Helping Your Student Start Their College Career Right

Helping Your Student Start Their College Career Right

It was great to meet so many Panther Family members during orientation. The amount of information you and your student received can be overwhelming. In order to help you continue to digest the information and empower your student as they prepare to come to campus, the Dean of Students Office is sharing some questions you can use for discussion with them as you look forward to fall semester.

The main focus is for you to continue to be aware of the array of programs and services that support your student. However, we encourage you to engage with your student in ways that allow them to take responsibility for utilizing information and accessing any support they need. At orientation, we shared that your “role” is shifting and that the student is now more in the driver’s seat. You can now play a supporting role.

We know that first year and transfer students will need a good amount of support as they transition to the campus. You can work with your student to ensure their first year is a success by encouraging them to think about some choices they will need to make in the upcoming year.

  • How will they prioritize their academic success? Beyond this, how will they address balancing school, possibly working, getting involved, and pressure from peers who may not prioritize in the same way?
  • What is their plan for managing their health—how will they know it’s time to get checked out at Norris? Discuss your insurance coverages in the event they need to be referred to an off campus facility for prescriptions or things like x-rays, etc.
  • How will your student keep items secure? What is their plan for exploring Milwaukee—will they go with friends? Discuss the safety resources (UWM mobile app, campus shuttles/Be On the Safe Side, Safe Walk) they can use to travel securely around the community.
  • What will they do if they are in a situation where they witness something that concerns them (e.g. a fellow student in distress, someone being pressure to do something they don’t want to)? What if they are the student being pressured—how do they plan to respond?
  • How will they manage peer relationships in the event they have conflicts with a roommate (or housemate)?
  • What is your student’s thoughts about using alcohol? If they choose to use, how will they do so safely? What are your thoughts about their use of alcohol?  Having this conversation and hearing your thoughts can be very important for your student to hear as they think about these choices and potential consequences.
  • How will your student plan to manage intimate relationships? Discuss how they can set boundaries about what is comfortable to them and seek assistance if something negative happens?
  • What resources are available to assist if they need tutoring or other academic support?

One resource your student received at Orientation is the jump drive which contains answers to many of these questions. Exploring and familiarizing yourself with these resources along with your student as you engage in these questions is a great way to empower them to be responsible for their success.

We look forward to seeing you and your students on campus this coming August and at Panther Family Weekend Oct. 7.  If there are ways we can continue to assist you as your student makes their way to campus, please call our office at (414) 229-4632.

Welcome to the Panther Family!