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.
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 and Family Newsletter_v1i4_spring 2017 (coming April 6)
- Parent Family Newsletter_v1i3_winter_2017
- UIS_Parent Family newsletter_v1i2_Fall_2016
- UIS Parent Family News_V1i1_Summer2016– Our inaugural publication!
Family Programs during First-Year [Freshmen] Summer KickStart and August Launch Week 2017
Publications for Parents of students entering in Summer of Fall 2017:
Parent Postcard for parents of students admitted for Summer/Fall 2017(This was mailed after your student accepted admission to UIS)
Parent/Family Brochure: One Their Own…But Not Alone 2017. (This will be mailed out around March 20th).
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. The first part of orientation is the two-day, overnight orientations in July and July called Summer KickStart. The second part of orientation is the 4-day Launch Week in August.
Summer KickStart – Parents and Families Program. Our orientation program has a track for parents/family members designed to help you understand the transition that you and your student will be making. Sessions will also help you become familiar with resources our campus has to support students. Some sessions students will be with their parents/family members and other sessions have been designed specifically for parents and families. We do have a full program for our parent orientation. Parents will have their own Orientation Leader (OL) who will be with them, and on Day 2 when you break into smaller groups your OL will take the group to each session.
The parent program is optional. While we want to make sure parents and family members learn about our campus resources so they can support their student, we understand if you don’t want to attend some sessions. You are welcome to visit the bookstore or relax in one of our lounge areas. Just note that you will not be able to attend students-only sessions.
What if I Cannot Attend KickStart with My Student? Students can bring close family friends or mentors over the age of 18 if parents/family members are not available. It is expected that these guests will follow the Parent/Family Orientation Program, take notes, and collect information for the student. Guests will also be expected to stay at one of the local hotels.
How Much Does Orientation Cost: There is a mandatory Orientation Fee that is assessed to each student and covers expenses for the student for KickStart and Launch Week and materials and one meal for up to two family members or guests at KickStart and the Welcome Picnic during Launch Week. The Orientation Fee is mandatory and non-refundable. If a student attends KickStart, but decides not to come to UIS, they are still responsible for the Orientation fee for themselves and any additional guests not covered in the fee and will be subject to late fees and other penalties if not paid by September 28.
Additional Guest Fee: If you would like to bring additional family members or guests there will be an additional guest fee of $25/person to cover most of the cost of the meal and refreshments. You can pay for additional guests when your student registers for KickStart. Please be aware the guest fee for any guests who do not come to KickStart will not be refunded. If you are unsure of a guests’ attendance you can wait until you check-in for KickStart and pay those additional guest fees on site by check or money order. We are not able to take cash or credit cards onsite.
Overnight Accommodations: 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.
Children: 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.
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. Click the link above to go to their website.
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.
The Office of New Student Orientation invites UIS Parents and Family Members to our annual Family Weekend which will be held September 29, 30, and October 1.
Check back in early August 2017 for an update.