Frequently Asked Questions
1. What do you mean you can't tell me my student's grades? I pay the bills.
Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Federal Law 20 U.S.C 1232g, (FERPA) Law, it is illegal for any Concordia College employee (faculty or staff) to share information about your student if he or she is over the age of 18. Thus we are unable to release information about grades, attendance, financial information, health/counseling or disciplinary records, etc. without permission from your child. Students must complete a "FERPA waiver" from each department that she/he is willing for you to get information (contact each department directly - for example: your student would need to sign a form at the Registrar's Office for you to have access to academic records or at the Business office for you to have access to financial and billing records) For more information about FERPA, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 218.299.3250.
With regard to grades during the semester, the college does not collect grade or course progress information from faculty members until the semester is complete. You should encourage your student to carefully examine the syllabus for every class to see how grades are determined - and to write down every grade on every assignment (as well as any dates that class was missed) on the syllabus to help track her/his own grades during the semester.
2. My student is thinking about dropping out of college. What should I do?
In the Office of Student Success and Retention Services, our mission is to help students succeed at Concordia. If your son or daughter is running into problems, please encourage them to drop by our office so we can sit down and discuss options and solutions. Often, students are lost and frustrated, which results in them wanting to give up and discontinue their studies at Concordia.
Our office is open Monday-Friday and Sunday evenings, and our student mentors can also meet with your student on a weekend. We will be more than happy to help your student or refer them to the correct campus resource for their specific situation.
If Concordia College does not seem to be the right fit for a student we also offer transfer advisement, where a student can discuss the considerations involved in a transfer. The Office of Student Success and Retention Services is also the first contact if a student is thinking about withdrawl or transfer from the college.
3. I am not happy with my student's grades last semester. How can I help?
If your student did not do well last semester, please encourage your student to speak with their academic adviser, especially if your student needs to retake a course. It is important that your student does not "self advise" or take advice from her/his friends. In an effort to assist students in completion of their course requirements and graduate in a timely manner, it is a must that they see their academic adviser once or twice a semester at the minimum. If your student does not know the name of their academic advisor, please encourage your student to talk with the Registrar's Office in Lorentzsen Hall to find out who it is.
Concordia College also offers free tutoring for students. The Academic Enhancement and Writing Center can help your student find the study skills that they need to succeed. Whether they are trying to simply pass a class or get a 4.0 GPA, successful students use tutors to help achieve their academic goals.
In addition, there are numerous services and workshops available to students to help them succeed! If your Cobber doesn't know where to go for help, send them to get a peer mentor from the Office of Student Success and Retention that will listen to your Cobber's situation, and help to personally guide them towards success. Also, encourage your student to form study groups and meet with faculty members during office hours. Our "Keys to Success" site has additional tips. Good luck!
4. My student tells me everything is "fine." How can I get her/him to share more about their Concordia experience?
Students often like to act independent and feel that if a parent is asking questions, that parent is prying or lacking trust in the student. Of course, we all know this is not the case! During this phase in their lives, it is important that you maintain open lines of communication with your son or daughter (easier said than done, right?).
We have found that asking open ended questions (rather than closed questions that can be answered with a "yes", "no" or "fine) can sometimes help. Some examples are:
- What is your most difficult class this semester and what are you doing to perform well in that course
- Tell me about one out-of-class activity or program you have gone to.
- What is your next assignment and when is it due? What is your plan to complete it?
- How do you need/want me to help you? (if your student is upset or unloading a problem on your shoulder or ear)
In an effort to learn more about your student's daily activities:
- Call (but not too often)
- Send occasional e-mails, text messages, etc.
- Send them a care package - you can never get enough of food and goodies that remind you of home.
- Let them know you are proud of them.
In addition, we encourage you to attend Concordia's Family Weekend, which is usually held in late September or early October. Not only will you have an opportunity to attend Cobber sporting events with your child, but you will also get an opportunity to see what life is like for your student in Moorhead. For more information on family weekend check the 2010-2011 Calendar.
5. Should my student work while in school?
If your son or daughter must work, we encourage that he or she get an on-campus job. Working on-campus will help them meet people who can assist them when they have problems. Campus jobs are also more flexible than off-campus employment, especially when it comes to setting aside time to accommodate their work and school schedules. Part-time work also forces students to manage their time between classes, work, studying and fun.
Please keep in mind students who work off campus, especially full-time off campus, are at the greatest risk to leave school without completing a degree.
If your student must work off campus, be sure she/he takes advantage of tips and resources available to help her/him be successful. These students have to work harder than others to complete degrees while juggling work and other commitments.
To find a list of on-campus jobs, please encourage your student to visit the Job Shop in Academy Hall room 101.
6. My student is having issues with a roommate. How can I handle this?
Students who are having problems with a roommate are encouraged to speak to their RA (Resident Assistant). Often, issues are due to miscommunication and can be solved through a mediation session. If that does not work, the RA might recommend a room change. Let's try to work things out before we encourage them to pack up their things and move out. The office of Student Success and Retention's peer mentors can also offer advice in how to adjust to living with roommates.
7. How can I encourage my student to get more involved in campus activities?
There is always something going on at Concordia. If they are interested in getting involved in a club or organization at Concordia or even considering starting their own, please encourage them to visit the Parke Student Leadership Center above Anderson Commons Dining Center. Student Organizations are always looking to get new members - so students should e-mail the group leader for additional information on meetings or upcoming events. Most events are FREE and open to all Cobbers.
Encourage your student to get involved in at least one organization on campus.
Also, students living in the residence halls have a wide range of activities and programs sponsored by the RA's and the hall counsel. If they are unsure about the schedule of events, remind them to look on hall bulletin boards or contact their RA.
Finally, remind your student about Campus Entertainment Committee, Campus Ministry, Campus Service Commission, Student Government, Intramural sports and the many other activities that they can be a part of at Concordia.
8. What tutoring services are available for Concordia students?
The Academic Enhancement and Writing Center is a great place for your student to start looking for a tutor. They have many tutors trained in different areas of study, you can find a tutor in everything from math to the languages. Many departments also offer their own tutors, so checking in individual departmental offices is a good place to find a tutor also. If your student is still having trouble finding a tutor, stop by the Office of Student Success and Retention and one of out Peer Mentors will help find a tutor for your student.
9. My student has tried to contact her/his professor on numerous occasions. Is it OK for me to call for my student?
As college students, especially first-year students, we encourage students to take the initiative in their academic success. Although your son or daughter may truly need and appreciate your help, it's important that they learn the importance of problem solving by dealing with many issues on their own.
Please encourage your son or daughter to not only call the professor, but also send them an e-mail and visit them during their assigned office hours if they are having any problems (office hours are typically on every course syllabus and on the faculty members' office door). In addition, instructors list all of their contact information on the course syllabus, their websites and/or Blackboard.
10. Who can I talk to if my student is having a problem?
Again, we truly encourage students to make that phone call. They need to learn independence (and sometimes consequences). We hope you will guide them so they don't wait to get help until the situation has gotten out of control. Whether it's a financial concern, academic concern or anything that is causing your student difficulty, please let them know they can always ask us! Remind your student to visit the Office for Student Success and Retention in the lower level of Fjelstad, call us at (218) 299-3045, or e-mail email@example.com if they need help with anything throughout their Concordia experience.
Feel free to contact us, with any questions or concerns. We would love to help your student with any concerns that may arise throughout their undergraduate experience.