Careers 101 - For parents of first-year students
During their first year or so of
college, students will be involved (formally or informally) in assessing
their skills, interests, and abilities. They will do this through
finding success (or failure) in courses they take, involvement in campus
activities, discussions with their friends and faculty, and generally
being exposed to and trying out different ideas and experiences.
Most students enter college with a
very limited knowledge of the vast array of courses and majors available
to them. When they begin to delve into studies that are new to them,
even those who entered with a plan may be drawn to different options.
This is an exciting time for students!
Here's what you can do to help:
- Support your child's exploration of new areas of study and interests. This, after
all, is what education is all about!
- Affirm what you know to be areas of
skill and ability he or she has consistently demonstrated. Sometimes
students overlook these and need to be reminded.
- Talk with your son or daughter about
the courses and activities he or she is enjoying and how well your
student is doing. Students discover new things about themselves
throughout the college experience. Your willingness to listen and be a
sounding board will keep you in the loop.
- Don't panic if your student is
excited about majoring in something like English, history, or art. These
can be excellent choices, particularly if they are a good match for a
student's interests and skills.
- Support your son or daughter's
responsible involvement in campus activities but urge this to be
balanced with maintaining achievement in the classroom.
- Urge your child to seek assistance
in the career center at his/her college or university. Most institutions
have assessment instruments and counselors to help students to define
their skills, interests, and abilities.
Thanks to the National Association of Colleges and Employers for the content.