Check out some ideas on how you can help your student transition to campus life at UNC Asheville!
Learn more about the university
UNC Asheville is the designated public liberal arts university within the UNC system. With this comes a specific mission and course of study for UNC Asheville students. Becoming familiar with UNC Asheville’s approach to interdisciplinary learning, as well on its emphasis on how seemingly unrelated topics can have common ground, will help provide perspective about UNC Asheville’s curriculum and co-curricular activities. In turn, this will help you as you offer encouragement and support to your student.
Learn the college process
The college experience is quite different from high school. Students have classes at varying times and days; time has to be dedicated to studying, completing assignments and required readings; and co-curricular activities are an important component for becoming involved in the Bulldog community, as well as for building a support system.
Students may become overwhelmed throughout the semester - especially during the first few weeks of class as they adjust, during midterms and finals, and during course registration. Becoming more familiar with the expectations of students during these times, such as noting important dates on the Academic Calendar, will help keep you informed about important times throughout each semester. You may also want to learn more about the financial aid process so that you can be prepared to help your student when it is time to fill out the paperwork.
Attend family orientation
EmBark Orientation is a great time to learn about all the resources available to you and your student at UNC Asheville and is a requisite for your student’s success. Sessions are offered specifically for families, too, which run concurrently with student sessions. Topics covered during EmBark include the UNC Asheville curriculum, strategies for student success, student safety and responsibility, financial aid, and student life and resources. It also serves as a great time to meet other incoming UNC Asheville families, as well as taking in our beautiful campus and the Asheville area!
Encourage your student to make contact with departments on campus
Though it may not always seem like it, students do rely heavily on the encouragement and support that their families offer them while attending college. In fact, encouragement from families and parents is seen as one of the main influences of student persistence over other contributing factors.
It is the goal of Transition and Parent Programs at UNC Asheville to provide resources and support to you and your student to make this transition successful and as seamless as possible. We offer programming throughout the school year specifically designed for transition students, which includes first generation college students. These programs include service opportunities, social engagements, trips in the Asheville area, and informal meet and greets with members of the campus community. However, it is up to your student to seek these out and take advantage of everything UNC Asheville has to offer.
Your student may also need to visit key offices and departments on campus including Admissions, Financial Aid, Advising and Learning Support, and the Registrar. Encourage your student to get contact information for those with whom they are working, and to make copies of important paperwork in the event they need to revisit these issues again.
Your student may not be able to come home frequently
One of the largest adjustments for you may be that you will not see your student as much as you are used to or as much as you would like. This may be true whether they still live at home or on campus. Keeping up with course work and trying to build a support system on campus can be time consuming and even, at times, tiresome. Know that your student is well taken care of and will still turn to you when he/she needs support. Be patient with the learning process - it is a new experience for both of you!