Students need to know the rules
Help your student understand that he or she is responsible for learning the academic policies and administrative procedures that apply to all areas of their collegiate experience. Remind your student to ask questions whenever s/he is uncertain of a policy or procedure. Encourage THEM to call the Academic Advising office with questions; we know you want to help; we know that you are used to taking charge. But try not to do it for them. We give this advice for two express reasons. First, they will more readily learn how to navigate the College if they undertake this responsibility and, second, it is THE LAW. Federal guidelines (known as FERPA) prohibit College officials from talking to anyone other than the student about the academic record, unless a signed release from the student is on file. The release submitted to Financial Aid covers only financial records and does not extend to other offices. While the Office of Academic Advising is happy to speak with you if a signed release is on file, we encourage you to talk directly with your student first, to reinforce him or her taking personal responsibility for finding answers and resolving problems.
Students need to know their advisors
Remind your student to do his or her share to create and sustain the advising relationship, in which both students and advisors have responsibilities. All students are assigned academic advisors who are required to hold office hours and must be on campus four days a week; students are encouraged to plan ahead to ensure contact is possible during busy periods. Advisors can help students think about a major, consider what to do after graduation, and learn how to utilize the resources available on campus. Course scheduling and registration should flow from these broader conversations. THEREFORE YOUR STUDENT SHOULD: (1) introduce him/herself to the advisor early in the semester, (2) call upon the advisor occasionally during regular office hours when help is needed, or just to talk about getting settled in college, (3) take advantage of required advising meetings. Students are required to meet with an advisor every semester prior to registration, after the student has built a draft schedule using the advising tools available to them. (N.B. if students only consult their advisors when they need a signature, then the "advice" provided will necessarily be limited).
Students need to manage their time to support success
The place that most learning takes place (outside of the classroom) and the person responsible for that learning (the student) are the most dynamic differences between high school and college. Help your student understand that college is a full-time job and that this job requires at least 45 hours a week - 15 hours in class and 30 hours outside of class reading, reviewing notes, etc. This time outside of class must be quality time; students need to be engaged in a critical and analytical consideration of the material being presented in the course, not simply memorization.