DTS high school seniors survived the college admissions process! Now that all of the college and financial aid applications have been submitted, students are moving into DTS’s Transition to College program. The fifth Touchpoint in the DTS Six-Touchpoint program is Family Engagement. Parents play an integral role in their student’s transition from high school to college. Students perform better academically and acclimate more comfortably to their college environment when they have their families’ understanding and support. This semester, DTS will provide five workshops for parents, three of which also will include students. We will address a range of topics, including the social emotional transition to college, understanding financial aid awards, providing support as students adapt to college and overcome challenges, and how to encourage academic success. Parents of current DTS college students will also join our 12th grade parents for a round table discussion.
At our second workshop last Saturday, Stephanie, the DTS College Access and Success Counselor, led an interactive conversation among parents about their role as their children prepare to go off to college. The discussion touched on hopes and fears about college, comfort zones, and common obstacles students will encounter, and parents brainstormed to identify ways they could support their children during the months ahead as well as during the next four years that their children are in college.
The workshop culminated with parents writing about what they learned on cut-outs of their own hands. They then placed the cut-outs under the image of a college, powerfully symbolizing the importance of their support in helping their children succeed. By addressing parents’ concerns about their college-bound students and helping parents feel empowered to support their students, we are facilitating a parent-student connection that is essential to college success.