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Understanding My Student's Journey

Supporting your student's college career

As a supporter of a Central Michigan University student, you are critical to their success. Over the course of their college career, your student will achieve many milestones. To help them continue on the path to success, here is some helpful information about their journey and how you can help support their growth every step of the way.

Incoming students

The start of the college journey is an exciting time. It's also a time with a lot of transition - for both your student and you! Being in a new learning environment surrounded by new people presents both exciting adventures and challenges ahead.

    Recognize this stage represents a big change in the student/family member dynamic. Empower your student to embrace this new adulthood and meet new challenges head-on.

    Encourage your student to explore different majors and academic programs. During this time, don't be surprised if they change their direction a time or two! It's quite normal to chart new paths as they discover new academic programs and opportunities.

    Urge your student to meet with faculty and staff regularly – they're here to help! Encourage them to schedule a meeting with their academic advisor every semester and if they are struggling in a class, have them meet with their professors and/or connect with tutoring and academic services support.

    Encourage your student to get involved on campus.Between campus events, social opportunities, and volunteer opportunities, there is so much to get involved in.

    Communicate regularly and often.It may seem simple, but this can go a long way in showing support for your student.


    Continuing student

    Now that your student is settled in and becoming accustomed to life as a college student, they can really hit the ground running! This is when your student can take advantage of all the academic and extracurricular opportunities campus has to offer. From taking on key leadership roles to working a campus job to gaining research opportunities in their field of interest, this is the time when your student's college experience can really take off.

      Encourage your student to meet with their advisor regularly. This is the time your student should be seriously considering their major. They will help them navigate the process to officially sign their major and plan out their future semesters. This is a great connection for them to make and continue throughout their time at CMU.

      Encourage your student to get diverse college experiences to add to their resume. Meet with the Career Development Center to talk about part-time or summer employment, volunteer opportunities or internships in their area of interest. Study abroad and research opportunities will further enrich their college experience. All of these experiences will help your student when they build their resume for that first professional position in a few short years!

      Talk with your student about their next steps. Discuss their college goals and potential plans for the future.

      Graduating student

      Before you know it, your student will be ready to walk across the graduation stage and ready to step into a professional career or pursue an advanced degree. As they enter their first job, you can help prepare them for the next chapter.

        Encourage your student to submit a graduation application. Remember, they need to do this before earning 86 credit hours to make sure they have all their required courses complete!

        Encourage your student to take action on potential next steps. Starting early to plan a career after graduation gives them an edge with employers and will give them peace of mind. If they are interested in graduate school, encourage them to meet the required deadlines for graduate school as their timelines may coincide with them finishing their last semester.

        Support them through the job search. This is not always a quick process and may take months for some students depending on their career path. Your support is important as they get ready for their next chapter!