April has arrived! Focusing on academics first, this means students’ class material is becoming more detailed and more complex on a weekly basis. Final exams will be here before we know it (scheduled May 12-16, 2014) so continue to encourage your student to finish strong, talk to their faculty members about topics they don't understand, and to use resources such as The Institute for Learning and Teaching if they need help in a class. In their co-curricular activities, April is the month students elect the next leadership for the Associated Students of CSU (student government) and receive awards at various recognition ceremonies. Encourage your students to vote in the upcoming ASCSU elections (April 7-9, 2014) and congratulations to you and your student if he/she is being recognized at one of the many awards ceremonies! Student leaders are essential to CSU’s bustling campus life, so kudos to your students for being engaged in their collegiate experience.
First, with the end of the spring semester comes Commencement ceremonies. Congratulations to those of you with graduating seniors – you made it! The best comprehensive resource for CSU graduation is the Commencement website. CSU’s graduation model is decentralized, so information is best provided by college. We’ve compiled a few Commencement details on the Parent & Family website, so I’ll encourage you to link to the Commencement site from there.
Next, the dates for Homecoming & Family Weekend have been set! Please mark your calendars for October 17-19, 2014 to attend the traditional weekend festivities including the homecoming parade, the RAMFAM meeting with University Administration, and the football game. We are just starting the planning process, so be patient with us, but know we’ll be working hard over the summer months to pull all of these great events together. Please check the Homecoming & Family Weekend website for details as we get closer and remember to use the RAMFAM Association Business Directory to plan your trip!
Lastly, if your student is having a bout of spring fever, we hope you’ll remind him/her that academics come first at CSU. While we know many of our students love the outdoors and can’t wait to get outside to have some fun, we also want them to finish the semester as positively as they began classes back in January. With a bit of determination & Ram Pride, they can do it. Here’s to a great end of the semester!
Our Rams are known for having great hands-on experience. In fact, 65% have an internship during their undergraduate experience, and tons take part in additional hands-on experiences that shape their future: research labs, part-time jobs, summer camps, alternative spring break, and much more. A nice time of the year to take advantage of getting hands-on experience is the summer. Whether your students are staying on campus, moving back to your house, or traveling abroad, we want to help them succeed this summer. For those not graduating, below are 4 tips to help your students find a great summer experience + 3 tips to help them maximize that experience.
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Assessment Results and Learning Outcome: Deep Learning for Engaged Citizenship
By Maria Marinucci, Graduate Assistant for Parent & Family Programs and Retention Initiatives
This time of year brings many stressors to college students; from trying to finish up the semester strong to figuring out how to spend the summer months, all while maintaining wellness and motivation to continue carrying out academic, co-curricular, and social responsibilities. The warmer weather and anticipation of goodbyes can make it challenging for students to stay focused, yet this is perhaps more important than at any other time during the academic year. It is critical students reflect on their learning, both in and outside the classroom, to make meaning of it and draw connections between this learning and who they are, who they wish to be, and their future career path. This will not only help them prepare to engage in lifelong learning, it will also aid in their development into mature, productive adults.
Recent research has demonstrated that much of what produces the deepest and longest lasting learning is actually counter to what we commonly believe. For example, learning new information is supposed to be hard (click here for an interesting video about how learning happens in the brain); when concepts and ideas are acquired easily, it is likely because a basic understanding already exists. Students also retain more information when they spread out their studying sessions, when they test themselves rather than simply rereading notes, and when they study in different places and in different ways each time. This is often time-consuming, but is critical to actually learning, rather than simply collecting facts to produce on an exam.
And learning happens all across campus. Studies show the more engaged students are—which represents both the amount of time and level of effort expended in various, purposeful activities—the greater the impact on their personal development. This could include being an active member of or taking on leadership roles within a student organization or fraternity or sorority, volunteering, or having an on-campus job. Doing so helps students manage their time, think about connections between all they are learning, and also aids in the application of classroom knowledge, which then leads to even deeper learning.
Peers, particularly those with diverse identities, ideas, or experiences can be a crucial component of deep learning as well. When students are exposed to new concepts with their peers, they are challenged to rethink who they are and what they believe, which can have a lasting impact on their sense of self and the meaning-making process.
You are an important factor in encouraging deep learning in your student! You can help your student make connections and deepen their learning by sharing this information, or by asking some of the following questions:
- In what ways are you applying your classroom learning?
- What are you involved with outside of class, and how invested are you in those experiences?
- Why did you choose the co-curricular involvements you did? How do they relate to your courses or desired career path?
- How will you remain actively engaged throughout the rest of the semester?
- How do your peers help you learn?
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Reasonable Expectations: Boomerang Kids - Watch Out, They're Coming Home...Again!
By Jody Donovan, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
The shock of sending students to college for the first time can only be matched by the shock of seeing them standing on your doorstep, suitcase in hand, expecting to move home after earning their college degrees. Visions of an empty nest are replaced with the realities of the “crowded nest” (Shaputis, 2004) as the “boomerang kids” return home due to economic factors, debt load, delayed employment, cultural factors, or just a longing for the comforts of home.
The Boomerang phenomenon is not new, however, recent studies by the Pew Research Center (Parker & Patten, 2013) report increasing numbers (as many as 65% to 85%) of children will move home temporarily at some point in their twenties. Many families welcome their young adults back home with open arms…at least for awhile. Some families have not downsized their big homes and actually appreciate more bodies back in the home. In some societies, it is expected for young adults to return home to care for aging parents and younger siblings until marriage or adulthood. Finally, some families are willing to continue supporting their emerging adults until they land on their feet emotionally and financially.
There are downsides to this intergeneration cohabitation, such as when students return to their dependent child-like behaviors, the arrangement becomes financially threatening to the parents, or when the temporary arrangement becomes permanent. Some boomerangers report negative impacts on dating and socializing with friends, loss of independence and privacy, feeling less like an adult and being embarrassed by their living situation (Savage & Petree, 2013). Relationships may be impacted, as one study reported relationships were at their most positive during the first month and significantly declined by the last month living at home (Savage & Petree, 2013).
If your student is sending signals about boomeranging, we’ve compiled some helpful tips for you as you become a “Baby Gloomer—boomers whose adult kids have moved back home” (Brenoff, 2012).
- Develop the plan before your student moves back. Discuss your boomeranger’s motivation for moving home, is it due to a lack of alternative living arrangements, desperate financial situation, waiting for graduate school or job to begin, or just taking a break?
- Set a deadline for moving out. The plan should be specific with consequences for violating the agreement. Forbes (2012) emphasizes, “Set a limit and say it loud. Be specific. Six months, one year, whatever is the case.”
- Articulate clear expectations and boundaries. Treat your young adult like an adult and develop the guidelines together to arrive at comfortable terms. Topics include curfew, entertaining friends and significant others in the home, chores, and rent. If you’re squeamish about taking money from your boomerang-kid, “Use rent payments as a carrot by promising to hand the money back at the scheduled move-out time” suggests Brenoff (2012).
- Make job searching a job. It’s hard to keep motivated during the job search, so encourage your boomeranger to apply for at least one job every day, and spend time “…networking, going to job and industry events, contacting [his] alumni association, and researching target companies, rather than just applying to online job postings,” says Abby Wilner, co-author of Quarterlifer’s Companion. You may need to coach your recent grad about being realistic about the types of jobs, titles, and salaries one can expect right out of college. Remember though, this is their job search, not yours!
- Hold Firm. Tough love may be required if the cohabitation extends beyond your deadline and your boomeranger is looking more like an anchor. This can be avoided through regular conversations, revisiting the plan, and not being afraid to kick him or her out of the nest. Do not sacrifice your financial security, retirement savings, or future goals for your kids. Brennan Miller, a financial advisor shared,
- It’s okay to ask them to rise to their potential. A hundred years ago 17 year olds were leading armies, working the farm and contributing to their families’ income and everyone knew it was in them to do it. Today we under-challenge kids. We don’t expect much and they live down to our expectations. (Forbes, 2012)
At Colorado State University, we’re focusing on the transition out of college for our graduating seniors. We’re collaborating with the Alumni Association, Career Center, CSU Health Network, Orientation and Transition Programs and other departments across campus and most importantly, with you to prepare students for life as productive, educated citizens of the world.
Here is a great opportunity for your student to learn more about transitioning to post-college life! Be sure to have your student visit the link for more informaion and to sign up:
Navigating the Transition from Students to Alumni Webinar
Hosted by the CSU Alumni Association & the Senior Year Experience Council
Facilitated by Jody Donovan & Kacee Collard Jarnot
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | 7:00-8:00 pm
Join in the conversation here: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/jo9sjqcq0elu&eom
Brenoff, A. (2012). Boomerang kids: The challenges of living with adult children.” Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/boomerang-kids-multigenerational-households-living- with-adult-children_n_1434966.html.
Forbes (2012). Five survival tips for parents with ‘Boomerang kids.’
Parker, K. & Patten, E. (2013). The sandwich generation: Rising financial burdens for middle-aged Americans. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/01/30/the-sandwich-generation/
Savage, M. & Petree, C. (2013). “Boomerang families: Helping families adjust to life after college.” Presentation during NASPA Conference, Orlando, FL.
Shaputis, K. (2004). The crowded nest syndrome: Surviving the return of adult children. Clutter Fairy Publishing.
Wilner, A. & Stocker, C. (2005).The quarterlifer’s companion: How to get on the right career path, control your finances, and find the support network you need to thrive. NY: McGraw Hill.
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Commencement Information: Celebrate Your Graduate with a CSU Alumni Association Grad Pack!
By Tonya Malik-Carson, Assistant Director of Marketing and Annual Member, CSU Alumni Association
If you have a student graduating in May…congratulations! As your graduate makes the transition from student to alumnus, we encourage you to check into the life-long services and programs available to your graduate through the Alumni Association.
The Alumni Association offers networking opportunities, professional development and career services, access to short-term major medical insurance, and more. Visit the Alumni Association website for details.
Give a gift your grad will love. Grad Packs are one-stop shopping options with graduation essentials such as cap, gown, and tassel rental. Options vary and can include Official CSU License Plates, and Life Membership with the Alumni Association.
Grad Pack Options:
Annual Grad Pack $39 ($50 value)
Colorado Grad Pack $125 ($149 value)
Life Member Grad Pack $750 ($1,025 value)
- Cap, gown, & tassel rental
- Alumni Association Annual Membership
- Alumni license plate frame
- 10% off diploma frames
- All items listed in Annual Grad Pack PLUS
- Colorado State University license plate certificate
- All items listed in Annual Grad Pack PLUS
- Life Membership in lieu of Annual Membership
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Meet the Staff: Campus Recreation
By Brittany Heiring White, Communications Manager, Campus Recreation
With all the services and programs Campus Recreation offers, it can seem a little overwhelming at times to know where to start. Knowing how the department is organized, and who the key programming staff are, will help students more easily find the information they need to reach their health and wellness goals.
The department of Campus Recreation has seven program areas including Intramural Sports, Fitness, Outdoor Program, Sport Clubs, Aquatics, the Challenge Course, and most visibly, the Student Recreation Center (SRC). Students who enroll full-time (6 credits or more) automatically receive a membership through their student activity fees.
The Fitness program runs all of the group fit, mind/body, and cycle fitness classes, as well as the personal trainer program, personal trainer fitness camps), and specialized programs like the Ram Recharge 10-week fitness challenge, dance classes, and martial arts classes. Students who work in these areas, like Zumba instructors for instance, are hired by, and report to, the Assistant Director of Fitness, Dianne Bornhoft, and Coordinator of Fitness, Michelle Gehret.
The Outdoor Program plans trips and classes throughout the year, from rock climbing and backcountry camping, to snowshoeing. The program also oversees the climbing wall at the Student Recreation Center, and the high ropes Challenge Course, located on the south end of campus. Rodney Ley, Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs, and Andy Nelson, Coordinator of Outdoor Programs and the Climbing Wall, manage all these programs, along with all the student staff who work in this area, like climbing wall employees and trip instructors.
Arianne Judy, Coordinator of IMs, and an Assistant Director of IMs oversee the Intramural Sports program. This area runs several Intramural leagues, tournaments, and matches each semester, and hires and trains students to be referees, umpires, and managers.
The Sport Club program consists of 29 student-run teams and over 1,100 student athletes. Clubs are funded through student fees, dues, and club fundraising, and compete at a variety of regional and national events. Aaron Harris, Assistant Director of Sport Clubs, oversees the program, and offers assistance to the student managers and advisors for each team.
Beyond the programming staff, Campus Recreation also employs several facilities staff that help to manage the daily operations of the Student Recreation Center, such as aquatics, facilities, member services, marketing, and fiscal staff. These areas also employ several student staff, from building managers, recreation supervisors, and front desk staff, to graphic designers and lifeguards. Services beyond each program area include massage therapy, towel service, locker rental, equipment rental, and more.
For more information on any of these programs, or to contact one of the staff for more information regarding their area, please call our Service Center at (970) 491-6359, or visit the Campus Recreation website.
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Student Insights: Making the Most of your Summer
By Lisbel Torres, President's Leadership Program Intern with Parent & Family Programs
During my first year here at CSU, I knew that I wanted my summer to be fun, and I also wanted to work so I can save up for my following year. This is typical for most first year students, going home for the summer sounds so exciting, fun, liberating and never ending. I spent my summer that year in Aurora as a full time nanny. It was fun for me, and I was able to save a lot of money for living expenses, but I soon realized that a lot of my friends were doing so much more with their summer. I mean, I was saving money and that was the point right?
Not entirely…I learned summer time is about dedicating yourself to something that will hopefully better your future and provide you with the experience and learning that will put you one step ahead of everyone else the second you step out of college. Once I started my second year, I heard about amazing things that my friends and other students in the CSU community did during their summer. Many of them travelled internationally and did service work, and others had amazing internships all around the country where they got to experience first-hand what it is like to work in the field that they are most interested in. I made money and that’s about it, I felt pretty pathetic. Of course, I’m not saying that working full time for a few summers is a bad thing, in fact, it’s probably necessary because living as a college student is very hard financially.
However, I want to challenge myself to find something new and exciting to pursue this summer while also working and saving money. I want to look back on my summer and remember so many moments that I wouldn’t know where to start. So my challenge for all parents and families of CSU students is to ask your student what they want to gain from their summer and how they are going to achieve this. You could even talk to them about planning the three summers that they have if they are pursuing a four year degree, help them brainstorm different opportunities that will most benefit them and fulfill them with whatever they are passionate about.
This summer I will hopefully be working full time on campus and I hope to also volunteer at the local hospital and get my CNA certification. I am also planning to travel to a professional development conference with my sorority sisters in Austin, TX and visit my family in New York. So when people ask me “What did you do this summer?”, I am able to say “I worked really hard, learned about my field, visited family and worked to become a better student”. What will your student say?
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Summer Session at Colorado State University
By Barbara Gotshall, Director, Summer Session
Is your student considering summer school at CSU? It is a nice time of year to be on campus. Summer classes are smaller. Students get more individual attention from faculty and a higher level of participation. The campus is relaxed and friendly and courses are flexible and focused. There are hundreds of courses offered in the 4- and 8- week terms, giving students the flexibility to work and make other summer plans. Summer students can enroll in campus courses, online courses, or a combination of the two.
The summer terms are:
First 4-week term: May 19 – June 13
Second 4-week term: June 16 – July 11
8-week term: June 16 – August 8
Third 4-week term: July 14 – August 8
Summer Session provides students the opportunity to complete a prerequisite, knock off a required course, improve their GPA, or lighten their course load for the fall or spring semesters. Visit the webpage at summer.colostate.edu. View “Featured Courses” and watch the short video to learn what students and faculty have to say about summer session.
Students who are not yet CSU admitted students can enroll in Summer Session: there are no formal admission requirements. “Summer-Only” students need to complete the simple online summer application. Visit www.summer.colostate.edu for more information.
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CSU Health Network: Notice and Respond
By Mellody Sharpton, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, CSU Health Network
At CSU we take a community-based, public health approach to student mental health. This means each member of our campus community has a role to play in supporting the mental health of our campus including administration, mental health counselors, staff, faculty and students. The Notice and Respond Assisting Students in Distress training program is part of our comprehensive campus-wide initiative that prepares community members to notice signs of distress and know what to say and do in response.
Grounded in the belief that “all learning has an emotional base,” Notice and Respond workshops reveal not only the dynamics of mental health situations, but also the undercurrents of human interaction around mental health situations.
Three different Notice and Respond workshops have been created to reflect the relative relationships between students/peers, students/staff and students/faculty members. Each version of these interactive workshops uses a combination of learning modalities to learn how to recognize and respond to a range of mental health issues including suicide ideation. Participants can expect to
- observe a realistic filmed scenario of a conversation with a distressed student
- engage in self-reflection and dialog
- overcome fears, judgments and hesitations in order to help others
- learn about response options they can use in their settings
- consider campus resources that offer support
Although this is a new program on campus, the response has been tremendous. Since trainings began in August (just 8 months ago), more than 1,125 students, staff and faculty members have been trained. Nearly 90% of all participants report having an increased awareness of the signs of distress and available campus resources to assist someone who might be struggling.
So many of our participants validate the importance of the training with their comments of appreciation and gratitude. Students especially relate to this difficult subject matter and suggest that the training be required for all students. While there are currently no plans to make it mandatory, it is our intention to reach as many of the CSU community members as possible in the near future. These trainings are an integral piece of our plan to empower the entire campus community to look out for one another and to always remember that CSU is a caring community where Rams take care of Rams.
For more information about Notice and Respond visit the website.
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