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Back to School: Some Tips Every College Should Know

Sep 12, 2008
With the rising cost of tuition, school supplies, transportation, and housing, parents and students alike are feeling a bit overwhelmed. When the beginning of the school year approaches parents gather their income around them and hold tight hoping to have some money leftover to feed their dog. After what they have spent on school supplies and clothes, who can blame them? Student's eyes bulge out of their heads when they receive their schedules and housing assignments. With the increased work load and loss of free time, who can blame them? It doesn't seem like college is going to be a very fun experience for either of them.

So what can you, as a school, do for them to help them ease into the school year with as little turbulence as possible? Here are a few things that come to mind.

Open Your Doors and Hearts

For many students, traveling thousands of miles from home to live and study in a foreign environment is like leaving the Earth for distant Mars. When the school year begins its final approach, why not plan an open house that is more than an open house. Most college open houses are just weekend long meetings with free school food and lots of paperwork thrown in. Why not have a Luau instead? Creating an informal setting where parents, students and faculty can meet and mingle will help the parents and students feel a little more connected to the school as a facility and place of study. Parents and students can take a tour of the school grounds and dorms without feeling like they are on a tour of a Civil War museum.

Safe and Secure

It's hard to imagine a parent sending their kid off to college without fearing for their child's safety. Colleges are scary places. With increased school violence, date rape, thefts, hazings, and other college safety issues college can seem like a very unsafe place, indeed. When parents send their children to college, they are sending their children to you with the faith and hope that you will keep their precious blessings safe. What can you, as a college, do to help allay some of the parent's and student's fears? Being open about violence in your school is a start. When students know what to expect they are more likely to be on the lookout for suspicious behaviors and activities. Keeping students and parents in the dark can only make things more hazardous. Strengthening or implementing a college watch program can increase the eyes and ears around the school to help keep violence to a minimum.

Advertising for your school counseling program is also a great way of helping students feel like they have someplace to go if they need to just talk. Having a safe place to vent or share personal experiences can seriously increase the overall feeling of peace and acceptance in a college setting.

Home Away from Home

New students and freshmen, especially, can feel like college is as far from home as the moon. Making students feel at home is a great way to keep them coming back year after year. Before students arrive for the school year, why not create care packages for new arrivals? Fill these care packages with hygiene products (tooth paste, lotion, travel sized shampoos and body wash), sticky pads with the school logo on them, t-shirts, hats, stuffed animals that resemble the school mascot, and basic school supplies (pencils, notebooks, and highlighters). Little things really do go a long way to making the new student feel a little more at home.

With all the colleges in the world where parents can send their children, you want to make your college stand out among the international crowd. By making your school a more open, welcoming, safe place you are adding to your overall appeal. Going to college shouldn't be like leading the lambs to slaughter; it should be about letting the baby bird out of its nest. You college can be the very place where many students "learn to fly".
About the Author
Seomul Evans is a SEO Service consultant for leading Discount School Supply retailer (American Classroom Supply).
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