Plans for Student Success

How Parents Can Help

Supporting your student on their path to success is just one of the many ways you can enable them to reach their educational and career goals. With a variety of resources available through Student Career Development at SSU, your student will soon discover and be equipped with the necessary tools needed to pursue and attain their desired career. For more information how you can help as a parent, click here!


Your student just left for (or returned to) college and doesn't seem to have clear, career-oriented goals for their future. Below are tips geared for parents who want to support their child on their pathway to success.(Information courtesy of the National Association for Colleges and Employers) 

For First-Year StudentsWhat you can do to help:

      • Support your child's exploration of new areas of study and interests. 
      • Remind your child of the areas, skills, and abilities he or she consistently demonstrates. 
      • Discuss with your child the courses and activities he or she may be enjoying. Encourage them to participate in on-campus organizations to meet other students and explore their interests further.
      • Don't panic if your child is excited about majoring in something like english, history, or art. They may be suitable matches for your child's interests and skills.
      • Support your child's balance in achieving and maintaining success in the classroom and involvement in campus activities.
      • Urge your child to seek assistance in the Student Career Development office. Most institutions have assessment instruments and counselors to help students define their skills, interests, and abilities.

For Second-Year Students. What you can do to help:

      • Urge your child to seek assistance in the Student Career Development office if you feel your their choice of major and/or career is proving to be a barrier in their success. Students may have difficulty making a "final" choice because they fear they may make the wrong choice.
      • Suggest that your child talk with faculty and career advisers about potential paths they could take with different majors.
      • Suggest "shadowing" someone you know that is in your child's desired career field. These individuals may be willing to share information with students about their careers.

For Third-Year Students. What you can do to help:

      • Encourage your child to use the resources available at Student Career Development. Faculty and staff can often assist your child in taking the necessary steps when finding opportunities to test career choices. 
      • Encourage your child to gain exposure and experience in his or her field of career interest. Involvement outside the classroom is valuable to tailoring their skills.
      • Internships or summer experiences are often crucial aspects in landing a job in today's job market. Suggest that your child pursue this type of experience to increase their chances in landing their dream job. Provide them with networking contact and names, but do not conduct the search for them. Personal communication is significant at this stage in their career development.

For Fourth-Year or Graduating Students. What you can do to help:

      • Encourage continued use of resources and visits to the Student Career Development office. Resources may include:
        • Workshops related to resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, etc.
        • Individual career advising
        • Job-search techniques
        • On-campus interviewing opportunities
        • Career Fairs and Events
      • Use positive reinforcement if job-searching is not going as planned.
      • Don't be too overbearing.
      • Don't contact potential employers on your child's behalf. Offer your child networking advice and contacts, if needed.
      • Be prepared to support your child through the ups and downs of the job and graduate school search. 

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