Support from a Distance

UC Santa Cruz is an amazing school, and you and your student made the right choice. You are allowing them to grow and with your support, they will be successful. 

Tips for Making the Most of College. Remind your student to:

  • Focus immediately on time management. Create a schedule and stick with it!
    A 5-unit course assumes spending 15 hrs/week on the class. This includes group study time or time with a writing tutor. Keep track of thier time with a time log.
  • Get involved in residential life activities, extracurriculars, or service-learning opportunities. Research shows that students feel they have grown the most from these kinds of experiences.
  • Enroll in courses that are highly structured and have many assignments. Students said they learned much more in these types of courses.
  • Talk to their advisor.
  • For written assignments, write multiple drafts.
  • Make connections between what happens inside and outside the classroom.
  • Join Discord servers of classes. They provide a lot of resources.
  • Create or join study groups of 4-6 people. Create a writing consulting group. Share 2nd or 3rd draft to check for the flow of ideas and synthesis. Structured study groups include ACE (Academic Excellence Program) and Supplemental Instruction for some classes.

Symptoms of Trouble

  1. Not involved in any extracurricular activities or paid work.
  2. Not a member of a study group for even a single course.
  3. Only studying alone.
  4. Unwilling to seek help or share problems with an advisor.
  5. Poor time management.
  6. Not adapting study skills for college/thinking high school study skills are sufficient or appropriate for college. Instead, they should be spending sustained time on coursework, not 30 minutes here and there. Also, with many college courses, the goal is a synthesis of material, not only a regurgitation of facts.
  7. Taking only large introductory courses in a given quarter. (In their first year, students should explore various academic interests; take a mix of classes, not only large introductory courses.)

Advice for Parents/Guardians

  • Before your student comes to college, teach them how to do their laundry and clean for themselves. The UCSC washing machines only take liquid detergent, so please do not provide your student with pods or remind them not to buy pods on their grocery store run.
  • Be very supportive, even if your student makes mistakes. Let your student learn the lessons from the choices they make.
  • Your student's first year in college will allow them to explore new areas of interest, learn about themselves and take on more of an adult role. The best thing that parents can do is just be there for support.
  • Treat your student as an adult. They will be more open and communicative with you if you do.
  • Although they are learning to become independent, care packages and letters are always comforting.
  • Call, but not all the time. Your student is going to be busy maintaining academics, a social life, and good health. Text them and ask them to reply when they have time.
  • Encourage them to explore classes and figure out what they want to do.
  • Keep in mind your student will be doing a tremendous amount of changing and growing over the next few years. It is important that you remind them of your unconditional love for them.

Online resource: 10 Tips for Parents/Guardians of College Students

next button