Help your student on the path to academic success, and find answers to common questions.
With an investment in Concordia-Chicago, your child will have:
- Access to smaller classes and personalized support
- Professors who know them personally and are invested in their goals
- A well-rounded curriculum based on a strong, Christian, liberal arts foundation
- Student peers who go on to the best graduate schools in the country
- An affordable education with financial assistance for 100 percent of full-time undergraduates
- A safe, suburban environment near Chicago, which has the opportunities and academic resources to prepare students for life after graduation.
If you are a parent of a current CUC student, contact the Office of Student Transitions & Family Programs at 708-209-3036.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), otherwise known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that ensures the privacy of your student’s educational records. Once a student turns 18, or enters a college or university, they gain primary responsibility for determining who is able to access their educational record. Students and their families will learn more about FERPA and students will receive a release form. More information about FERPA, and the Office overseeing compliance, can be found here.
Once your son or daughter is admitted to CUC, you can take advantage of Concordia Connect to help your college-bound high school student stay on track with various deadlines. However, once your son or daughter goes through Jump Start, they will then be considered a student and parents will no longer have access to Concordia Connect.
Jump Start is required for all new students entering Concordia University Chicago. This program is uniquely designed to set your student up for success. Within the Jump Start program they will become familiar with many of the key offices and departments they will need to prepare for the upcoming fall semester.
The orientation program consists of a series of modules; your student should plan on spending a total of 2 hours competing their Jump Start. The session links will be active from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. (central time). This experience will include several short videos and a library of resources that will aid in your student’s transition to Concordia-Chicago. They will have the ability to stop and resume at any time during their Jump Start hours. The resource library will remain open and accessible throughout the summer.
Through these modules, they can expect to learn more about:
- First-year experience course
- Academic support services
- Counseling services and health clinic
- Involvement opportunities
- Intercollegiate athletics
- Public safety and parking permits
- Residence life and meal plans
- Technology support and resources
IMPORTANT: All first-year students must complete an online math placement exam BEFORE their Academic Advising appointment. The online ALEKS exam may be repeated up to five times; the highest score will be the one used by academic advising to assist with course placement.
Finally, prior to your student’s jump start orientation date, a representative from the following offices will be contacting them:
- Academic Advising- finalizing fall class schedule
- Financial Aid (if applicable) – Highly recommended parents join this conversation with their student
- Student Business Services (payment plans) – Highly recommended parents join this conversation with their student
We are all very excited to have you as part of our Concordia-Chicago Family!
Parents are not required to attend but are strongly encouraged to participate in Virtual Jump Start. As a parent, you are also joining the CUC community with your son or daughter. Concordia-Chicago wants you to be knowledgeable about your son or daughter’s experience and the assets that are available to you.
- To ensure your son or daughter receives the maximum amount of financial aid available, it is recommended to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as soon as possible after January 1 of every year. The first step in finishing the FAFSA is to complete your tax return at the start of the year. Learn more about the FAFSA and Concordia University Chicago’s Scholarships and Financial Aid.
- Pay careful attention to communications from the Office of Financial Planning and note any upcoming deadlines.
- Maximize your scheduled time with a Financial Planning staff member during Jump Start by completing any requirements ahead of time.
- You can help your son or daughter weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different types of meal plans, housing options and class selection.
It is our goal to assist you in supporting the transition and academic success of your student. We serve as the communication link between the University and parents. We recognize you know your student best and ask you to reach out to the Office of Student Leadership/Orientation/Family programs as a resource when you feel your student needs extra support on campus or when you have a question or concern.
Joan Henehan, Senior Director, is happy to assist you in any way.
Send a Care Package – You may wish to contact Sodexo Dining Services to order birthday cakes, baskets and much more.
Packages, letters and cards from home are delivered daily to the Concordia-Chicago post office and ready for pick-up by students who live on campus. All residential students have a mailbox number. Send your college student a care package, letter or card as often as you like. To avoid delays or problems with delivery, address mail/packages to a complete address and mailbox number:
Student’s Full Name
7400 Augusta Street
River Forest, IL 60305
Important Contacts for Parents and Families at Concordia University Chicago
If you have questions or concerns about your student’s CUC experience but you don’t know who to contact, the Division of Student Life and the Dean of Students office are good places to start. The Office of the Dean of Students is open from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays when the University is closed. The phone number is 708-209-3498. Parents of residential students can also be connected to the appropriate residence hall staff members by calling this number.
Additionally, The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement coordinate parent communication and programming. Please contact Joan Henehan, Senior Director of Student Leadership and Development at 708-209-4075 or Joan.Henehan@CUChicago.edu.
Additional helpful information for parents can be found on the links listed below:
- Academic Advising (for undergraduate students)
- Academic Calendars
- Academic Center for Excellence (Learning Assistance)
- Campus Safety
- Counseling Center
- Financial Aid
- Health and Safety Services
- Honor Code
- Online Payment Options
- Residence Life
- Student Life
Access to Student Records
The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), otherwise known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that ensures the privacy of your student’s educational records. Once a student turns 18 or enters a college or university, they gain primary responsibility for determining who is able to access their educational record.
Students will receive a release form when they attend Jump Start and students and their families will learn more about FERPA during the program. More information about FERPA, and the federal office overseeing compliance, can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Helping Your Student Find Solutions
The idea of “challenge and support” (The College Student, Stanford 1962) means that student services staff are available to help your students with all their endeavors (support) while being able to take a step back in order to let your student try new things or take chances (challenge) in order to encourage personal growth and development. This philosophy doesn’t ensure success in everything, but gives students the opportunity to learn with a little help along the way.
As fewer and fewer students grow up sharing bedrooms and bathrooms, conflicts inevitably arise once students live in the close quarters of a residence hall. In addition, students are expected to work together in class on group projects, serve on committees and groups together, and take on the responsibilities of athletic team membership. Some things to consider when the time comes to help your student problem-solve:
- Ask him/her about what actions they have already taken.
- Ask him/her if they have communicated the issue to the person in question.
- Encourage him/her to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.
- Ask him/her what would be the ideal situation or what they would like to accomplish.
- Help him/her brainstorm options to solve or alleviate the situation.
College is a transition process for both students and parents. Maybe this is your first child starting college and it can be an emotional roller-coaster. Or perhaps you have been through this process once or twice and you’re an expert! But in either case, each child is different and you know them best. This is an exciting time for both of you! We decided to put together a list of helpful tips on adjusting to this new phase of both your life and the life of your son or daughter.
Keep In Touch
- This is a transition process for them and knowing they have a support system is essential for their personal and academic growth. At the same time, over communication can do more harm than good. They are learning how to be independent and must be given that. What’s best is maybe a phone call once a week or a text from time to time, just to check-in and see how things are going. Please note that you probably won’t receive an answer to every text. College students have a lot on their plate. It’s not healthy to keep an “electronic leash” anyone.
Set Financial Expectations and Boundaries
- It is in your best interest to look into getting a debit or credit card for your son or daughter before they begin the semester. Set expectations on how to spend their money wisely. Just because they have money doesn’t mean they should spend money. You might want to create a budget with them that allocates certain amounts of money for certain necessities. From time to time, they might spend money on something that they wanted more than they needed (such as a meal at a restaurant, a movie ticket, a concert ticket, etc). All of which is fine unless they are budgeting accordingly.
Encourage Your Son or Daughter to Get Involved
- The best thing your son or daughter can do during their first few weeks at CUC is to get involved in clubs and activities on campus. This is how they meet new people and make friends! The Office of Student Leadership & Involvement has multiple events for students every week so there is no excuse not having something to do.
- Academics should be your son or daughter’s number one priority. Everything else should be secondary. If you see they are struggling in a class, encourage them to seek extra help from the Academic Center for Excellence or from their professor. Students are more likely to succeed when they know they have people they can turn to in these times of difficulty.
Teach Basic Life Skills
- If your son or daughter will be living on campus, it is imperative they learn basic life skills. Laundry is a huge one. Being away from home means being responsible for oneself and belongings. Encourage them to get used to doing their own laundry, if they don’t do it already (it is free to all residential students). Another important life skill is to keep a clean room. It won’t be a bad idea to review the instructions on how to use a microwave either!
Don’t Try and Fix Their Problems
- Up until now, you probably have kept tabs on your student’s grades. Professors will not speak with you about their grades and are legally prohibited in doing so due to FERPA regulations. In college, students will have to work out their problems for themselves. If your child has been used to you taking care of these issues, it is now time for them to learn how to deal with the challenges that life throws at them. This builds an important life skill called “resilience.” It will be hard seeing your child struggle and at time, they might even fail. Brainstorming problem-solving skills will help them not only face their struggles but they can overcome them.
Don’t React to Your Student’s Emotions
- As much as we want our children to be happy all the time, they will have stressful days and anxious nights. This is part of adjusting to a new chapter in their life. During these times, they might break down and call you and dump all of their feelings on you. This can be unexpected and perhaps frightening but our children expect us to be their anchor. The best thing is to not react to how they are feeling, rather to just listen carefully. You don’t want to make it worse by getting upset. Remember, you don’t want to fix their problems for them but what you can do is ask if they need help solving whatever problem they are facing. The best thing you can do is listening.
Refrain From Saying “These are the best years of your life”
- A student’s time in college can be filled with indecision, insecurities, mistakes, failures, and disappointments. But they are also a time of discovery and excitement. If a student hears that phrase about them being in the best years of their life, it can actually create a counter- productive situation that actually work against a student’s self-development. A parent who accepts and understands the highs and lows of college is in fact providing the support that is most needed.
- Though the transition is a process for everyone. Take comfort in knowing that your student is part of an amazing community and is not considered a member of the CUC family.
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