ERIC Number: EJ932065
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Reference Count: 0
One Big Happy Family
Mayer, Caroline E.
CURRENTS, v37 n1 p16-21 Jan 2011
Once considered pariahs by many in higher education, parents are fast becoming their prized partners. Whether public or private, small or large, two- or four-year colleges, institutions are actively catering to parents, hoping to turn them into an essential student support system--and enthusiastic donors. For colleges and universities, increased parental involvement may be good news, representing new opportunities, especially in fundraising. Of course, some institutions, particularly independent schools, have been courting parent donors for years. But even these schools are ramping up parent participation as families demand more engagement. The exact nature of a parent program varies from institution to institution; some are housed in the alumni office, some in student affairs. Some programs plan major events, such as freshman orientation and parent weekends, and some have special parent councils that give advice and/or solicit funds from other parents. And increasingly, many parent programs have been renamed to include the word "family," reflecting the growing number of grandparents, siblings, and other family members who want to be involved. It's not just four-year institutions that are rushing to create family programs. Some two-year community colleges are as well, especially as they see an increase in the number of fresh-from-high-school, full-time students. When developing parents as donors, a close relationship between student affairs and advancement is critical. Paying attention to parents does help boost fundraising efforts. Surprisingly, many parents want to remain involved with the institution even after their students graduate. Keeping parents engaged should also translate into increased giving from their offspring as they become alumni in the years ahead.
Descriptors: Fund Raising, Higher Education, Donors, Family Programs, Parent Participation, Alumni, Parent School Relationship, Parents, Colleges, Student Personnel Services
Council for Advancement and Support of Education. 1307 New York Avenue NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-328-2273; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.case.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A