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



Friday, October 23, 2016




Parent/Family Association Update

Greetings Parents,

We enjoyed getting to meet some of you at Parent Family Weekend. The weather was warmer than usual and the leaves turned a picturesque orange and yellow, which is unusual for Bozeman. We hope that you enjoyed time with your student and your time in Bozeman.

We hope that your students are starting to settle into college life, especially if it is their first year. Midterms are currently here. You might start to hear complaints from students about how tired and exhausted they are from studying for exams. Remember, as a parent, it is your job to encourage them; to assure them that they can succeed and thrive in their classes for the rest of the semester. They will appreciate the encouragement, even if they don't show it.

Your students will also be starting to register for spring semester classes in the next month. It’s an exciting time for students to look forward and make intriguing academic decisions leading to graduation. Make sure to ask your students what classes they’re thinking of taking and what kind of schedule they will have next semester.

As always, contact us if we can help in any way.


Erin Macdonald
Assistant Dean of Students
Director of Parent Family Programs

Kenzie and Gabe
PFA Assistant Coordinators



Advice to Achieve Success as a Student at MSU
We want to give you a few tips and tricks to achieve academic and social success at Montana State

1. Get involved. Students are constantly told, that the secret to success on campus is to join a club. It can be anything, and Montana State has everything from the Health Professions Club to Quidditch (like in Harry Potter) to Fraternity and Sorority Life. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus. The more involved students are, the happier they seem to be. They meet new people, try new and exciting things, and make connections with advisors and professors as well. We encourage you to talk to your student about joining a club or organization on campus, especially if they are having a hard time finding their niche. To see a full list of organizations, click here.

2. Set a schedule. Often times students find themselves overwhelmed with homework, reading, and studying for exams. As a parent, you know that staying organized is one of the keys to success in life, so it only makes sense that it would be beneficial to stay organized in college. Students don’t always think of setting a schedule, though. As a freshman, I can remember going to classes all day and taking naps in between classes, but then I was forced to do all my homework at night, staying in the library until 2am most nights. After realizing this was an inefficient use of my time during the day, I decided to set a study schedule. By scheduling library time like you would a class, students are forced to sit down and work on something, no matter how large or small. It helps take daunting assignments and break them into more manageable pieces. Because it is scheduled, students find themselves caught up on homework and feeling less stressed about the homework they do have.

3. Set SMART goals. If you’re not familiar with this method, it is a way of setting attainable goals. The goals must be Specific. Meaning that while it’s a good idea to “have an awesome semester,” it isn’t exactly specific enough to be attainable. They must be Measurable. Grades are a good example of this. If your student is planning on setting a GPA goal, make sure they are checking their grades online along the way. It makes their progress more measureable throughout the semester. Goals must be Attainable. Meaning that unless your student had a 4.0 in high school, it might not be the most realistic goal in college. Goals must be Relevant. This means that even though your student might want to successfully ski the Ridge at Bridger Bowl and that might be a good goal for the winter, it isn’t exactly relevant to academics. So advise them to set multiple SMART goals, pushing them to achieve socially and academically. Last, their goals must be Time-based. A good idea is to set a goal for the end of the semester but pencil in “check-in dates” to see how close the goal is to being achieved. If your student sets goals like this, they will find success in college.

Service Saturdays:
he MSU Office of Activities and Engagement will host Service Saturday November 7th at 9:30am

Service Saturdays are held on the first Saturday of the month, and offer a great way for community members and students to foster relationships while working to enhance Bozeman through service projects .Plan to meet at the Ask Us Desk in the Strand Union Building (SUB) fifteen minutes early. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Transportation will be provided if the project is not within walking distance of MSU. No registration necessary; just come and bring your friends!

November Projects:
Cancer Support Community, Can the Griz, Gallatin Rest Home, Good Neighbor Bag Distribution, and Habitat for Humanity. For a better description of these events, please use the link below, and encourage your student to begin attending every month.

Check out this link for specific project details or more information.

Some of you have requested information regarding scholarships that may be available to your student. There is no easy way to automatically be eligible for many of the scholarships here at Montana State, but there are many scholarships available to your student; it might just take some looking.

Scholarship applications are available through each department at MSU, as well as through the many clubs and extracurricular programs on campus. The following link has a list of scholarships that are available just through Montana State University. If your student is involved in other clubs, I advise you to look online and see what is available through that organization. For example, sororities and fraternities all have scholarships available to their members, which are accessible online. Make sure to pay close attention to the year in school that is required of many scholarships. Many are only available to a specific class, like current juniors enrolled at MSU, or some scholarships may be dependent upon the number of credits your student is taking. Pay close attention to details like this prior to drafting a long scholarship application. We wish you and your student the best of luck in your search for scholarships. Please use the following link.

Winter Break Shuttle:
Karst Stage bus company will be providing a shuttle for students from the residence halls to the airport. This will allow students to leave for winter break without leaving their vehicle at the airport. The shuttle from MSU to the airport will be available December 10-12. The shuttle from the airport to MSU campus will be available January 10-11. If you’re interested in this service, please follow the link that is attached to sign up. Note, this service will not be available for Thanksgiving break.Link.

Meet our new Team Member

My name is Kenzie Redmond. I am a senior in cell biology and neuroscience and am currently applying to physician assistant school for next year. I was born and raised in the Bozeman area and have grown to appreciate its beauty. I am a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and have held seven leadership positions in my time at MSU. I attribute much of my success to my parents who have been nothing but encouraging of my decisions throughout college. I can honestly say my appreciation for my parents has only increased as I have grown. My mother is a writer as well as a new graduate student here at MSU. I have enjoyed grabbing coffee in-between classes to chat, catch up, and complain about how much homework we have to do. My father is a geotechnical engineer who got his undergraduate degree right here at MSU. My dad holds season football tickets at MSU and we never fail to grab a burger before kickoff. Together we like to explore the beautiful mountains that Bozeman has to offer. The picture of us is in the Bridger Mountain range from a family hike. We also enjoy going out to grab dinner downtown on a fairly regular basis. My parents have helped me celebrate the most exciting moments in my undergraduate college career and have helped me through the most difficult times. My best advice to a parent who has just said goodbye to their student, would be that despite what we might say on the phone, we are very thankful to have you. You support us emotionally and financially, and once the stress of the week subsides, we are so thankful to have such great and caring parents.

I joined the Parent Family Association team at the end of the summer and have enjoyed every minute. I love chatting with parents on the phone and in person as they learn what college life is like for their students. College is a new experience for both the student and the parent and I enjoy helping families adjust to the change. I look forward to getting to know the parents of Montana State throughout the next year.





Important Dates

November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day


November 25-27, 2015

Thanksgiving Break


December 4, 2015

End of the semester


Term Calendar


Parent & Family Association
Montana State University
PO Box 174220
Bozeman, MT 57917

Parent & Family Association

Erin Macdonald

Parent/Family Association Website


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Montana State University Parent & Family Association
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717-4220 | | 406-994-7359

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