Off to College: A Guide for Parents

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

For many parents, sending their child off to college can be a disconcerting leap. After years spent helping with homework, attending parent-teacher conferences, and catching up after school, college life represents a world of unknowns. What really happens during that transitional first year of college? And what can parents do to strike the right balance between providing support and fostering independence?
With Off to College, Roger H. Martin helps parents understand this important period of transition by providing the perfect tour of the first year on today’s campus. Martin, a twenty-year college president and former Harvard dean, spent a year visiting five very different colleges and universities across the United States—public and private, large and small, elite and non-elite—to get an insider’s view of modern college life. He observes an advising session as a student sorts out her schedule, unravels the mysteries of roommate assignments with a residence life director, and patrols campus with a safety officer on a rowdy Saturday night. He gets pointers in freshman English and tips on athletics and physical fitness from coaches. He talks with financial aid officers and health service providers. And he listens to the voices of the first–year students themselves. Martin packs Off to College with the insights and advice he gained and bolsters them with data from a wide variety of sources to deliver a unique and personal view of the current student experience.
The first year is not just the beginning of a student’s college education but also the first big step in becoming an adult. Off to College will help parents understand what to expect whether they’re new to the college experience or reconciling modern campus life with memories of their own college days.
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About the author

Roger H. Martin served as president of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Today, he serves on the Board of Education in Mamaroneck, New York, and is president of Academic Collaborations, Inc., a higher education consulting firm. In 2008, Martin spent a year experiencing life as a first-year student at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, which serves as the basis of his book Racing Odysseus: A College President Becomes a Freshman Again.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Aug 4, 2015
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780226295770
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Education / Higher
Education / Reference
Reference / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the sink-or-swim world of academia, a great graduate advising can be a lifesaver. But with university budgets shrinking and free time evaporating, advisors often need a mentor themselves to learn how to best support their advisees. Bruce M. Shore, an award-winning advisor with more than forty years of advising experience, is just the coach that graduate advisors need. With The Graduate Advisor Handbook: A Student-Centered Approach, Shore demystifies the advisor-student relationship, providing tips and practical advice that will help both students and advisors thrive.

One of the first books to approach advising from the advisor’s point of view, the handbook highlights the importance of a partnership in which both parties need to be invested. Shore emphasizes the interpersonal relationships at the heart of advising and reveals how advisors can draw on their own strengths to create a rewarding rapport.

The Graduate Advisor Handbook moves chronologically through the advising process, from the first knock on the door to the last reference letter. Along the way it covers transparent communication, effective motivation, and cooperative troubleshooting. Its clear-eyed approach also tackles touchy subjects, including what to do when personal boundaries are crossed and how to deliver difficult news. Sample scripts help advisors find the right words for even the toughest situations.

With resources dwindling and student and advising loads increasing, graduate advisors need all the resources they can find to give their students the help they need. The Graduate Advisor Handbook has the cool-headed advice and comprehensive coverage that advisors need to make the advising relationship not just effective but also enjoyable.
Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?
 
First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life.
 
Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade.
 
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.
A groundbreaking manifesto about what our nation’s top schools should be—but aren’t—providing: “The ex-Yale professor effectively skewers elite colleges, their brainy but soulless students (those ‘sheep’), pushy parents, and admissions mayhem” (People).

As a professor at Yale, William Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation’s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively and how to find a sense of purpose. Now he argues that elite colleges are turning out conformists without a compass.

Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics, students are losing the ability to think independently. It is essential, says Deresiewicz, that college be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own paths. He features quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and offering clear solutions on how to fix it.

“Excellent Sheep is likely to make…a lasting mark….He takes aim at just about the entirety of upper-middle-class life in America….Mr. Deresiewicz’s book is packed full of what he wants more of in American life: passionate weirdness” (The New York Times).
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