Family Orientation

Parents as Partners

In this section we will explore the ways in which we can partner with one another to help ensure your student's success. We want your students to make the most of this new experience - ultimately earning their degree and graduating from UWRF. We have 5 goals for our new students. As we review each goal, we'll provide examples of how UWRF can support your student and what help we need from you.

NSFP Goals for New Students

Throughout the New Student Registration program and our orientation programs this fall, we aim for students to reach the following goals:

Goal One: Develop confidence and competence as a university student

The transition from high school to college brings significant changes in expectations, relationships, independence, and workload. We work to prepare students to have the tools and understanding to approach these changes with confidence.

There are many learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom for your student at UW-River Falls, including involvement experiences, clubs and organizations, undergraduate research, studying abroad, and more. Students will work with an academic advisor in their major as well as others to make informed decisions about their area of study. This process begins today. Students will be connecting with an academic advisor who will help them choose classes for their first semester at UW-River Falls and will talk with them about their path to graduation. Each semester, students are required to connect with their assigned advisor to make sure they are taking courses that are right for them.

Students have many resources outside of their academic advisors to help them be academically successful. Resources include Career Services, Student Health and Counseling Services, free tutoring within the Student Success Center, Ability Services, multicultural and LGBTQ+ student services within the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Office, and more.

As a family member, you can support your student by encouraging them, asking questions, being patient, providing space for them to explore, and helping direct them to campus resources when you feel they may need to reach out.

Goal Two: Students will establish positive connections with faculty, staff, and classmates

Developing meaningful relationships with staff and peers across campus helps ensure that when students need help, they have people to support them. Our programs provide opportunities for students to introduced to their professors, peers, and resources on campus. As soon as students arrive on campus in the fall for the Week of Welcome, there are countless opportunities to connect with their peers, faculty, and staff on campus.

Friendships and connections on campus are important for students' perseverance at college. Students who feel they have people and places that are important to them are more likely to be successful academically. You can support these relationships by encouraging your student to attend things like the Week of Welcome (starting the weekend before classes begin), weekly on-campus social and educational events, and even reaching out to their professors when they have questions or interests. If you feel your student is having a hard time getting connected, the Involvement Center on campus is a great place to encourage your student to visit.

Goal Three: Understand the impact of their personal choices

For many students, college may be the first time that they are making most big decisions that impact their future. Being on their own, they will have choices of how much time they dedicate to studying outside of class, how much time they spend visiting with friends, and whether they take action when needed. It will be their responsibility to keep up their grades, monitor their student billing and financial aid, and manage their conduct as a student and UWRF community member. Choosing to seek help, get involved, and talking to their professors will be up to them.

Goal Four: Engage in behaviors that promote their personal health and well-being

With the many changes occurring as students transition to college, it is not uncommon for them to struggle with stress, well-being, time management, and making healthy choices. Mental health concerns are common among college students, as many are entering this new-found independence and responsibility for the first time.

Your student will be presented with choices every day that may or may not support their personal health. Whether it is maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle or making responsible choices related to drug and alcohol usage, UW-River Falls offers plenty of resources to help students take the best care of themselves.

It can be difficult for you to monitor these behaviors from a distance but watch for signs of distress. You know your student best, so if you notice changes in behavior, communication, sleep patterns, or other things that seem like red flags, address your concerns directly with your student and campus officials as needed.

Goal Five: Recognize themselves as a member of a diverse campus community

The UWRF campus is made up of students with all different identities, and we continue to work to build an inclusive campus community. As a member of this community, your student is part of what makes our diverse campus so special. We strive to help students see and celebrate all the things that make us different, while embracing the notion that together we are all Falcons.

We will challenge students to think more broadly about the views of others, as well as examine their own ideas and values. These conversations will be happening both inside and outside the classroom through discussions and debates, programs, events, and social connections. This can be challenging for some of our students - this experience will likely feel different than their high school experience.

Every campus community member should feel safe and respected, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, political views, socioeconomic status, or otherwise. If a student feels concerned about an experience they have had that makes them feel otherwise, we have resources on campus for students to connect with to address these concerns.

You can assist your student with this transition and openness to new views and cultures by encouraging your student to learn from others while on campus. Be open to conversations with your student as they examine their own beliefs and values.

Contact Us

New Student and Family Programs


M-F, 8:00am - 4:30pm

Rodli Hall 226, Student Success Center

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