Involving Parents at Step One in the Freshman Engineering Experience

Dan Budny, Cheryl A. Paul, Beth B. Newborg


The transition from high school to college can be very difficult for many students. The authors believe that parents can advocate on behalf of their children by educating themselves on particular transitional challenges their children potentially face, as well as by helping these freshmen daughters and sons establish realistic educational and social goals. Parents can assist their children by helping them to anticipate the significant transitions that occur during the freshman year. This paper will acquaint the reader with three key transitional challenges new college students face, and offer an approach to productive interactions between the Swanson Schoolâ??s orientation facilitators/freshmen faculty and the parents to ease these challenges. The paper will demonstrate the importance of making parents part of the first year orientation and educational process. Steadily improving persistence rates at the University of Pittsburghâ??s Swanson School of Engineering indicate that educating new students and parents in realistically anticipating first year challenges allows first year to successfully work through key freshman year challenges.


Freshman Year Experience, Parents, Transitions

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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