Here is a small sampling of frequently asked questions from parents. The answers are provided, but please keep in mind that every circumstance is different and when in doubt - you should call (617-573-8718) or email us and your concerns and questions will be answered.
- What do you mean you can't tell me my student's grades? I am the one paying the bills!
Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Federal Law 20 U.S.C 1232g, (FERPA) Law, it is illegal for any Suffolk University employee (faculty or staff) to share information about your student if he or she is over the age of 18. We are unable to release information about grades, attendance, financial information, health/counseling or disciplinary records without permission from your student. Students must complete a "FERPA waiver" from each department that he/she is willing for you to get information (contact each department directly, for example: your student would need to sign a form at the Registrar's Office for you to have access to academic records or at the Bursar's Office for you to have access to financial and billing records).
With regard to grades during the semester, the University does not collect grade or course progress information from faculty members until the semester is complete. You should encourage your student to examine the syllabus for every class to see how grades are determined, and to write down EVERY grade on every assignment (as well as any dates that they may have missed class) on the syllabus to track his/her own grades and progress during the term.
- My student is thinking about dropping out of school. What should I do?
- In the Office of Retention Services, our mission is to help students stay and succeed here at Suffolk University. If your student is running into problems, please encourage them to make an appointment or stop by the office so we can sit down and discuss what is going on. Often, students are lost and frustrated, which results in them wanting to give up and discontinue. The Office of Retention Services are more than happy to help the student or refer them to another department or office for additional assistance. We won't let them go or give up that easy! We are happy to listen, get to the root of the problem and help the student get on the right ROAD to success!
- I am not happy with my student's grades last semester. How can I help?
- If your student did not do well last semester, please encourage him/her to speak to an academic advisor. It is important that your student does not "self advise" or take advice from his/her friends. In an effort for them to complete their course requirements and graduate in a timely manner, it is a must that they see their academic advisor. There are numerous services and workshops available to students to help them succeed! Encourage your son or daughter to contact the Ballotti Learning Center (617-573-8235) to help show them how to be successful in and out of the classroom, form study groups, get a peer tutor or take advantage of workshops from time and stress management to test taking and study tips.
- My student tells me everything is "fine". How can I get him/her to share more about the Suffolk experience and how they really are doing?
- Students often like to feel independent and feel that if a parent is asking questions, that parent is prying or lacking trust in the student. Of course, we all know this is not the case! During this phase in their lives, it is important that you maintain open lines of communication with your student. You should encourage them to speak to their Resident Assistants, Commuter Ambassadors, Retention Scholars, Professors, or the Office of Retention Services. These resources can direct your student to the right office or service.
- We have found that open ended questions can sometimes open up the lines of communication. For example: •"What is your most difficult class this semester? What are you doing to do well in that course?"
- "Tell me about one out-of-class activity or program that you have attended"
- "What is your next assignment and when is it due? What is your plan to complete it?"
- How do you need or want me to help you?"
- In an effort to learn more about your student's daily activities: •Call (but not too often)
- Send occasional emails or text messages
- Send them a care package to show them you care
- Tell them you are proud of them and what they are accomplishing!
- Check out the Parent Events page in this site to find opportunities for you to attend events (Family Weekend, Family Workshops).
- Should my son/daughter work while in school?
- If your son or daughter must work, we encourage that he or she get an on-campus job. Research shows that students who work part-time on-campus are the most successful college students (Astin, 1975). Working on-campus will help them meet people who can assist them when they have problems. Campus jobs are also more flexible than off-campus employment, especially when it comes to setting aside time to accommodate their work and school schedules. Part-time work also forces students to manage their time between classes, work, studying and fun.
- My son/daughter has tried to contact his/her professor on numerous occasions. Is it okay for me to call for my son/daughter?
- As college students, especially first-year students, we encourage students to take a huge initiative in their academic success. Although your son/daughter may truly need and appreciate your assistance, it is important that they learn the importance of problem solving, dealing with issues on their own, and how to navigate their way through the university. The first thing you could ask is "How many times did you contact your professor?" If a student gives up after one attempt, that is not good.
- Please encourage your son/daughter to not only call the professor, but also send them an email, visit them during their scheduled office hours or leave a message with the assistant in the department.
- If after several attempts they are still unable to get in touch with someone, please encourage your student to call or stop by the Office of Retention Services, so that we can help the student connect to the faculty member.
- Who can I talk to if my student is having a problem?
- We truly encourage students to make that phone call...they need to learn independence. We hope you will help guide them so that they don't wait until it is too late. Whether it is a financial concern, academic concern or anything that is causing your student difficulty, please let them know they can always ask the Office of Retention Services!
- While we won't help you solve a problem for your student, we are happy to speak with or email parents to help give advice or direction on how to handle a situation. We want our parents to be happy and our students to be successful.
We look forward to working with you!