Parents and Family Members

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 Newsletter

UIS Parent and Family Newsletter Summer 2019 Cover
UIS Parent and Family Newsletter Summer 2019 Cover

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.

Family Days 2019

Welcome to Family Weekend 2014

The Prairie Stars Fall Family Days (new name) 2019 will be Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5, 2019. Registration is now open.  Join us for our annual carnival and game night, plus many other activities on our schedule. Costs to participate are UIS Students and children 5-17 $10; Adults 18+ $15; children 0-4 are free.

Family Weekend Photo Gallery




Family Programs during First-Year [Freshmen] Orientation

Publications for Parents of students entering UIS in the Summer/Fall 2019

Parent and Family Save the Date Postcard 2019 cards will start being mailed in early February. The Brochure will be mailed out in late February.

Parent Postcard (parents of Freshmen) cover
Parent Postcard (parents of Freshmen) cover

Parent Postcard (parents of Freshmen) text
Parent Postcard (parents of Freshmen) text

Parent Orientation Brochure Fall 2019 cover
Parent Orientation Brochure Fall 2019 cover
Guarde La Fecha_Orientaciones para estudiantes y sus familias 2019_front
Guarde La Fecha_Orientaciones para estudiantes y sus familias 2019_front

Guarde La Fecha_Orientaciones para estudiantes y sus familias 2019_back
Guarde La Fecha_Orientaciones para estudiantes y sus familias 2019_back
Parent Orientation Postcard

Summer/Fall 2019 Mailed out within a week of your student accepting admission

Parent Orientation Brochure Summer/Fall 2019 Guarde La Fecha_Orientaciones para estudiantes y sus familias

Information about KickStart

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 KickStart. The second part of orientation is the Semester Launch program in August (for summer/fall admits) or January (for spring admits).

KickStart – Parents and Families Program.  Our KickStart orientation program has a track for parents/family members designed to help you understand the transition that you and your student will be making. You will also become familiar with campus resources that support your student’s success.

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 on both days of KickStart for our parent orientation. Parents will have their own Orientation Leader (OL) who will be with them

The June sessions are an overnight program. All students will stay in the Orientation residence hall.  In August and January students living on campus (On-Campus or Residential Students) will move-into their housing assignment and stay there and students living at home (Commuters or Off-Campus Living Students) will come to campus each day.

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.

You are going to want to bookmark our online Guidebook at It is a great resource for information about student services that will support your students, UIS history, the lingo and abbreviations we use on campus, and handouts and some PowerPoints from the KickStart presentations.


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 Semester Launch. The Orientation Fee is mandatory and non-refundable.

Quelf_Family Weekend 2014
Quelf_Family Weekend 2014

Additional Guest Fee: There will be an additional guest fee of $25/person to cover the cost of the publications, mailings, staffing, meal and refreshments. You can pay the additional guest fee 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 international checks or money orders onsite.

Overnight Accommodations: Parents/Family members and guests will need to make overnight accommodations at one of our area hotels (more parent/family accommodation information coming soon). 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.

Athletes.  Incoming students who have been recruited to play on one of the 17 UIS athletic teams are required to attend an athlete designated orientation session. Athletic academic advisors and student-athlete programming will only be available during designated orientation dates.  During the designated sessions incoming student-athletes and their parents will have an opportunity to hear from the UIS Department of Athletics staff including coaches and trainers. These sessions start after the KickStart program ends on the second day of KickStart – from 3:30 – 5 p.m.  More information will be available in the Orientation brochure coming out in late February.

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.

Resources and Reading for Parents of College Students

(some of these resources are online articles – please contact if a link is broken or the article is no longer found at that site)

Reading for Parents (pdf document of a list of books)

Articles  (Updated May 14, 2018)



iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us. Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D.  (2017). ISBN-13: 978-1501151989.

Teach Yourself How to Learn: Strategies You Can Use to Ace Any Course at Any Level.  Sandra Yancy McGuire and Mark McDaniel. (2018). ISBN-13: 978-1620367568.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. Suze Orman. (2005).  This is a great book for young adults.



  • College Parents of America.    College Parents of America’s mission is to promote greater student achievement & completion of post-secondary education.  Please join us for helpful tips, insights & benefits that support student success.
  • College Parent Central.  This site is designed to give you information, and food for thought, about college and about parenting a college student. If you have a son or daughter currently attending college, or getting ready to go to college soon, we hope that you will find College Parent Central helpful.



 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. Click the link above to go to their website.

facebook-logoFacebook 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.