Today and tomorrow, I’m attending an ACT conference and it’s patently clear that parent involvement is a critical element in college-readiness and success. College admissions staff are getting more savvy in their efforts to reach parents early in the college search process and stay in touch with parents during the college years.
In a session today led by a former Dean of Admissions, admissions officers in the audience shared that they are introducing parent newsletters, parent pages on their websites, and parent-only sessions during campus visits. Two of the colleges recognized for their parent pages were Baylor University in Texas and Elmira College in New York. The colleges are recognizing that college selection is the number one way that parents are engaged with their child. It is very common for parents of this millenial generation to research college websites, visit campuses, and contact the admissions office.
There was a point in the discussion where it seemed that the presenter suggested that admissions staff should accept that parents will attend admissions interviews. I strongly disagreed with any hint of such a practice. It’s OK for the admission staff to make some accomodations. However, it’s the student who will be attending the university and not the parent. The admissions interview should be an opportunity for the admissions staff to get to know the student and learn more about what he/she will bring to the campus and how the campus may support their success. If the student has to co-interview with a parent, then how can they ever be able to thrive independently in college.
Parents, would you really want to attend the interview with your child? What about a job interview?