The Pennsylvania State University, through the New Student Orientation, provides families with the opportunity to participate in a program coordinated with the students' educational planning and academic advising activities. One of the goals is to help you understand your student's abilities and how these relate to the academic programs and requirements of the University.
We believe that your participation is helpful to your student, and we encourage you to attend New Student Orientation. At the Behrend campus, families will be involved in the program. Please be aware that some activities during the day are planned just for students. College is an opportunity for your sons or daughters to begin making decisions on their own. It is critical for them to take responsibility for their choices of classes, schedules, and majors as they are the ones who must take the courses, do the work and get the grades. Penn State University advisers are expert resources for them to use as they make these important decisions. Encourage your student to establish a good relationship with his or her adviser. That adviser will be a reliable source of information, someone your student can go to with any question or problem.
We hope that parents will review the material with their first year student and encourage them to take responsibility for getting answers to their questions. It is up to the student. Your role is important here—you need to let them make these decisions on their own. At New Student Orientation, while general academic information will be given to you and your student in a room together, the students will develop their class schedule in consultation with academic advisers while parents are attending another session. And, while it may be tempting for you to intervene on their behalf, we urge you to resist the temptation. We will be there to help them make good decisions. We have had years of experience working with academic decision-making. Please trust us to support your sons and daughters through this process. We have their best interests and their success at the core of our philosophy.
If you return home from New Student Orientation and you feel that your son or daughter has made an inappropriate academic choice of courses, please have the student call the Academic and Career Planning Center at 814-898-6164. One of our professional advisers will be happy to answer questions and help resolve the problem.
Parents and family members are encouraged to attend the Parent Information Session and visit the Resource Tables during your advising day. These sessions and the tables will provide an opportunity for discussion with staff from academic affairs and student affairs. Both classroom and out-of-classroom concerns and issues will be covered. Questions and answers are an integral part of these sessions.