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Parents and Families

Tips and Advice

Academic Advising Center

Letter to Parents
Parents/Family Connections E-Newsletter - September 29, 2022

Dear Parents and Families,

The transition to college can often be intimidating for first-year students as they explore uncharted territory, leaving all that they have known from their K-12 education behind them and stepping out on their own. The Academic Advising Center and its team of professional advisors are available to help first- year students work through this transition and help them thrive.

The Advising Center focuses on helping first-year students transition through their first two semesters with a comprehensive and holistic advising curriculum. During the first semester, students will work with their advisor through a series of meetings designed to help them better understand all of the educational resources and social opportunities that Lasell provides. Through these advising meetings, students will learn about the requirements of their academic degree. Advisors communicate regularly with faculty on how students are doing in their courses and, if students need additional support, the advisors will arrange additional outreach to meet with the student and address any concerns. Throughout these advising meetings, students are encouraged to take the opportunity to work with other departments across campus, e.g. the Center for Career Readiness and Internships or the Academic Achievement Center, to help meet their needs. During the second semester, students work with their advisor to map out a four-year plan that encourages students to explore linked credit opportunities, minors, study abroad, Shoulder to Shoulder programs, the Double Laser program, etc.

Students can schedule a meeting with their advisor at any point through Starfish, with the flexibility to meet with their advisor in person, over Zoom, or on the phone.

The Advising Center has a team of peer advisors to help students navigate the student experience. Peer advisors are upperclassmen in good academic standing who have been trained to become peer leaders. They receive supervision and ongoing training. First-year students are encouraged to schedule meetings with peer advisors at any time during their first year to discuss the student experience. Peer advisors can also provide support with registration, academic planning, and navigating campus technologies such as Canvas, Self-Service, or Starfish.

Prior to the start of a student’s sophomore year, if the student has a declared major, they will be reassigned to a faculty advisor from that major’s advising team. Undeclared students, during their second year, will stay with a professor advisor until the student declares a major. Upperclassmen are encouraged to meet with a peer advisor if they need additional support, as outlined above. All students are encouraged to stop into the Advising Center if they ever have any questions or concerns.

As a parent, you can help support studetnt's success at Lasell by encouraging them to meet with their academic advisor on a regular basis and to reach out to them anytime they have questions about their academics. You can also encourage them to check and respond to their email on a regular basis. The advisors, instructors, and most offices on campus communicate with students via email so helping students get into that habit will have a big impact on their success.

Sincerely,
The Academic Advisor Center
Michelle Niestepski, Dean of Student Success
Katrina Daly, Administrative Assistant for Academic Success
Vikki Turnquist, Senior Professional Academic Advisor
Heather Flaherty, Senior Professional Academic Advisor
Karina Fontanez, Professional Academic Advisor

Sharon Harrington-Hope

Sharon Harrington-Hope headshot

Director of Counseling/Clinical Counselor
Email: sharrington-hope@lasell.edu
Office: 617-243-2145 

Advice on Transitioning to College  - August 17, 2022

Here are some ways you can help your student transition into college life:

  • If your student is taking medication for anxiety, depression, or another condition, strongly encourage them to continue with this regimen. Often students believe college will be a fresh start, and that they won't need this support once they are away at school, but stopping just before this transition will only make adjusting harder.

  • If your student currently has a therapist, encourage them to set up check-in times with this provider so they know ahead of time that they will be able to get support and process the huge adjustment they are going through. If your provider is out of state, have your student reach out to the Counseling Center as soon as they are on campus to set up some regular times to connect with a professional.

  • If you live locally and you have a student who is struggling with the adjustment, a weekend trip home may be the best reset you can offer. Parents often feel they should push their child to stay on campus to acclimate to college living more fully, but if your student is struggling and overwhelmed, coming home and stepping away from the stress will allow them to return less frazzled and more able to deal with the 24/7 stress of being away at school.
  • If you don't live nearby, having a schedule of when your student can expect to be home is helpful. They can have these dates to look forward to, and this can help them push through more challenging times.

  • Remind your student to pack comforting items that will remind them of their favorite people and places. They may want to put together a box of items to turn to when feeling stressed, sad, lonely, etc. This can include encouraging letters from you, pictures of their family pet, and other mementos that make them smile.

  • Remind your student that much of what they see on social media is curated and not the real experiences of their friends. Often, students will see posts from their high school classmates who have gone to different schools and feel like they are doing great while they are struggling at Lasell. Please remind them that everyone is likely struggling on some level with this transition, and people only post what they want others to see, which usually does not include the harder moments of life we all experience.

Dolores A. Radlo

Sharon Harrington-Hope headshot

Senior Director of Academic Support, Technology & Accessibility

Letter to Parents
Parents/Family Connections E-Newsletter - January 27, 2022

Dear Lasell Parents and Families,

Welcome to a new semester filled with fresh opportunities for our students to learn and grow! 

Every day I am so impressed with our students’ persistence and determination to make the most of their college experience despite the pandemic. We know that it’s critical to help our students further build their capacity for resilience to keep navigating these uncertain times and adapt well in the face of stress and adversity, while also focusing on their academic progress and goals. This is why we work in partnership with students, faculty, and staff to offer a comprehensive selection of multi-modal academic support services at the Academic Achievement Center (AAC) from day one through graduation – at no additional cost for any Lasell student.

Because of our collaborative and actively engaged learning community here at Lasell, we have built our strength-based academic supports on the premise that all students looking to enhance their academic and professional pursuits and passions can and will access our services at some point in their academic careers with us. This is consistent with our academic culture: Always push further, explore, and grow together. We have a wonderful staff of professional tutors, peer tutors, and professional learning specialists ready to work with students in person, remotely, or online. Types of academic support available:

-- Individual and/or group content tutoring sessions
-- Writing and research process assistance
-- Study groups
-- Academic technology support (using Canvas, Self-Service, Starfish, Microsoft Suite, online learning tools, etc.)
-- Workshops (e.g. MTEL prep, LSAT prep, writing, study/notetaking strategies)
-- Managing time, organization strategies, academic progress check-ins
-- Practicing for presentations
-- Consultations for short/long-term projects, group/team assignments, and Capstones

AAC supports are available from the start of each semester to the very end of final exams, so please encourage your student to work with us early and often! While getting help with coursework at any time of the semester is smart (even at the last minute), making a habit of working regularly and proactively with us can make a positive difference to any student’s learning and academic resilience.

As always, my staff and I are looking forward to an excellent semester working with our students to support their success. Please encourage them to stop by and see us soon!

Sincerely,

Dolores A. Radlo

Donnell Turner

Director, Center for Career Readiness & Internship Programs
Email: dturner@lasell.edu
Office: 617-243-2125

Letter to Parents
Parents/Family Connections E-Newsletter - October 27, 2021

Dear Lasell Parents and Families,

We share a common goal: We both want your student to be successful while they are Lasell students and after graduation, too. The Center for Career Readiness and Internship Programs (CCR) is committed to assisting your student connect their academic experience to their career path. In partnership with my faculty colleagues, CCR offers advising and resources to prepare students to transition – career-ready – into a diverse and global workforce.

Similar to other institutions, CCR offers one-on-one advising on resumes, cover letters, practice interviews, choosing a major, and everything else related to professional success. These one-on-one conversations are also supplemented by a wide range of programs, workshops, and events.

Connected Learning at Lasell

One of the reasons I joined Lasell in 2013 was the University’s commitment to connected learning. Every major at Lasell includes practical, hands-on activities in the form of internships, service learning, study abroad, and collaborative research. The experiential learning opportunities that a Lasell education provides can help your student gain real world experience, develop skills, and stand out from a crowded pool of candidates.
Benefits of an internship

According to research conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE),  internships have positive implications on early-career outcomes. A NACE survey found that students who had an internship experience were 20% more likely to receive full-time job offers than students who did not complete an internship.

Challenges of virtual internships

For the Class of 2020, COVID-related hiring freezes impacted internship programs. To compensate for social distancing, many savvy employers created online internships. However, for young people endeavoring to deepen classroom learning to a real-world experience, virtual internships can be very challenging.

Interns may lose the opportunity to develop soft skills and competencies doing a virtual internship. Studies conducted by the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions also indicate that students miss the chance to understand professional cultures, subtle norms, ways of communicating, and interacting with professionals.

What can parents do?

To support the work of Lasell’s Center for Career Readiness, please encourage your student to:

  • Meet with our staff to brainstorm and develop a strategy for success during and after Lasell
  • Visit CCR early in their Lasell careers to avoid last-minute stress
  • Be active and engaged on campus

As a parent, if your company has a summer, part-time or full-time job opportunity, please contact the Center for Career Readiness. We will help you find a hard-working student or alum for the position. If your company hires interns, please consider listing the internship with CCR.

Sincerely,

Donnell Turner