Parents Program Office to host workshops addressing student life

By Erika Strebel

As a freshman, Ashley Patterson, junior in LAS, had a difficult time adjusting to campus life. She missed her family and had a hard time becoming familiar with the different resources the University offers students. But eventually, she got the hang of things.

Her mother took a little longer. Patterson said her mother now worries less about her but still does not know much about University life.

“My mom is not too informed about the University,” Patterson said. “She’s not really aware about it, but she reads the newsletters that come in the mail.”

The University’s Parents Program Office, which publishes parent newsletters, will be offering parents an opportunity to better understand life at the University. For the first time, the Parent Programs Office will be hosting three workshops during Mom’s Day Weekend on April 14 in the Illini Union.

“We do understand that parents are hungry for information,” Parent Programs Office Program Manager Becki Galardy said.

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    “What do Federal Privacy Laws Mean to Parents?” is the first workshop that will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in Room 404 of the Union. University Registrar Carol Malmgren and Jo Duchene, College of Business Executive Assistant Dean, will speak about privacy laws and the process through which parents can obtain student information and records. Galardy said the workshop would explain the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records.

    “(Duchene) has a very down-to-earth perspective,” Galardy said.

    From 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Room 406, Tenant Union Director Esther Patt will speak about the leasing process, how parents can help their students be responsible tenants and how to access landlord records in the workshop entitled, “Apartment Leases and Renting.”

    The last workshop, “Empowering Your Student,” will be held from noon to 12:45 p.m. in Room 406 at the Union. Dr. John Powell, Campus Counseling Center psychologist, will talk to parents about their new role as parents of college students. He will discuss how parents can nurture their relationships with their students and how to guide and advise students to make appropriate choices.

    Galardy said the topics covered by the workshops were chosen based on the most common questions parents ask the Parent Programs Office.

    If parents have suggestions for topics to cover in the future, they can E-mail the Parent Programs Office at [email protected].

    To register for the workshops, parents should also E-mail the Parent Programs Office and include their names and the number of participants attending, and what workshops they would like to attend. There is no deadline for registration.

    Galardy said that the goal of offering these workshops is to strengthen the relationship the University has with parents and make parents aware that the Parents Program Office is there to serve as a gateway to information about the University that will help them or their student.

    “We want to be there for them,” Galardy said. “If we don’t have answers, we will help them get to the right people and departments.”

    Parents Program Workshops

    Saturday April 14, 2007

    “What Do Federal Privacy Laws Mean to Parents?”

    10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

    404 Illini Union

    Speakers: University Registrar Carol Malmgren and College of Business Executive Assistant Dean Jo Duchene

    Discusses privacy laws and accessing student information and records.

    Apartment Leases and Renting

    11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    406 Illini Union

    Speakers: Esther Patt, Tenant Union Director

    Discusses leasing, accessing tenant records and how parents can help students be responsible tenants.

    “Empowering Your Student”

    Noon to 12:45 p.m.

    404 Illini Union

    Speaker: Dr. John Powell, psychologist at the Campus Counseling Center

    Discusses how parents’ role is changing and how to advise students to make empowering choices.

    To register, e-mail name, number of participants and workshops attending to Parents Program Office at [email protected].