passage of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in the early 1970s to recent challenges to FERPA. It also examines the emotional and financial drivers behind helicopter parents.


The Library maintains a collection of parent engagement samples.

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