Career and Professional Development Center

Welcome, Parents

Whether your student is beginning his or her first or last year of college, it is important to think about career development and how to improve your student’s chances of obtaining a job after graduation. In a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey, students identified their parents as a primary source of career information and support. Researchers have found that close relationships with family help students adjust to college life, make effective career and relationship choices, and develop self-confidence and a sense of personal autonomy, all important attributes to successful career planning and development.

Therefore, we believe it is critical for parents to understand, support, and encourage their students to take advantage of the opportunities available to them in the Career Center.

Getting involved

As a parent, you can get involved in several ways:

  • Encourage your student to visit us and to "come early and come often" to learn more about the services we offer;
  • Encourage your student to participate in career oriented events, events that are created with the goal of preparing your student for success after graduation
  • Stay informed on internship possibilities and opportunities


In addition, we have several resources available to parents to help them better understand their role in their student’s process of choosing a degree program, gaining experience in their chosen career field, and to assist them in the job search process.

Become familiar with your role by reading the following resource guides from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE):

Web sites and Publications





10 Wise Decisions Your College Student can Make to Improve His GPA

If your college student is struggling academically, she (and you) may be wondering how to improve her situation. You are probably encouraging her to do everything that she can to do better. Most students who are in difficulty – perhaps even on academic warning or academic probation – want to do better, but many do not know what to do.


What to Send in a Care Package

College students love receiving mail. Sending your college student a care package is one of the best ways to let your child know that you are thinking of him. Here are some item ideas to make a care package that your college student will love.


Why Your College Student Might Want to Become a Peer Tutor

Tutoring can make the difference of academic success for many students. Having a tutor can mean that a student has a stronger grasp of the course material and may receive a better grade. Most of us understand why a student may want to get a tutor.


Supporting Your College Freshman

Because you are concerned about your son or daughter making a successful transition to college, and because your support is a critical factor in that transition, we offer this section on what your son or daughter will experience in college and what you can do to help.


Visit Your Career Services Office Today

It may be difficult for college freshmen to get very excited about their senior year job search, so early in their college experiences. However, the Career Services Office at your college can play a critical role in your employment success. That’s why every college student should make an appointment to visit the office in their freshman year.


Parent’s Guide to College and Careers: How to Help, Not Hover

An experienced career counselor and college academic advisor, Barbara Cooke presents a practical, straightforward approach to guiding teens toward satisfying careers. She proficiently counters the helicopter parent effect by advising parents how to help their teens consider college and career options in a cooperative and constructive way without micromanaging.


Reasons Why Your College Student Might Not Graduate in Four Years

According to national statistics, the average for students graduating from college is now five years rather than four years. Objectively, we may hear that statistic and find it moderately interesting.


When Your College Student Changes Majors

It may come during a phone call. It may come through an e-mail. Or it may come during a visit home. Your college student lets you know that he is changing his major. Although some parents may quietly celebrate, for many other parents this is disconcerting, if not frightening, news. The most important thing to remember is – don’t panic!


10 Tips for Parents of Prospective College Students

Be sure to check out 10 tips that every parent should know about before sending their child to college.


A Career Planning Course for Parents

Choosing a career is a process students go through, including assessing skills, interests, and abilities; exploring majors and career options; experimenting with possible career options; and organizing and conducting a job or graduate school search.


A Parents' Guide to Career Development

One of the most valuable things parents can do to help a student with career planning is listen: be open to ideas, try to help your student find information, and be nonjudgmental. Here are 10 other ways you can help.


Detour Ahead: Taking a Gap Year After Graduation

According to a recent article in The New York Times, career practitioners across the country encounter growing numbers of college students, especially in the liberal arts, who want to "take a year off" after graduation rather than go directly to graduate school or interview for serious career positions.


Help Your New Grad Find a Job

What can you do to assist your son or daughter in finding a job?


Hovering Parents Enter Career Air Space

Many parents are "meddling" in their children's career exploration and/or job search. Employers are taking notice--and some are trying to bring parents into the loop.


Parents Have Their Say... About Their College-Age Children's Career Decisions

Families, parents and guardians in particular, play a significant role in the occupational aspirations and career goal development of their children. Without parental approval or support, students and young adults are often reluctant to pursue—or even explore—diverse career possibilities.


Top 10 Career Strategies for Freshmen and Sophomores

The top 10 things you can do during college to make yourself marketable at job-search time.

For further reading, view our A Reading List for Parents.

Additional information

  • Confused by some of the terminology? Check out Words to Know – courtesy of our friends at College Prowler.
  • Review your student’s Four Year Plan, which helps students identify concrete steps they can take to help them explore their options and make good career decisions.
  • Visit the "Virtual Career Center" and encourage your student to do likewise.
  • Review the Family Member Checklist for great suggestions.
  • Review our FAQs page or send your own question to us at And remember the only dumb question is the one not asked. We’re happy to assist you!
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