New Student Parents & Family
We welcome new student parents, guardians, and family to the DePauw community!
Dear Parents and Guardians of Incoming DePauw University Students:
Welcome to the first of several e-newsletters that we will send you this summer. We have prepared a Parent & Family webpage and guidebook. We hope that you will find this information useful as you help your student prepare for life at DePauw.
Preparing to come to college is a significant life transition for your student – and for you, too. Over the years, when families have asked what advice I can offer as they prepare to send their students to college, I usually suggest that they use the next few months to continue helping your student develop independence and ownership as they prepare for the academic year.
We will regularly send important information to your student throughout the summer, primarily through their DePauw email account and their portal in e-Services. Please encourage your student to check these weekly, particularly as we will ask them to work through a Summer Online Orientation throughout the summer that contains time-sensitive tasks that they must complete. We also will post information that both you and your student may find helpful on the First-Year Experience website.
Additionally, we will be providing virtual sessions that provide students support and guidance on the Summer Online Orientation checklist items. Students can register for them at the Admissions Events website. Please encourage them to participate as these will help them complete these items.
We are eager to begin developing a relationship with your student and look forward to hearing directly from them over the summer. Please encourage them to reach out to us with questions.
All the best,
Associate Dean of Experiential Learning & Director of First-Year Programs
CONVERSATIONS TO HAVE WITH YOUR FIRST-YEAR STUDENT AS THEY TRANSITION TO DEPAUW
TALK ABOUT FERPA & ACADEMIC RECORDS
Having conversations with your student about their educational records is important. Throughout elementary and high school, parents or guardians are granted access to their child's records and are told to be involved in their child's education. When students enroll in college, however, they gain full control of their educational records. What this means to parents is that DePauw staff and faculty cannot discuss aspects of your student's education with you.
Many offices and departments on campus are willing to talk with you about policies and procedures, even if they cannot discuss your student's specific situation. DePauw does not mean to discourage your involvement with your student's education, but understanding the shift during college as your student takes on more personal responsibility for their academic life.
We encourage you to have conversations with your student regarding FERPA, your expectations, your student's responsibilities, and what information your student will release to you. Here is some information to get you started.
All third-party access is controlled by the student. Academic records are covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which means that they may be released only with the student's authorization. In creating a Third-Party Access account and distributing the login information to a third party, the student is providing that authorization. The Registrar's Office or the Helpdesk cannot set up accounts for third parties or provide them access to existing accounts or change the items designated for access or give out usernames and passwords. All these account functions are controlled solely by the student. Records authorized for release to a third-party account may only be released through that account. University officials cannot release the records by other means (print, email, phone or face-to-face conversations) unless specifically authorized by the student.
Students can provide access by visiting the e-Services Third Party Access page.
TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF ACADEMICS AND RESOURCES.
Consider reminding your students that DePauw will be an academically challenging environment. You can offer the encouragement that with time, determination, and hard work, they will make good progress. Additionally, they should know that few people who succeed in life have done it alone; rather many who excel do so because of the support system they have built for themselves. A very caring faculty and staff eagerly await to work with your student and be a part of their support system. Through their transition, we will talk with students about the tremendous resources we offer that contribute to student success. Invite your student to take advantage of these resources early and often in their time at DePauw.
ENCOURAGE YOUR STUDENT TO DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS WITH UPPERCLASS STUDENTS WHO CARE.
We will spend a great deal of time talking with your student about creating a support team for themselves, and we provide them with upper-class peers early on - their mentor and their first-year resident assistant. Both mentors and RAs can be invaluable resources for students. They can relate to the experiences that first-year students go through and are extremely caring and invested in the success of each of their students.
Every first-year seminar has an upperclass student leader, who we call a mentor. The primary role of the mentor is to be there to offer support and encouragement to students and to serve as a resource throughout the entire academic year. Mentors will spend a great deal of time with students during orientation, and they will convene their groups approximately every other week throughout the entire academic year. Additionally, they will meet one-on-one with their students about halfway through each semester and as needed.
Students who reside in university residence halls have first-year resident assistants (RAs) that can provide support and guidance. Resident Assistants live on the floor with their students and primarily focus on developing healthy, positive living communities.
ENCOURAGE YOUR STUDENT TO WORK THROUGH THE CHALLENGES THEY FACE WITH THE RESOURCES THE UNIVERSITY PROVIDES.
Because you are the primary person who has helped your student navigate conflict or challenges, I imagine they still may pick up the phone when they are going through a difficult time and call you. You in turn may have an initial inkling to pick up the phone and call the University to resolve the problem for your student.
Instead, I encourage you to pause for a moment and ask your student who they think might be able to support them as they work through each unique challenge. If they are not sure, remind them that as the director for first-year co-curricular programs, I am very happy to serve as their point of contact and connect them with someone who can best meet their needs. Taking this approach can be extremely beneficial to your student’s ability to develop self-advocacy skills and resilience, two skills that will serve them very well throughout life.
TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING INVOLVED IN THE LIFE OF THE CAMPUS.
Another way for students to connect to our community and find their sense of belonging is to get involved. This can mean getting to know other students who share similar passions, joining organizations or clubs based on shared interests or affinity, and continuing to develop their leadership skills. Alternatively, this is also a great opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who may be very different from your student with respect to life experiences, interests, and family background. At DePauw, we are committed to having a diverse student body (as well as diverse faculty and staff). We believe the diversity among our student body is an opportunity for your student to meet individuals and learn about ideas, experiences, and cultures that may not be familiar to them. We hope your student will take advantage of this opportunity at DePauw.
Learn more about student organizations here.
TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION ON CAMPUS.
DePauw is a community of students, faculty, and staff from a wide range of cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. Creating a diverse and truly inclusive community calls on an entire campus - students, faculty, and staff at DePauw - to shape this journey, which is rooted in our values:
• Our students hail from more than 40 nations around the globe, with international students making up approximately 10% of the student body
• 19% of our student body is Pell-eligible
• 21% of our students identify as domestic students of color
• 21% of DePauw's faculty is from a multicultural background 19% of our student body is First-Generation college students
With a long and proud history of diversity, DePauw advocates a college environment that explores differences. We embrace all demographics but diversity here goes far beyond that. Diversity extends to inclusion and the intentional interactions we have with people with life experiences distinct from our own. We know that this can sometimes be challenging and uncomfortable which is part of the journey! Along with celebrating our differences, we also engage our students in understanding these differences in our perspectives, ideas, and beliefs through intercultural dialogue and other co-curricular opportunities to listen and learn from one another. Valuing, respecting, and engaging in difference makes DePauw and its students better citizens of the world.
TALK ABOUT SPIRITUAL AND FAITH COMMUNITIES
DePauw is deeply committed to supporting the spiritual journeys of persons from all religious traditions and backgrounds. If your student is interested in connecting to a local faith community while at DePauw, they can learn more here. More information on the Office of Spiritual Life and the services and programming they provide can be found here.
TALK ABOUT UNIVERSITY POLICIES & EXPECTATIONS
It is important to have conversations about various DePauw policies. The student handbook provides services, resources, and policies for our community.
These are the policies that most commonly come into play concerning classroom instruction, advising, and other faculty-student interactions. For the full list of academic policies, see the University Catalog the Student Handbook, and the Academic Policies section of the Academic Handbook.
REVIEW THE DEPAUW COVID-19 RESOURCES
Please read and refer your student to the DePauw COVID page. This page has important information to help the DePauw University community be prepared and informed regarding our work in response to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Click here for more information on the University's COVID-19 response to understand how you can best prepare your student.