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

Helping with the Transition

College Parents of America describes ways in which you can help your college student make the difficult transtition into their college years without being an additional burden or stressor on the student.

Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health

A guide to help families have important conversations about mental health before students leave for college. It explains the laws and rules around privacy and parental notification, and encourages discussion about how students can keep their parents informed.

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

Partnership for Drug Free Kids

Partnership for Drug Free Kids is a nonprofit that supports families, like yours, struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Here, you will find downloadable resources, a parent drug guidebook, the latest drug and alcohol news, along with other helpful information to prevent, address or treat addiction.  

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