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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Available on Android devices
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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.
If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right?

Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it.

Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls. Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than 20 percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, and even went without adequate food or housing. In many heartbreaking cases, they simply left school—not with a degree, but with crippling debt. Goldrick-Rab combines that shocking data with devastating stories of six individual students, whose struggles make clear the horrifying human and financial costs of our convoluted financial aid policies.

America can fix this problem. In the final section of the book, Goldrick-Rab offers a range of possible solutions, from technical improvements to the financial aid application process, to a bold, public sector–focused “first degree free” program. What’s not an option, this powerful book shows, is doing nothing, and continuing to crush the college dreams of a generation of young people.
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