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.

Family Orientation during First-Year Student Orientation

At UIS we understand both the student and their family make a transition to college – but in different ways. Orientation is 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.  To assist the parents and family members of first-year students through this transition we have a parent/family orientation track that runs concurrently with the first-year student summer overnight orientation program to introduce you to UIS, its staff, resources, and students.

The enrollment confirmation fee covers orientation expenses for the first-year student and up to two family members.  There will be a 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 halls.

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

Family Information for Launch Week: Reach for the Stars – August 19

First-year students living on campus will be allowed to move into housing on Wednesday, August 19 and Commuter Students have a mandatory meet ‘n greet on Wednesday afternoon before their Launch Week experience August 20-22. Whether you are moving your student into on-campus housing or your student is commuting to campus parents/family members are invited to:

  • the Prairie Star Family Association Social at 4 p.m. (FREE)
  • the New Student and Family Welcome BBQ at 5 p.m. (FREE)
  • the New Student and Family Convocation with guest speaker Fran Kick at 6:15 p.m. (FREE)
  • and saying Good-bye to your student during Hugs & Kisses Goodbye from 7:30-7:55 p.m.

Family members are welcome to return home after the Hugs & Kisses Goodbye, your student will start their Launch Week programming at 8 p.m. that night. The Illinois State Fair will be August 13-23 this year.  If you need to make overnight accommodations to break up your travel when moving your student to campus you may want to make those reservations now – hotels will fill up fast.  Fair traffic will also slow down interstate traffic in and around Springfield, so take this into consideration when planning your student’s move to campus.

Family WeekendWelcome to Family Weekend 2014

Each October we invite our parents and family members to come back to campus for a visit. Family Weekend 2015 will be Friday, October 16-Sunday, October 18, 2015.  More details will be available in mid august 2015. You can begin making hotel reservations by contacting some of the hotels that are offering special rates for that weekend on our Travel and Accommodations webpage.

Prairie Star Family Association (PSFA)

PSFA will be launching Fall 2015 and hold its first meeting during Family Weekend on Saturday, October 17.  More information will be available in late July.  Contact the Director of New Student Orientation and Parent Relations Lisa McGuire if you would like to be among the first to receive information when it is available.

UIS Parents – Facebook Group

UIS creates a Facebook group for the parents and family members of each incoming Fall class.  It is a great way to interact and share your experience with other parents and stay connected to UIS.  Currently UIS Parents – Fall 2012; UIS Parents – Fall 2013; UIS Parents – Fall 2014; and UIS Parents – Fall 2015 are active. They are closed groups – you can go to the Facebook Group and ask to be invited or contact the UIS Office of Admissions and ask to be added to your student’s fall group.