The Pennsylvania State University, through New Student Orientation (NSO), provides families with the opportunity to participate in a program coordinated with the students' educational planning and academic advising activities. One of the goals is to help you understand your student's abilities and how these relate to the academic programs and requirements of the University.
We believe that your participation is helpful to your student, and we encourage you to attend NSO. We have a program specifically designed for parents and supporters to learn how you can support your student while they are in college. College is an opportunity for your student to begin making decisions on their own. It is critical for them to take responsibility for their choices of classes, schedules, and majors—they are the ones who must attend class, work hard, and earn their grades. Penn State University advisors are expert resources for them to use as they make these important decisions. Encourage your student to establish a good relationship with his or her advisor. That advisor will be a reliable source of information, someone your student can go to with any question or problem.
We hope that parents will review the NSO material with their first year student and encourage them to take responsibility for getting answers to their questions. At NSO, while general academic information will be given to you and your student in a room together, the students will develop their class schedule in consultation with academic advisors while parents are attending parent and supporter sessions. While it may be tempting for you to intervene on their behalf, we urge you to trust your student and us. We have had years of experience working with academic decision-making. We have their best interests and their success at the core of our philosophy.
After returning home, if you have any questions or concerns please stop by or call the Academic Advising Center. It is located 160 Franco and the phone number is 610-396-6280. One of our professional advisors will be happy to assist you.
Parents and family members are highly encouraged to attend the parent and supporter break-out sessions during NSO. These sessions will provide an opportunity for questions and discussion with staff from academic affairs, student affairs, and other Penn State parents.
Other important websites for parents/families: