Thinking Out Loud

January 10, 2011

Should Parents Interfere With Their Children’s College Education?

While other bloggers kick back on Saturday and Sunday; and blog traffic drops as well; it seems to me this blog does its best work on weekends.

So this week we had the question on Saturday:

  • Should Christian churches rent out space to other faith groups?

And on Sunday:

  • Did you give your kids too much for Christmas?

Both comment sections are open and waiting for your take.

Today, I want to go for the three-peat with questions and ask the one you’ve already read above.   We’re in a jam this weekend because our oldest is having some hiccups in his second year of an Electrical Engineering course.   One course builds upon another, and not every course is offered every semester.

Do the math and you’ll realize that the loss of a single course now has the potential to put him a full year behind.

As parents we want to be involved, but the university has a policy of self-advocacy.  (I.e., students have to fight their own battles.)  But this is a kid for whom confrontation and negotiation doesn’t come naturally.  And a kid who had some supports (documents) in place before leaving for university that we were told would follow him to those institutions, and didn’t.  He needs someone in his corner and needs it soon.

The last thing we want to do is be helicopter parents.  I don’t think we even come close on that one.   He’s real good about independent living, and usually good at self-starting projects.   But I don’t like to be told as a matter of official policy that I can’t advocate for him, especially when we know he wants someone to pull for him.

And then they send letters to parents asking for money…

So, what role should parents play in interacting with colleges and universities?  What do you do when the institution simply ignores your mail or phone calls?  Do you think privacy concerns have gone too far?  Have you had any similar experiences?


1 Comment »

  1. Even when getting good grades, our college kids may not be learning much more than facts. A recent study claims very low improvements during college in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and the ability to write.
    Any ideas for what parents can do to alert their kids and enrich their college learning?

    Comment by David — January 25, 2011 @ 9:32 am

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