Parent FAQ

How involved should I expect to be in my student's life during his or her first year at college?

One major way that families can support students is to understand how the student’s role must change as they are away from home. Recognize and expect that your student will be unavailable to participate as they previously would in family events, decisions and responsibilities. Students fare best when they have the space to adapt to the demands of college life, while maintaining a connection to their home life and culture. Students who feel torn or unconnected from their home culture face more obstacles to success in college.

What are some questions to ask my student about their university transition?

The transition to college can be daunting even for the most prepared student. You know best what areas your student struggles in (academic, personal, social) as well as their strengths.

Academic: I’ve heard college courses are harder than high school. What do you think of that so far?

Physical: How well have you been eating or sleeping?

Social: Have you connected with any of your housemates, classmates or other people on campus?

Personal: How are you feeling at college? Are you feeling in control, a little nervous, or overwhelmed?

What are ways I can support my student from home?

You know your student best and understand well how they deal with freedom, adversity and challenges. What is their usual behavior during these types of circumstances, and what are ways to increase their resources, social and emotional capital? Ways to support your student from home might include sending supportive letters, notes or cards; supplying household needs such as laundry soap, dryer towels, quarters for laundry; personal treats such as gift cards for coffee shops (Starbucks and Peets are both on campus) or food options (Chipotle, Subway, Dominos etc. are all in area).

My student will be living at home and commuting to campus. What can I do to help my student be successful?

Here are some suggestions:

~Don’t confuse college with a continuation of high school. It is not the same thing. College courses are more demanding and require more homework and study time.

~Help identify and provide a space in the home that the student can use to do homework and study. This space should be quiet and free from distractions and interruptions.

~Allow the student balance their family and household responsibilities and obligations with their school work and other requirements of college.

~Student are often required to work in groups, attend events, or use specific resources that require them to work on campus or in the community in addition to and outside of their normal class hours.

~Encourage your student to stay on campus between classes, make friends, attend campus sponsored events, and to get involved in campus clubs and organizations.

~Don’t manage your student’s academic life. Although it may be difficult, empower your student to be responsible for every aspect of her own academic success.

~Do, ask the student questions about how they are doing and show a curiosity about what they are learning.

~If they need to work encourage your student to look for a job on campus. Working on campus will allow them remain connected in academic ways that can support their academic success.

Why doesn't my student call/text me back?

Attending college is a milestone event for both students and their families. It is expected that your student will begin to address and handle tasks and needs as an independent adult; this transition may change how often students are available to “check in” with family back home. Contact from parents that puts the student in a familiar “child” role can actually hold students back from adapting and maturing. When contacting your student, try for a supportive, respectful approach appropriate for a young adult peer. For more information see Understanding Why Your College Student Doesn’t Call.

How can parents and families help their student’s academic advising process?

The most important thing families can do to assist in the process is ask that their student be responsible for themselves. While they should reach out for help they must also take an active role in learning about what University policies may affect them during their stay at CSUMB. Students must take advantage of campus resources and ask questions to get the assistance they need. When your student expresses concern about their progress or academic planning, ask them:

“Who is your academic advisor?”

“Have you contacted or scheduled an appointment with one your academic advisor?”

“Have you spoken to your professor or your teaching assistant?” (If it’s a concern about a specific class)

How can a student get help if they're struggling with academics or a certain class?

There are many services offered at CSUMB to support your student. We offer tutoring support at the Cooperative Learning Center for many courses at CSUMB. We also recommend that your student take advantage of professor office hours and form study groups in their classes. Lastly, if your student needs more support in regards to academic skill-building like time management, improving study habits, or test-taking strategies, they can meet with a Success Advisor at the Center for Advising, Career and Student Success.

What if I am concerned about how my son or daughter is doing and/or want to view their grades?

Make sure to talk with your student when both of you have uninterrupted time and privacy. Raise the subject in a caring, supportive manner. Sometimes, even if a student hasn’t mentioned feeling upset, they can feel relief to hear that you care enough to notice that they may be struggling. You can suggest counseling services through the Personal Growth and Counseling Center. You can also contact the Center for Student Success staff with a concern. However, please note that due to privacy laws (FERPA), staff at CSUMB cannot speak to you directly about a student’s progress without the student filling out the electronic Student Consent for Release of Information form.

If you are concerned about your student’s grades, you may: ask your student directly, encourage them to check in with an advisor, and empower them to access resources (tutoring, talking with teachers, etc.).

If you want to talk to a CSUMB staff member about your student's academic progress, either 1) have the student fill out the Student Consent for Release of Information OR 2) if you can show documentation that the student is claimed on your income taxes, then you can also gain access to your student's education records. For more information regarding a student's right to privacy please visit FERPA.

Are there resources available to my student if they are feeling anxious or depressed?

The Personal Growth and Counseling Center (PGCC) offers a number of services for students including individual counseling as well as group counseling and workshop support. If you are concerned about your student and feel that she could benefit from the services provided by the PGCC, please encourage them to make contact with the center.

My student is is having roommate issues, what can they do?

In the case that your student is having a difficult time with a roommate, they are encouraged to follow the protocol outlined in the Community Standards, Living with Roommates. Students are encouraged to contact their Resident Advisor to initiate a mediation process.

How safe is my student at CSUMB?

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (commonly known as the Clery Act) requires higher education institutions to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses on an annual basis. The law requires schools make the annual reports available to all current students and employees, and readily available to prospective students and employees upon request. The 2015 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is located on the University Police website in theAnnual Reporting link.

There are other numerous services to ensure your student's safety which includes the campus Night Walk or shuttle service and courses like CPR training and Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Systems self-defense. Please see the University Police website for more information.

Students and families can also receive emergency text message alerts via otterAlerts by registering your cell phone number.

What are the visiting policies for students living on campus?

Student Housing & Residential Life policy allows for overnight guests. A guest registration form must be completed and submitted for approval before any guests are permitted to stay. For more information regarding overnight guests please see Guest Registration.

How do I know how much my student owes for tuition?

Your student can log in to their CSUMB Dashboard and access their OASIS account where the most current balance will be listed. You can ask your student to log in to their OASIS to determine what is owed for tuition. In addition, you can find more information about tuition and payment by visiting the FAQs page. You can also view the Cost Calculator to help you determine the cost of tuition and housing.