Parent FAQs about FAU

1
. What do you mean you can’t tell me my student’s grades? I pay the bills!

2 . My student is thinking about dropping out of school. What should I do?

3. I am not happy with my student’s grades last semester. How can I help?

4. My student tells me everything is “fine”. How can I get him/her to share more about the FAU experience?

5. Should my son/daughter work while in school?

6. My student is having issues with a roommate. How can I handle this?

7. How can I encourage my student to get more involved in campus activities?

8. What tutoring services are available for FAU students?

9. My son/daughter has tried to contact his/her professor on numerous occasions. Is it OK for me to call for my son/daughter?

10. Who can I talk to if my student is having a problem?

Parent FAQ’s ANSWERED!

1 . What do you mean you can’t tell me my student’s grades? I pay the bills!

Sorry, however due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act , Federal Law 20 U.S.C 1232g, ( FERPA ) Law, it is illegal for any FAU employee (faculty or staff) to share information about your student if he or she is over the age of 18. Thus we are unable to release information about grades, attendance, financial information, health/counseling or disciplinary records, etc. without permission from your child. Students must complete a “FERPA waiver” from each department that he/she is willing for you to get information (contact each department directly – for example: your student would need to sign a form at the Registrar’s Office for you to have access to academic records or at the Office of the Controller for you to have access to financial and billing records) For more information about FERPA, please contact the Office of the Registrar at (561) 297-3050 or click to read the attached statement.

With regard to grades DURING the semester, the University does not collect grade or course progress information from faculty members until the semester is complete. You should encourage your student to carefully examine the syllabus for every class to see how grades are determined – and to write down EVERY grade on every assignment (as well as any dates that class were missed) on the syllabus to help track his/her own grades during the term.
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2 . My student is thinking about dropping out of school. What should I do?

In the CLASS Office, our mission is to help students STAY@FAU. If your son or daughter is running into problems, please encourage him or her to make an appointment in our office so we can sit and down and discuss what’s going on. Often, students are lost and frustrated, which results in them wanting to give up and discontinue their studies at FAU.

CLASS staff are available Monday-Friday and are more than happy to help the student or refer them to another department or office for additional assistance. We won’t let them go that easy!!!

Of course, FAU is not always the right choice for every student. We are happy to help the student determine the root of the problem – and see if we can help. If not, we are happy to work with them on making future arrangements as we can.
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3. I am not happy with my student’s grades last semester. How can I help?

If your student did not do well last semester, please encourage him/her to speak to an academic advisor , especially if he/she needs to retake a course. It is important that your student does not “self advise” or take advice from his or her friends. In an effort for them to complete their course requirements and graduate in a timely manner, it is a must that they see their academic advisor once or even twice a semester at the minimum. If your student does not know the name of his/her academic advisor, please encourage him/her to contact FAAS (Freshman Academic Advising Services, 561-297-3064, SU 201) if a freshman or a sophomore who has not declared a major. If they have more than 60 credit hours, they must contact the college in which their major is housed.

FAU also offers FREE Counseling for students. The Counseling Center can help students find the root of the problem that caused them to not get the grades they wanted – be it lack of motivation, study skills, time management, peer influences, substance abuse, homesickness and more!

In addition, there are numerous services and workshops available to students to help them succeed! Encourage your son or daughter to get a peer mentor to help show them how to be successful in and out of the classroom, form study groups, meet with faculty members during office hours, get tutoring, or take advantage of workshops from time or stress management to test taking and study tips!  Our “Keys to Success” site has additional tips! Good luck!
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4. My student tells me everything is “fine”. How can I get him/her to share more about the FAU experience?

Students often like to feel independent and feel that if a parent is asking questions, that parent is prying or lacking trust in the student. Of course, we all know this is not the case! During this phase in their lives, it is important that you maintain open lines of communication with your son or daughter (easier said than done, right?). Most importantly, they need to speak to their RA’s, professors, or other campus officials if they are having any problems in their courses.

We have found that asking open ended questions (rather than closed questions that can be answered with a “yes”, “no” or “fine) can sometimes help. Some examples are :

  • “What is your most difficult class this semester and what are you doing to do well in that course?”
  • “Tell me about one out-of-class activity or program you have gone to”
  • “What is your next assignment and when is it due? What is your plan to complete it?”
  • "How do you need/want me to help you” (if your student is upset or unloading a problem on your shoulder or ear!)

In an effort to learn more about your student’s daily activities:

· Call (but not too often)

· Send occasional emails, text messages, etc.

· Send them a care package – you can never get enough of food and goodies that remind you of home!

· Let them know you are proud of them!

In addition, we encourage you to attend FAU Parent and Family Weekend, which is usually held in late Sept. or early October. Not only will you have an opportunity to attend an FAU sporting events with your child, but you will also get an opportunity to attend classes with them and walk in their shoes for the entire day. For more information on Parent & Family Weekend, please contact the New Student and Owl Family Programs Office at (561) 297-2733 or visit their website (www.fau.edu/parents).
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5. Should my son/daughter work while in school?

If your son or daughter must work, we encourage that he or she get an on-campus job. Research shows that students who work part-time ON CAMPUS are the most successful college students (Astin, 1975). Working on-campus will help them meet people who can assist them when they have problems. Campus jobs are also more flexible than off-campus employment, especially when it comes to setting aside time to accommodate their work and school schedules. Part-time work also forces students to manage their time between classes, work, studying, and fun!

Please keep in mind students who work off-campus, especially full-time off-campus, are at the greatest risk to leave school without completing a degree program (Astin, 1975).

If your student must work off campus, be sure he/she takes advantage of tips and resources to help him/her be successful. These students have to work harder than others to complete degrees while juggling work (and often other) commitments.

To find a list of on-campus jobs, please encourage your student to visit the Student Employment Office in the Student Support Services Building (SU) 235 at or call (561) 267-3680.
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6. My student is having issues with a roommate. How can I handle this?

Students who are having problems with a roommate are encouraged to speak to the hall RA (Resident Assistant). Often, issues are due to miscommunication and can be solved through a mediation session. If that does not work, the RA or Resident Coordinator (RC) might recommend a room change. Let’s try to work things out before we encourage them to pack up their things and move out. That’s not how to works in the real world!

If your student feels he/she is in a dangerous situation, make sure he/she contacts a Housing staff member or the University police immediately!
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7. How can I encourage my student to get more involved in campus activities?

There is always something going on at FAU. If they are interested in getting involved in an FAU club or organization OR even considered starting their own, please encourage them to visit the Student Involvement and Leadership website. The great thing about the SIL website is they have the e-mail address and website for all the registered clubs and organizations at the University. Clubs are always looking to get new members – so students should e-mail the group president for additional information and meetings or upcoming event information. Most events are FREE and open to ALL FAU students.

Encourage your student to GET INVOLVED in at least one organization on campus . Research shows that students who are involved with at least one campus organization are more likely to graduate from that school! Being involved on campus helps students make important connections to the University community (Astin, 1975 and 1993; Hossler, 1984; Tinto, 1993).

Also, students living in the residence halls have a wide range of activities and programs sponsored by the RA’s and the Resident Student Association (RHA). If they are unsure about the schedule of events, remind them to look on hall bulletin boards and contact their RA.

Finally, remind your student to find out about Campus Recreation, Greek Affairs, the Campus Volunteer Center, Student Government and the many other places at FAU for students!
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8. What tutoring services are available for FAU students?

There are so many places on campus that offer FREE academic support for all FAU students. Here are just a few locations:

It doesn’t stop here. Make sure they contact their college for more information regarding weekly tutorial services and study sessions that are offered to students in your major!!!
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9. My son/daughter has tried to contact his/her professor on numerous occasions. Is it OK for me to call for my son/daughter?

As college students, especially first-year students, we encourage  students to take a huge initiative in their academic success. Although your son or daughter may truly need and appreciate your help, it’s important that they learn the importance of problem solving and dealing with many issues on their own.

The first thing I ask many of the students who visit our office is: How many times did you contact your professor? If a student gives up after one phone call, that’s not good. Some of our professors are adjuncts, teach on other campuses, and/or have classes with over 200 students!

Please encourage your son or daughter to not only call the professor, but also send them an e-mail and visit them during their assigned office hours if they are having any problems (office hours are typically on every course syllabus and on the faculty members’ office door). In addition, instructors list all of their contact information on the course syllabus, their websites and/or Blackboard.

What happens if your child is away from campus or home and doesn’t have access to a course syllabus? No worries! All they have to do is log on to www.fau.edu and click on “Faculty & Staff” and then “People Directory.” Once they type in their professor’s first and last name, they should be able to pull up the telephone number and e-mail address. If they can’t get to a computer, they can simply call the CLASS Office at (561) 297-0906 and someone will be more than happy to transfer you to the department.

It also wouldn’t hurt if they leave a message with the department’s administrative assistant. Sometimes he or she may see the professor throughout the day and will remind them that a student is looking for him or her.

If after several attempts they are still unable to get in touch with someone, please encourage them to call or stop by the Office for Student Retention so we can try to rectify the situation. Faculty members usually won’t respond to a parent as they see that as the students’ responsibility!
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10. Who can I talk to if my student is having a problem?

Again, we truly encourage students to make that phone call… they need to learn independence (and sometimes consequences). We hope you will prod them so the don't wait until it's too late! Whether it's a financial concern, academic concern or anything that is causing your student difficulty, please let them know they can ALWAYS ask us! Remind them to visit the CLASS Office in General Classrooms South, Room 223 (Boca Raton Campus) or call us at (561) 297-0906 or e-mail stay@fau.edu if they need help with anything throughout their FAU experience.

Also, while we won’t help you solve a problem for your student – we are happy to speak with (or email) parents to help give them advice or direction with how to handle a situation. We want all members of our FAU family to be happy and successful.
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 Last Modified 2/19/13