For Parents

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For Parents

Suggested Reading
  • Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Mind, by Richard Light
  • Don't Tell What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years, by Helen E. Johnson
  • When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent's Survival Guide, by Carol Barkin
  • Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College, by Patricia Pasick
  • A New Beginning: A Survival Guide for Parents College Freshman, by Kaye Bernard
  • Let the Journey Begin: A Parents Monthly Guide to the College Experience, by Jacqueline MacKay & Wanda Ingram
  • Letting Go A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger
  • You're on Your Own (But I'm Here If You Need Me) Mentoring Your Child During the College Years, by Marjorie Savage
Communication Policy

Parents and guardians will occasionally solicit information from faculty, advisers, and others regarding their student's performance and experience. We recognize that such requests reflect the wish to support the personal and academic success of their sons and daughters. This document has been prepared for the parents of entering students to describe our parent-notification policies and to explain the goals and constraints that influence how we handle conversations with parents and guardians.

Denison's Student Handbook articulates in its forward our guiding philosophy regarding our students:

Denison regards its students as moral agents who are capable of assuming primary responsibility for conducting their lives and making their decisions. Central to the mission of the University is the continual development of a community of respect, in which the principles of human dignity and ethical integrity are paramount. Rational dialogue and discourse determine the character of our interaction with each other.

All members of the University's staff, including faculty, administrators, support staff and student staff, recognize that our students have varying levels of maturity, as well as a range of experience levels with regard to decision-making and self-advocacy. We view the college experience as an important opportunity for developing the skills that will help them become effective and responsible adults.

In our conversations with parents and guardians, Denison staff must balance several concerns: our goal of establishing effective relationships with students ourselves, which must be premised on trust and confidentiality; a desire to avoid inserting ourselves in the middle of the parent-child relationship; and a wish to speak openly and honestly with parents about our observations of their sons and daughters. As a general rule and in an effort to protect the integrity of our relationships with students, we avoid sharing with parents insights and information gleaned from  private conversations with students, since those conversations are undertaken with the presumption of confidentiality.

When asked for grade or academic performance information, we will encourage parents first to try to obtain the information they seek directly from their student. If parents are unable to obtain the information they seek from their student, there are legal conditions in which we may be able to provide the necessary data for students who are legal dependents and under the age of 21. That said, we are always willing to explain policies and protocols of the University and to consult with parents as they counsel their sons and daughters.

There are three general areas in which decisions must occasionally be made to contact parents regarding their students. These are described below.

Further questions about Denison's Parent Notification Procedures can be directed to the Dean of First-Year Students or to the specific office involved: the Office of the Registrar, Health and Counseling Services, or the Office of Student Development. Office of First-Year Programs.