Thank you for taking the time to read through the content on this site. We hope you will use this information to support your student during their time at Penn State Altoona. Our services are for all students, regardless of where they live, and at any time throughout the year.
We hope you found our presentation, Critical Connections and Transitions for your Student, informative, thought-provoking, and reassuring. Below, you'll find the most significant takeaways. If you have questions after your NSO visit, please reach out using the contact information listed in this document. Best wishes to you and your student as you start your journey as Penn Staters!
- Your student is about to embark on a journey that involves an incredible amount of change and choices. They are practicing becoming an adult, meaning not every decision will be perfect. Help them see the learning moments whenever stumbles happen.
- Your student is not supposed to know how to do college! Offices are typically open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Googling questions with "Penn State Altoona" included will be a helpful first step! Please send them to the professionals (faculty, administration, staff) on campus who are here and want to help them.
- Your student will be navigating new peer relationships. If your student wants to make a big decision based on advice from peers, send them to the professionals. If your student is struggling with a conflict with their peers, encourage them to address it themselves first. Then, if that isn't working, we will be happy to help them with other strategies.
- Your role as the parent of a college student is different from your role when they were in high school. Work to encourage responsibility, enforce accountability, and remember that the learning experience of figuring out how to move forward from mistakes is vital to being a productive and healthy adult.
- First-year college students are mentally still high school students. There will be a learning curve. In junior year, we see the changes culminate, including healthy friendships.
- Our main goal is not to get your student a job; our primary goal is to provide them with a holistic and comprehensive education that enables them to live healthy lives and positively contribute to society. When this is done well, it will help them achieve gainful employment and navigate career changes throughout their lives. Your student's experience will be exponentially better if they get involved.
- Your student needs to participate in Welcome Week. Research shows that students who participate in Welcome Week programs report higher satisfaction with their college experience, feel more connected to the campus community, and are more likely to do well in their first year. Conversely, students who don't participate in Welcome Week report regret over missing the opportunity.
- College is not easy, but your student can do this! We care about them as individuals and about their success. We look forward to supporting them alongside you for the next two to four years!