Parents and Guests of First-Year Students
What to Expect for Parents and Guests
- Transitions happen for both new students, and their parents, guests, and family members. This process can feel overwhelming. The New Student Orientation program is designed to help all groups in the transition to Indiana State University.
- Talk to your student before, during, and after orientation. Let them know it is okay to be nervous. See what questions they have and tag-team the information. Students will hear a great deal from current students and staff who will help them feel at home and at-ease during the program.
- Be Prepared: The transition starts here. This is the time to encourage your student to step outside their comfort zone and meet their peers. It is also a comfortable environment for your student to ask other students about life at Indiana State.
- Create a file and bring a notebook and pen. You will receive a great deal of information as it relates to your student’s college experience through presentations, and also through various publications. Write down questions before and during orientation as there are many staff members around to help make sure you leave with no question unanswered.
- Discuss academic expectations with your student before orientation. There will be presentations about your student’s major, the academic college to which it belongs, and the University College for both you and your student. However, the student will meet one-on-one with their academic advisor to schedule spring classes. Parents/Guests are not permitted to join students in their academic advising session. You should work with your student to fill out the Academic Advising Worksheet before you come, so your student has your input on the types of classes you think they should take, but more importantly, what classes interest them the most and will help them graduate in four years. Also learn about our Sycamore Graduation Guarantee to help your student stay on track and graduate in four years.
- Dress comfortably. Chances are it will be cold outside, wear weather appropriate clothing. Light jackets are helpful for indoors. Umbrellas are always a good idea in December and January. Wear comfortable walking shoes, as you will be walking around campus. We do our best to provide reasonable accommodations. If you or another guest attending orientation has a specific need, please be sure to let a staff member know when you arrive.
- Bring some money. A light continental breakfast will be offered before the opening session as well as lunch.
- Stay for the duration of the program. The Freshman New Student Orientation is a full day process. It is required that students attend all sessions. Students will not be excused for any reason. The sessions that are designed for parents and guests are optional but highly encouraged.
- Book a hotel early. Unfortunately, we do not and cannot provide on-campus housing for orientation. We do not reserve hotel rooms for orientation, but we do offer special rates when rooms are available. View Hotels
Make Sure Your Student…
- …registers themselves (and you!) for orientation. Be involved in registering for their orientation session. It may seem easy to just take care of it yourself; however, we highly encourage you to view this as the first step of a student’s transition from high school to college. They will be able to fill out your contact information too so that we can send emails to parents and guests.
- …knows their University login. Once they activate their University login, a screen will prompt them with their username. They will use this multiple times a day at Indiana State (and at orientation). They should memorize this information and practice accessing MyISU Cloud, BlackBoard, and their University email.
- …takes their Math Placement Test. Students should take this test seriously and use the practice test to their advantage. This test will help academic advisors determine the best first math course for them. It does not behoove students to cheat, as they may be placed in a class that is too advanced for their skill set, ending in a poor grade. This test does not substitute a math course, nor grant credit, but gauges their knowledge and suggests a class in which to start.
- …checks themselves (and you!) in at orientation. Our staff will look to your student for their information. Help us empower them to learn independence early on as in just a few months they will be in charge of themselves at State.
Know Your Student’s Rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects a student’s right to privacy concerning their academic records and information. Indiana State University will not disclose any information without the written consent from the student, with some exceptions as stated by FERPA.
There are some types of information such as grades, financial aid, or class schedules that parents might like to receive but under FERPA, parents cannot have access to these records unless the student gives written permission to the University. This means that even if you are footing the bill for their education, you do not have automatic access to your student’s educational records. Students can grant and remove access at any time.
It is highly encouraged to have a conversation with your student about your expectations of him or her as a college student. This conversation should include what kind of grades you expect, what records you want access to, and what you expect he or she to pay for on their own.
There is a great deal of information regarding FERPA through the Office of Registration and Records.