We recognize that parents play a central role in a student’s life and that you will continue to be a source of guidance and support during your student’s college years. Nevertheless, we encourage you to look at your interactions with your student in a different way. You will move from being the primary caregiver to being more of a mentor or coach. We acknowledge for many parents this is a significant change, and OSTFE will help you find the resources to navigate this transition. Below are some recommendations we have for parents.
- Be familiar with the SOAR Program and steps involved in summer orientation.
- Students are expected to make their own SOAR reservation. You should support your student in the reservation process by discussing overnight accommodations and travel arrangements. We understand that it can be difficult for students to arrange all the details of traveling to UW–Madison alone, but we encourage you to work together on the planning process.
- Be open-minded. The cornerstone of a research university is its liberal education program. We strive to prepare students to be critical thinkers, which involves exposing them to many different subject areas. Whether your student has chosen a major or is still exploring their options, we have academic advisors to help in this process. We expect you to help your student prepare for their SOAR experience by discussing interests, skills, and future goals.
- Visit the website for the Parent and Family Program. This office helps you stay connected to campus and serves as your ongoing resource throughout your studentʼs college career.
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For the purposes of this program, the term “parent” includes, but is not limited to, biological parents, stepparents, extended family members, foster parents, and legal guardians.
The UW–Madison Parent and Family Program serves as your central contact for important and timely information. By joining the program we will communicate with you in the following ways:
- You will receive five online Badger Parent newsletters per year. Badger Parent provides timely campus information and in-depth articles about how parents can best support their college student.
- In the event of a critical campus incident, you will be notified through our Parent Notice system.
- Our website offers an overview of campus resources and services as well as updates of special interest to parents.
- The Parent Calendar is filled with important dates and resources and contains a section on the first-year experience. It is distributed to parents of new students at SOAR each summer.
- A few times throughout the year, we will notify you of a webchat about a particular topic. This is an opportunity to see what other parents are asking or to submit a question to campus experts.
- You will receive an invitation to participate in upcoming Parent and Family event opportunities, such as Badger Family Spring Visit in April each year.
- If you have a question or concern, call us toll-free at 1-877-262-3977 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or e-mail us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 如果您希望了解有关学术、学费、健康和安全等信息，请浏览此网页 (Chinese website)
- Para más información sobre la academia, información financiera, alojamiento, salud, seguridad, transporte, aprendizaje fuera de la aula, carreras, empleo y otros temas, visite nuestra sitio Web en español. (Spanish website)
- ¡Haga una pregunta! (Ask a question in Spanish)
Now that more than 47,000 parents have joined our mailing list, we hope to connect parents with each other to share experiences, triumphs, and challenges. Weʼd also like to include parent testimonials in upcoming issues of our newsletter. If you are interested in sharing your experiences with other parents, please contact us.
Parent Program goals for parents
- Parents recognize their important role as a mentor and coach. They help their student progressively take on more responsibility for academics, out-of-classroom experiences, and all other aspects of their lives.
- Parents have an open dialogue with their student about ways to promote personal health and balance, including coping with stress, alcohol/drugs, nutrition, sleep, exercise, and relationships. They empower their student to identify problems, develop a plan, and work toward solutions independently.
- Parents understand that there are limitations regarding access to student information as outlined in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- Parents know about and take advantage of opportunities to engage with the campus and surrounding community.
- Parents generate goodwill for the university by helping spread the word about the resources and discoveries at UW–Madison, impacting both their student and society at large. They advocate for personal, state, and federal investments in higher education.