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Parents and Families

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parent council

Discussion Group: Parents/Guardians of Neurodiverse Students 
Wednesday, March 6
7-7:45 p.m. via ZOOM

You are invited to join our first-ever discussion group for parents and guardians of neurodiverse students!

This virtual event is open to:

  • Those who have a student with a neurodiverse diagnosis.
  • Those who have a student who identifies as neurodivergent but may not have an official diagnosis.
  • Those who do not have a neurodivergent student but want to listen and learn more about the neurodivergent community. 

Register now here >>


Spring Parents Town Hall Recap (Feb. 13)

This written recap of the Parents Town Hall that was held on February 13 has been condensed for brevity. If you have any questions, please contact Alexa Donegan ’16 G’20 (adonegan@lasell.edu), director of parent and community relations.

Alexa kicked off the meeting with an overview of the agenda and a reminder that all parents are invited to join the Lasell Parents Network Facebook group to connect with your fellow parents. Several speakers presented information and answered questions.

Eric M. Turner, President

  • We’re in our fourth week of the spring semester- it’s off to a great start.
  • We welcomed a new cohort of surgical technologist students which is a workforce development partnership we have with Newton Wellesley Hospital. On the workforce development front, we are also training teachers in Northern Ireland and training people in Belfast for jobs at Microsoft in Belfast.
  • Sports are doing really well, and we are having a terrific year.
  • “Lasell in the news”
    • U.S. News & World Report named Lasell University’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice program one of its 2024 Best Online Programs

Q: Many are concerned about Lasell closing or merging and how this would affect students.
 
A: We aren’t closing, and we have no mergers planned. We just spent two years on a self-study with 13 teams of faculty, staff, alums, and others looking at how well we are doing. We submitted our report to NECHE and received accreditation for another 10 years, as we have done every 10 years since the 1930’s. What we are doing is to continue to evolve to meet the needs of students of many different types which we’ve done since we were founded and particularly in the last 40 years. Our student enrollment is up by 4%.
 
Q: Does Lasell plan to continue holding remote classes and why?
 
A: Yes. There is some demand for remote classes. We are and will continue to be a residential institution. That is what most of our students are looking for. There are instances where remote learning makes sense. We have a few majors we couldn’t offer if we didn’t offer remote options- things like professional sales, human resources management. The other way that we use remote learning is because of our course rotations we don’t offer every class every semester so rather than slow the progress of a student we have an option for remote course through our consortium.

Dave Hennessey, Associate Vice President & Dean of Student Affairs
 
Campus activities and clubs: Activities and clubs are student led and directed and supported by staff. We are actively working to increase our activities on the weekend. We do see that our students are impacted from covid where students were isolated and asked not to congregate and gradually are getting more used to gathering and socializing in groups.

Health Services: We have an active health services office. We have had low instance of flu and covid. Students do not need to have college sponsored health insurance to be seen by the nurse. If there ends up being tests or other services that would go through private insurance, but for every day needs all students are welcome. 

Q: How does housing selection work? When does this occur?
 
A: It happens after course registration, which is in April. Students go online and either indicate someone they’d like to room with or if they don’t have someone in mind, they can fill out some information to help match for compatibility. They need to make sure they have any stops cleared. Seniors have priority, then we fill rooms with triples and other larger rooms and then the third process happens of the rest of the assignments happen. We understand the importance of housing to students and do our best to accommodate requests.
 
Q: Can we make drop off and pick-ups more flexible in the winter months?
 
A: If it is a problem for people, we do try to make exceptions. We have a small fee of $50 to move in early- this can be waived depending on the circumstances. If your student needs to come back early, please reach out to residential life and we will work with you- please try to do so ahead of time and not the morning of.
 
Q: Steps to improve student experience (food service, dorm mold/ hvac, WiFi bandwidth etc.) What is the university doing to address current mold issues in dorms?
 
A: Like other institutions we have had some problems with mold. Once we learned of the issue, we did immediate mold remediation, and we moved the students out of the rooms and this is being worked on currently. We do ask students to report these issues as soon as they seem them so they can be addressed.
 
Q: What is the status of your search for a new athletic director and men’s soccer coach?
 
A: We have engaged a search firm to help us with our assistant vice president of athletics. We have hired a new men’s soccer coach, Luis Cabral. He is originally from the Azores and is fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish and conversant in French. Coach Cabral hopes to reach recruits from backgrounds other coaches may not.

Sharon Harrington-Hope, Director of the Counseling Center & Mental Health Counselor

  • We are here to support our students. We have 4 full time counselors and 6 interns. We address a host of concerns (anxiety is something we see a lot of) especially for first year students and for parents.
  • We take appointments but also provide on the spot services.
  • Social media is a challenge. Please encourage your students by saying that even though their peers may look like they are having the time of their lives they have challenges too.
  • When your student reaches out and is upset, the more that you can stay calm and ground them and remind them that even if something feels big to them that in the grand scheme of things it’s ok this will help them.
  • We also see that parents have some anxiety and are tracking student whereabouts on campus, and this can cause some anxiety for students. A suggestion is to set up regular times to check in, so you know they are ok instead.
  • Please encourage your students to get involved in clubs and activities as this can really help with mental health.
  • If you do notice that your student’s behavior has changed, they used to be outgoing and is now staying in their room and things like that please encourage them to come to the counseling center.

Maria Adkins, Director of International Student Services & Study Abroad

  • Our most popular program is in Florence, Italy. There are many experiential experiences like chocolate making, bread making, wine pairing plus all the normal classes you’d expect like calculus, etc.
  • We have two programs in England- including an opportunity to study fashion in London.
  • We have a program on Lake Lugano in Switzerland and includes a trip to another country with a faculty member.
  • In France, we have opportunities for fashion and business majors.
  • In Spain, we have opportunities for hospitality and tourism majors.
  • We have programs in Greece (including programs for forensic science) and Australia.
  • We have many other programs and locations including a new program in Fiji.
  • Students need a 2.5 GPA minimum and go in fall of their junior year. There is no language requirement. Students take a full course load.
  • In terms of cost- you pay your normal room and board. Some programs have additional fees. All programs also have a cost of $1,000.
  • Students apply the semester before.
  • Graduate students are unable to study abroad.
  • Interested students should go and talk to Maria!

Jessi Orlando, Assistant Director - Center for Career Readiness & Internship Programs

  • The office is open during the days Monday-Friday but if those hours don’t work for your student the office will work around their schedule.
  • Students should be encouraged to get to know their internship coordinator.
  • Please also encourage your student to attend our Career Fair, which was supposed to be today, but due to weather has been rescheduled for February 27. 

Myth: Students think they shouldn’t visit the career center until their junior year.
Fact: We would love to see students as soon as their first year!

Myth: We only help with resumes.
Fact: We do help with resumes, but we do so much more. Major and career exploration, jobs/internship search, professional correspondence, interview prep, grad school prep, programs and workshops.

Myth: Students think they must have everything figured out before they come to the center.
Fact: We love brainstorming and going through self-assessments with students. They don’t have to anything figured out before they come to us.