Supporting Your College Student

College can be a big step for students and family members alike.  Therefore, we've created this section to relate some information about the transitions students and families face when children leave for college and share some of the resources that are available to address the challenges students may face. 

College can bring a number of firsts away from home that can be difficult and challenging.  If your student is having difficulty adjusting to college you can encourage him or her to schedule an appointment with Counseling Services.  While many students seek our services on their own, a parent is often the first person to recognize that a student is not functioning at his or her best. Students who are struggling or facing new challenges may turn to you for help in figuring out what to do because they know and trust you. You may find it helpful in these situations to have some basic information about the resources available to your student and to direct them to these.

Counselors provide listening, support and problem-solving to help your student succeed.   It is understandable that you may wish to be involved when your son or daughter seeks counseling, but confidentiality does not permit such involvement without the consent of the student. Often, the best source of information for parents about the counseling process is the student. Beyond that, if more information is desired, the student must sign a written release specifically permitting us to communicate with you. While it is not legal or ethical for counselors to provide parents with information that a student reveals in counseling, parents are welcome to call a counselor and provide us with feedback or share concerns about their child.

How Might Your Student Benefit from Counseling?

Counseling Services exist to assist students in mastering the many challenges of college, including coping with many different problems and achieving success and fulfillment in life -- in personal as well as academic terms. Here are some ways that counseling might be helpful to your college student.  Your student should call Counseling Services for any issues affecting his or her emotional well-being, including the transition to college, dealing with stress, and coping with a personal crisis.  Counseling can also help with such concerns as:

  • Stress and time management
  • Relationship problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Homesickness or loneliness
  • Problems with alcohol and other drugs
  • Cultural or sexual identity concerns
  • Poor body image
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Sexual or physical abuse/assault
  • Goal-setting and decision-making skills
  • Addressing personal difficulties that are interfering with academic progress
  • Coping with a personal crisis

Online Resources

Transitioning Parents and Students

The College Parent Handbook

The  College Parent Handbook is an online resource for parents of students about to start college, already in college, or preparing to graduate from college.  You’ll find articles that deal with the wide range of issues facing college students and parents today. Additionally, there is a monthly newsletter, a blog that covers current news affecting college students and their families, and reviews of books and other products that can assist parents during their student’s time in school.

Transition Year

Transition Year is an online resource center to help parents and students focus on emotional health before, during and after the college transition. Whether you are looking for tips on managing stress once on campus, or want guidance in making a smooth transition for your student dealing with an issue like depression or being homesick, the Transition Year site has the tools and information you need. 

The Jed Foundation—For Parents

The Jed Foundation—For Parents offers programs and resources that will help parents learn more about their child’s emotional health and what parents can do to support them if they are struggling.

College Parent Central

College Parent Central is designed to give you information about college and about specific aspects of parenting a college student.  It will help you navigate that delicate balance of support, guidance, and appropriate involvement.

Support for Parents of a student struggling with Drugs or Alcohol

Time to Get Help website and helpline

1-855-DRUG-FREE (1-855-378-4373)

Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed or have a specific question about your child’s drug or alcohol use? Time to Get Help is a nationwide support service that offers assistance to parents and other primary caregivers who want to talk to someone about their child’s drug use and drinking.

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