When your student applies to Cypress College, your role as a parent changes. It’s no more or less important; it’s just different. At this point, parents are asked to cheer from the sidelines. A parent’s role shifts from the “protector” to the “supporter”. This is a difficult step for some parents. It means that their students may make mistakes or experience failure, but it facilitates the partnership between the student and his/her professors at Cypress College.
As you’re supporting your student in college, we suggest you –
- Be encouraging – support your student’s self-advocacy and self-sufficiency.
- Honor the relationship between your student and his/her professor.
- Avoid rescuing your student.
- Let your student learn by trying new things and allowing “failure”. It can turn into a positive experience.
- Allow your student to make her/his own decisions.
- Refer your student to a DSS counselor for advice and questions that you cannot answer.
The high school obligation under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) implies success and pushes for parent involvement. In college, however, the law changes and students who are “otherwise qualified” are ensured “equal educational opportunities”. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensure access to facilities, programs, and services; they do not guarantee success.
Also keep in mind that once students, whether they are 18 years old or not, enroll in a postsecondary institution, they become the sole guardian of all records maintained by that institution. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1976 (FERPA), students have the right to access their own records upon written request. The parent or guardian does not share that right. This means that parents do not have access to their student’s grades, transcripts, or any information concerning the services being provided through DSS. We understand, however, that a student may wish to share educational information with their parents, so students wishing to grant access to their records to parents are required to provide written permission and release of information to individual departments, including DSS.
To help your student successfully transition to college, take some time to explore the differences between high school and college. Always remember that parents and family members can be an essential part of the student’s college success by understanding the student’s responsibilities and rights in college. We hope this information is helpful in preparing you and your student for the transition to Cypress College.