Parents and Families

Welcome Parents and Families!

You are an integral partner with UIS in assisting your student in their journey from being a first-year to a graduate!  This page is meant to share information and resources that will help you parent your student along this period in their lives.  Our Parent Relations programming is young, new, and developing.  Check back regularly to see what we add.

UIS Parent & Family Newsletteruisparentfamilynews_v1i2-1-picture-of-front-page

Welcome to our Parent & Family Newsletter presented by the Office of New Student Orientation & Parent Relations.  Our goal is to share what is happening on campus as well as upcoming programs for our office.

UIS_Parent Family newsletter_v1i2_Fall_2016
UIS Parent Family News_V1i1_Summer2016
– Our inaugural publication!

Family Orientation during First-Year [Freshmen] Student Orientation for students enrolling in the Fall 0f 2017

At UIS we understand both the student and their family make a transition to college – but in different ways. Our two-part, mandatory Orientation programs are most beneficial when students and parents/family members/guardians attend together. Parents and family members are an important part of a student’s life and our partner in helping them be successful at UIS.  The first part of orientation is the two-day, overnight orientations in July and July called Summer KickStart. During KickStart we have a parent/family orientation track that runs concurrently with the first-year student program to introduce you to UIS, its staff, resources, and students. The second part of orientation is the 4-day Launch Week in August (see below). An overview of the Schedule for Summer KickStart 2017 will be available in late January 2017.   An overview of the Schedule for August Launch Week 2017 will be available in late June.

There is a mandatory Orientation Fee for students which covers some of the orientation expenses for the first-year student and up to two family members.  There will be a $25/person charge for any additional guests to cover the meal costs during orientation. Parents/Family members and guests will need to make overnight accommodations at one of our area hotels. Only students participating in the orientation program will be allowed to stay in the residence hall.

While we enjoy having siblings involved in the Orientation process, our KickStart program may not be suited for young children and toddlers. From our experience the younger children get bored. They might have a better time at home with family members or friends and among their favorite playthings.

Quelf_Family Weekend 2014
Playing Quelf_Family Weekend 2014

Family Information for [Freshmen] January KickStart and Launch Week 2017:  January 11-16

For first-year [freshmen] students entering UIS in the spring semester. Our two part program will be held January 11-16.  KickStart with its student and family tracks will be January 11 and 12.  Launch Week for students will be January 12, 13, 14, and 16 (no programming on Sunday, January 15).

First-year students living on campus will be allowed to check in with Residence Life from 9 – 10 a.m.  Wednesday, January 11 and will have until 12 noon to move-in and set up their room before KickStart programming starts at 12:30. Commuter Students and their parents/family members should plan on being on campus for KickStart Wednesday afternoon 12:15 – 7:30 p.m. and Thursday from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Parent programming is concurrent with the student schedule and will end at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.  A schedule will be available October 7.

Launch Week will be from 3 -6:30 p.m. on Thursday, 9:30-6 Friday, 10-4  Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday. This is mandatory programming and students should plan work and personal time accordingly. Students who do not attend are at risk for having their classes cancelled.

Parents/family members will need to make overnight accommodations to break up your travel when moving your student to campus and staying for KickStart. You may want to make those reservations now – hotels will fill up fast. Winter weather may  slow down traffic in and around Springfield, so take this into consideration when planning your student’s move to campus.

Prairie Stars Family Association (PSFA)

The Prairie Stars Family Association (PSFA) was founded in the Fall of 2015 to support UIS parents, guardians, and family members by promoting shared experiences among UIS family members and help them feel more connected to UIS and their students.

PSFA members will work closely with the Office of New Student Orientation and Parent Relations (NSOPR) to meet these goals by assisting with the planning and coordination of events sponsored by the Office of New Student Orientation & Parent Relations including Family Weekend, parent panels during summer orientation, and socials before the Welcome BBQ at the beginning of Launch Week (August Orientation).

Membership in the Prairie Stars Family Association is FREE to the parents, legal guardians, and family members of currently enrolled UIS students. To join PSFA as a general member complete this online form or email the Office of New Student Orientation and Parent Relations at

2015-2016 PSFA Executive Board 

President: Angela Kneer
Vice President:  Anandhi Ramalingam
Secretary:  vacant
Treasurer: Ellin Lotspiech

The annual meeting for the PSFA is held in October during Family Weekend and is open to all parents, legal guardians, and family members.  Executive Board elections will be held each October at the annual meeting. Like the PSFA Facebook page to connect with other parent and family members.

PSFA Constitution and Bylaws version September 2015 (pdf)

candidate-information-sheet_2016 (If you are interested in running for an Executive Board position

facebook-logo UIS Parents – Facebook Groups

The Office of New Student Orientation & Parent Relations (NSOPR) has a Facebook group where you can see reminders about upcoming NSOPR programming.  The Prairie Stars Family Association also has a Facebook group for parents to stay up-to-date with information about association activities.

Visiting Your Student During the Semester?

Visit our Travel & Accommodations page to see discounts offered by local hotels.  If you are interested in doing things with your family in Springfield, visit the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for their guidebook and calendar of events.

Family Weekend 2017Welcome to Family Weekend 2014

The Office of New Student Orientation invites UIS Parents and Family Members to our annual Family Weekend which will be held October of 2017.

Check back in 2017 for an update.