student in cap and gown for graudation

At the Academic Advising Center, we provide students with the tools and resources necessary to navigate the University and make informed decisions. Your student’s academic advisor is committed to helping your student make a successful transition to the University, explore their interests and possibilities, develop an appropriate academic plan, and engage in educationally meaningful experiences.  


Can I join my student in their SOAR Appointment?

The relationship that students have with their academic advisor is one-on-one, between the student and your advisor; the SOAR Appointment is the beginning of that relationship. We encourage students to navigate this process on their own as they begin to take a more active role in their academic choices and other decisions.

That said, advisors know that parents, family members, or others in a student’s life may be involved in their education as well.  Part of the change from high school to college is that there is a federal law that protects the privacy rights of students – the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  In advising, this means that academic advisors are not allowed to share personal information about their students with anyone who is asking, including parents, without the consent of the student.

If your student would like you or others to be present or within listening distance of their SOAR Appointment, they must complete the Student Record Consent to give consent.

How can I support my student?

As students transition to college, parents and families experience a transition as well. In college, parents and families will find that their student is their best source of information since the student is the one pursuing the degree and the one with the relationship with faculty and staff. We know that parents and families are an important part of a student’s support team and we want to offer some ways for you to help: 

  • Ask your student if they read their University email regularly. The University email account is our primary mode of communicating with students, so it is important that students check this email regularly.  Students will miss out on important information if they are not reading emails sent to this account. 
  • Ask your student what they have done to problem solve when they run into challenges. As early as during the orientation experience, your student may have questions or face a situation where they need more information.  Encourage your student to think through their support system at the University (even though it is still in development). Who could they contact: Admissions? The Office of Student Financial Aid? Their advisor?  This is a skill that we will help them build during their time with us – knowing their support team and giving thought to who might be able to help. If you solve everything for them, they miss out on developing this important skill.
  • Encourage them to contact their advisor. We do our best to communicate with your student to let them know when it is time to schedule an appointment, but it is up to students to follow through and make the appointment. We appreciate if you ask about their experience with their advisor to ensure that they are taking advantage of this help. Students get out of advising what they put into it and we want to help them as much as possible.
  • Follow us on Instgram for timely updates from the Advising Center.
  • Check out the UI Parent Family Network for more ways to support your student and opportunities to get involved.