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.

Family Programs during First-Year [Freshmen] Orientation (KickStart and Launch Week)

Publications for Parents of students entering UIS in the Summer and Fall of 2018

Parent and Family Save the Date Postcard (mailed shortly after student accepts admission)

Fall 2018 Orientation postcard for Parents_Guardians
Fall 2018 Orientation postcard for Parents_Guardians
Fall 2018 Orienation postcard for Parents_Guardians_image_Page_2
Fall 2018 Orienation postcard for Parents_Guardians_image_Page_2








Parent/Family Brochure: One Their Own…But Not Alone 2018.  (This will be mailed out around late February). 

cover image of Parent Orientation Brochure

Parent_Orientation_Guidebook_FA_2017 (distributed at Summer KickStart for parents of students. This is the summer 2017 edition)

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 Launch Week 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. 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.  In June and July this is overnight program. In August and January students living on campus will move-into their housing assignment on the 1st day of KickStart and commuters (living at home and have been approved for the Housing Exemption) will drive 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.

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.  Read more about the Orientation Fee.

Quelf_Family Weekend 2014
Quelf_Family Weekend 2014

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 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. 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 end on the second day of KickStart – frmo 3:30 – 5 p.m.  More information will be available in the Orientation brochure coming out in mid-February.

 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.

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 UISOrientation@uis.edu 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 December 7, 2017)



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.



  • 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.

Family Weekend 2018Welcome 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 ______ (check back in late February or early March 2018).