Advice for Parents

The Student Life Office staff is dedicated to helping your student make the transition to the greater independence of college life, and is providing a good experience outside the classroom.

Student with Family

Here are some tips to help you support your student during this time of tremendous growth and change:

  • Keep in touch even if you're not hearing much from your student. A letter a week, a phone call, or a box of cookies makes your son or daughter aware of your continuing support. The greatest need for contact with home is likely during the early weeks of the semester, during times of greatest academic pressure, and during any crisis.
  • Listen to your student. Your son or daughter may make an occasional "dump" call when you will hear nothing but complaints. Often, just talking about the problem makes him or her feel better and ready to move on, even if you are left drained. Most of all, students want to know that you understand their feelings and the stress of being a student.
  • Don't ask about grades all the time. The adjustment to Davis & Elkins' academic demands takes time, and midterm grades may not be indicative of a student’s potential. Sometimes it takes a few semesters before a student realizes the amount and quality of study time he or she needs.
  • Encourage your student to get involved in at least one activity. It doesn't matter what the activity is as long as he or she has a feeling of connection to other students and to the community. Some suggestions for freshmen include getting involved in residence hall activities, joining a religious organization, volunteering through the Student Life Office, joining an intramural or varsity athletic team, etc.
  • If you are concerned about a situation, remember that you can always call a staff member in Student Life at 304-637-1211 to share your concern. That staff member can often give you suggestions on how to deal with the problem and ease your mind.
  • At the same time, don't try to always "fix it" for your student. As young adults, students need to seek out solutions for themselves. After talking to someone in Student Life, you can always give your son or daughter suggestions for working things out.
  • Stay involved in Davis & Elkins. Visit during Family Weekend or other special occasions, and keep up with College news. The Graceland Inn and Robert C. Byrd Center offer special room rates for friends and families visiting Davis & Elkins College.
  • Don't react too hastily to roommate concerns. Often, it takes several weeks for roommates to adjust to one another. However, don't let serious problems go too long. If your student has a roommate who violates his or her space or comfort in the room, insist that your student talk to a Resident Assistant or to a professional staff person in the Student Life Office (304-637-1211). Please keep in mind that there is a three week freeze on room changes at the start and end of each semester. Remember that you can always make a confidential call to a staff person.
  • Refer your student to his or her faculty adviser if there is concern about a particular class, or professor, or the need for tutoring. If there are serious family or health problems, your student should contact an administrator in Student Life. If you have a question or concern or if there is a family emergency, you may always call the Student Life Office at 304-637-1211, Campus Safety at 304-704-9111 or Vice President for Student Affairs Scott Goddard on his cell phone at 304-642-1352.
  • Encourage your student to visit the area around Elkins with a group of friends and get to know one of our nation’s most beautiful areas.