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 Newsletter
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 Family Newsletter Fall 2017
- 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] 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)
Parent/Family Brochure: One Their Own…But Not Alone 2018. (This will be mailed out around late February).
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.
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.
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.
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)
- Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out
- Teen Spirit: Helicopter parenting has crippled American teenagers. Here’s how to fix it.
- How helicopter parents are ruining college students. I’m not crazy about the title of this article, but the content on the need for students to learn coping skills – especially dealing with frustration and failure is something we help lots of students with on a daily basis.
- ‘Helicopter Parent’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means Just because you don’t follow your kid to her job interview doesn’t mean you aren’t helicopter parenting.
- Making the Transition to College: A Guide for Parents.
- Transition Year: Emotional Health & Your College Student (pdf)
- College Students Speak: A Survey Report on Mental Health. An interesting report. Students coming to college with mental health issues (depression, anxiety, and trauma) are increasing dramatically. This report has some powerful insights about what happens when students do not disclose their conditions, thus not having access to campus support networks, also provides student reflection on what they wish they had done.
- College depression: What parents need to know. College depression is a common problem. Understand why the transition to college makes young adults vulnerable to depression — and what you can do about it.
- Transition to College: Separation and Change for Parents and Students by Jess P. Shatkin, MD, MPH. Going to college is more than just “going back to school.” The departure is a significant milestone in the life of a family and ushers in a time of separation and transition, requiring an adjustment on the part of parents, the college-bound teenager and the whole family.
- The Healthy Student: Preparing for the College Years. (pdf)
- 7 Great Tips For When Your College Kid Comes Home For The Holidays.
- Home (Bitter) Sweet Home: A College Student Perspective. Advice for Parents and Students about surviving the summer.
- Questions Parents and Students Should Answer Before Heading Off to College for the First Time.
- 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 2018
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).