4 Ways to Encourage Your Commuter Student

Family support is a key factor in student transition. Students benefit when you express that you are proud of them, that they belong in college, & that you believe they can do the work! Let them know the college journey is challenging and designed to prepare them for future success. More than 2,000 students live on-campus, and 28,000 commute to campus by walking, rolling, or taking a bus, bike, and car. Here are some tips to encourage your students.

1 – Attending class – one of the key success factors is class attendance. Commuter students report that learning how long to allow for the drive/park/get to class process was a key part of their transition to college. Many students leave home or work at least an hour before class, to allow time for unexpected traffic. If they arrive early, they go to the Student Union, Rec Center, or Library to review their reading assignment before class. If the professor has office hours, that’s a good time to pop in and introduce themselves. Encourage your student to map out their route to campus and suggest a practice round! 

2 – Sense of belonging – feeling as though they belong on campus is also a key factor in their motivation to stay in school. Our goal is to help your student graduate! Along the path to graduation, we invite them to attend many different types of events to connect with faculty, staff, and students and to build connections on campus. Each week, they receive an email with upcoming events & meetings. Encourage your student to check their Rebel Mail and challenge them to attend at least one event on campus this semester!

3 – Connecting with peers – when students connect with their classmates, they can form friendships that support academic achievement. Peers help each other understand the class material and are partners for group project assignments. Plus, friendships formed during college years can last a lifetime! One of the best ways to make friends on campus is to join a club on campus, which is called a Registered Student Organization (RSO). There are more than 300 RSOs in the Involvement Center! Encourage your student to pick an RSO that looks interesting & attend one meeting.

4 – Studying at home – students express that they would love to have a quiet area at home to study. They discovered the benefits in setting-up a work area with all the tools to be successful, such as their computer, internet, notebooks, text books, pens/pencils, and healthy snacks and drinks. When this isn’t possible, there are great places to study on campus – the most popular are the Libraries. Did you know there are 5 libraries? Check out the fast facts here. Talk to your student about where they like to study!

Midterm is an especially stressful time for your student, and they benefit from positive outlets for stress relief! The beginning of October is the mid-point in the semester where papers are due & exams are happening. Coming to campus for events like the Family Brunch is another way to demonstrate your support & personal commitment to their journey. If you aren’t able to come to campus, perhaps send them a card, a care package, or a text message of support during mid-terms. Here is a link to the care packages that are available for both on and off campus students.

…but my student sees me everyday! Why should we go to brunch on campus?

Students tell us how much family support contributes to their feelings of self-efficacy, which is a fancy term for believing in their ability to succeed. Many have expressed that once their family enjoys a meal together on campus, they feel much more comfortable.

We hope you will join us on October 5 for the Family Brunch.

In addition to your support, there are many offices on campus that offer resources including Counseling And Psychological Services, Rebel Wellness Zone, Student Recreation Center, and the Jean Nidetch Women’s Center.

Thank you for supporting your student’s academic success!

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