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Parents and Family News: Published by the Parent and Family Association



Friday, September 7, 2012




Parent/Family Association Update

Dear MSU Parents & Families,

If you haven't visited Bozeman in the last two weeks, you've beenDr. Matthew Caires, Dean of Students missing out.  Bozeman and the MSU campus have simply transformed and come to life with returning students.  MSU is on track to have another record-breaking year for enrollment, and I suspect we will be announcing our largest incoming freshman class ever.  While all signs indicate that there's never been a better time to be at MSU, we are also facing new challenges to meet the needs of these incoming and returning students.  Parking, housing, and even class sizes are all being impacted by our incredible enrollment growth.  Many of our offices are currently working overtime to provide services for your students.

We are also happy to announce a number of new programs through our Parent and Family Association dedicated to teaching our parents and families about issues facing their student.  Our work is guided by the idea that parents are our partners in student success.  I invite you to take a look at our website and become familiar with the various programs that we'll be offering this upcoming semester.  If enrollment in these programs is anything like what we've seen in the last two weeks on campus, they will fill up quickly!

I hope to see you all at our upcoming Parent & Family Weekend on October 12-14th.  In the meantime, please let me, Erika or any staff member in the Dean of Students' office know how we can be helpful to you this year.

Go Cats!

Matthew R. Caires, Dean of Students



Parent & Family Weekend Registration Open

Join Us October 12-14 For A Full Weekend Hosted By Your Parent & Family Association

Registration for our annual Parent & Family Weekend is now open! You may register and pay for the weekend online. Our event will feature an after hours social for our families at the Museum of the Rockies, a Downtown Bozeman scavenger hunt, a Bobcat Football game, a Bobcat Women's Volleyball game, a President's Breakfast, and more. We encourage families to join us Friday through Sunday for our events. We will also be hosting our Fall semester Parent & Family board meeting after the President's Breakfast on Sunday, Oct 14th. All weekend participants are invited to attend!

A list of accommodations can be found here. Space is filling up so make plans today!

Register for the Parent & Family Weekend today!

2012-2013 Calendar of Events

Painting the M!

From athletics to community service and lectures to the outdoors, MSU has many events and opportunities for your student to be involved in the Bozeman community beyond the classroom. Click here for a calendar of the exciting events happening around MSU this year!

Involvement & Student Job Fairs

Helping Your Students Find Engagement and Employment Opportunities

The Student Involvement Fair connects both non-profits and registered student organizations to students, providing many opportunities to engage on campus and in the Bozeman community. The Student Involvement Fair will be held September 12, 2012 from 10AM - 4PM on MSU's Centennial Mall, weather permitting. Click the link above for more information.

Students seeking flexible, part time, temporary, work study, or other types of local employment should look no further than the MSU Student Employment Job Fair to be held September 11, 2012 in the Strand Union Ballrooms. Last year over a thousand students attended this fair and we anticipate even more will take advantage of this event this year. Encourage your student to attend!

MSU Facebook Covers

MSU PFA Facebook Covers

Show your Bobcat Pride with our series of new MSU Facebook Covers. There are even two parent and family focused covers!

Five Ways To Combat Homesickness
Over the past few weeks in the Parent & Family Association (PFA) Office, we have received a number of calls from parents asking what they can do to help their students with those twinges of homesickness. We have a few suggestions that you may want to try when you receive those difficult calls, texts, or emails.

1. Normalize The Experience. Let your student know that it is very normal to experience some homesickness, even beyond the first year. Not only are we asking them to do well in school, but we also ask students to build a new support system, get involved, possibly get a job, and do things like wash their clothes and eat well. It can take up to 21 days to create a routine and many of your students have created unintentional routines over the past 18-20 years. This adjustment takes time. Once a student makes it through the first six weeks, his or her chances of staying in school and graduating increases.

2. Appreciate The Challenge.
We student affairs professionals can be awfully touchy-feely at times. One philosophy we hold near and dear to our hearts is that without personal, professional, and academic challenges, students will not experience significant growth. Talk with your student what is uncomfortable about this situation and why it matters.

3. Connect Their Goals With This Transition. Now is a great time to have a conversation about what your student hopes to accomplish. Oftentimes, it is very difficult to understand how attending class, getting involved in a club, or writing a paper matters in the grand scheme of a student's college career. If you have not talked to your student about his or her goals and why being not only in college, but at MSU specifically matters, now is the time. Students who understand how the small steps lead to graduation are often more motivated in the difficult times. (hint: A student's goals for their first semester should go beyond a good GPA!)

4. Know Your Resources. One great way to support your student is to understand what resources and events are on campus. Signing up for this newsletter as well as the Bobcat Bulletin are great ways to ask your student pointed questions about his or her involvement without simply asking "are you doing anything fun?" Counseling and Psychological Services provide licensed counselors free for students paying the Student Health Fee (not necessarily the Student Health Insurance). We also encourage students to get involved with our Champ Change program which awards first and second year students for seeking out tutoring, writing help, and getting involved!

5. Let Us Help! We work carefully with a number of offices such as The Office for Student Success, Residence Life, and the Office for Activities & Engagement to engage your student in meaningful interactions. While it is easier for these offices to work with your student if they can say you contacted us, we also have some covert methods that feel comfortable to your student without mentioning you called. Partner with us so that we may support your student!

The Complete MSU A-Z List
MSU News Services created a helpful list for students and their families to answer many frequently asked questions and often sought resources. Click here and bookmark this link today!





Important Dates

September 10, 2012

Last Day to Drop Classes Online


September 10, 2012

Last Day to Add Classes via Paper Process


September 17, 2012

Last Day to Drop Classes via Paper Process without a Grade


September 18 - November 16, 2012

Withdrawn Courses Graded "W"


October 12-14, 2012

Parent & Family Weekend!


October 22, 2012

Advising & Course Selection for Spring 2013 Begins


November, 2012

Parent & Family Association Phone-a-Thon - Donate Today


November 6, 2012

Election Day - No Class, Offices Closed


November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day - No Class, Offices Closed


November 19, 2012

No Drops Allowed


November 21-23, 2012

Thanksgiving Holiday - No Classes, Offices Open November 21


December 10-14, 2012

Finals Week


January 9, 2013

Classes Begin


Term Calendar


Parent & Family Association
Montana State University
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Bozeman, MT 59717

Parent & Family Association

Erika Swanson

Parent/Family Association Website


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