Welcome, Parents! from Dean Plowman

Thank you for joining the CBA Parents Inside Connection. In a few weeks, your student will take the next step in his/her academic journey and join us here at CBA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We like to think of CBA as a great place for students to start something - the next chapter, their future, a career, maybe even a business. I am also a parent and remember all too well that last summer before college for my sons. We were all excited- but were also all a bit anxious about that big next transition. As the mom, I was also anticipating a certain sadness at letting them go.

When you drop your student off in a few weeks, I hope you will think about the new family that your student and you are gaining here at CBA. Our professionally trained staff are ready to help your student transition, and we are here to ease your apprehensions as parents too. As a team, we are destined for success. Here are a few bits of wisdom I have accumulated about the transition to college -- and I share them now with you.

How to say goodbye. Students are struggling for independence, but are also feeling uncertain about their future. Some will want you to help with every step of getting settled, others will set the boxes on the curb and send you on your way. My advice: reassure them, "I'm here if you need me," and find the happy medium that creates a healthy relationship and instills responsibility.

Compromise on communication. Students are busy making new friends and exploring their new community, their schedules quickly fill up. Just remember, parents are still needed. Discuss a communication plan prior to departure and embrace technology. There are a number of ways to stay connected even if your student won't be able to travel home for a while. Texting is critical and in my own experience college age children prefer texting to emails.

Don't assume they know. Have discussions about the expectations for academics and balancing social activities. Encourage them to get to know their professors; establishing a relationship early will help them feel more comfortable asking for help if they begin to struggle with a class. Getting involved with student organizations will help them acclimate to their new challenges and find a support group with similar experiences.

Stay engaged. Not only with your student, but find out about activities and opportunities for parents. Our webpage was designed to help you stay current on the happenings of CBA. Some items may spark talking points when you catch your students for a few minutes on the phone. Others may be opportunities for you to engage with CBA.

College life is a big transition but have faith in your parenting. And please remember, the doors of CBA communication are open.

--Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean