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On behalf of the Division of Student Development, I am pleased to welcome you to the Knox family. As the parent of a Knox student you are an important part of our community, and our partnership with you is critical to your student's success. Sending a student off to college can be an exciting yet bittersweet milestone. With that in mind, we have a number of events planned just for you during Family and Friends Orientation on Thursday, September 7. You can access the complete schedule, but I'd like to particularly encourage you to join us for the following:
Learn more about the logistics of orientation check in and move in at the end of this email.
For both parents and students, the college years are wonderful when all is going well. As someone who cares deeply about all of our Knox students, I know nothing feels better than hearing them say, "I love it here!" (And they will.) But these years will also be a time of challenge and personal growth, and sometimes there will be bumps in the road. It's good to remember that while these bumps can be jarring, they often teach some of life's most important lessons.
In the first year, students may be challenged by higher academic expectations, the frustration of roommate conflicts, and even occasional loneliness. Those who draw on their own resources to find solutions will be rewarded with increased self-confidence and the tenacity to handle future problems. Likewise, parents who respect this process will be rewarded with the knowledge that they have raised independent thinkers who can cope and succeed in a new environment.
When challenges arise, students will naturally turn to their parents for guidance. When this happens, you have an opportunity to point your child toward the appropriate campus resource or to talk about the conversations the student might want to have with a professor, roommate, or coach. The well-timed arrival of a package of homemade cookies—large enough to share—can also work wonders. You might remind your student of a time when he or she succeeded under challenging circumstances and express your confidence in his or her ability to do so again and again.
As someone who wants to help, I know how strong the temptation is to fix the problem myself. Like you, I am learning to resist that temptation. On occasion, I have had to remind myself that, though the going may be occasionally rough, success and competence are achieved through the student's hard work—not mine.
One way students will start building that competence is through two online learning programs: AlcoholEdu for College and Haven—Understanding Sexual Assault. Your student received an email earlier this month asking them to complete both of these programs prior to orientation. You can learn more about them at AlcoholEdu for Parents and Haven for Parents.
Below are some typical situations we see here in the Division of Student Development, with suggested ways in which you and your student can work through them successfully.
There may be a point at which you feel the need to speak with someone at the College about a challenge your student is facing. This letter is not intended to discourage you from placing that call. No one knows your student better than you do, and you should trust your instincts about when to seek advice and assistance. If you are ever unsure about whether or not to call, please reach out to the Division of Student Development at 309-341-7222 and we'll talk it through.
My colleagues and I look forward to working in partnership with you with the goal of helping your student achieve great academic and personal success. Knox is grateful for the faith that you have placed in your student and in this institution. Together, we can make these next years truly transformative.
Check in/Move in Information for Families
Where and when do we check in for New Student Orientation?
What if we arrive late?
How does residence hall move in work?
What about lunch?
Who do we contact if we have questions?