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Guide for Parents & Student Supporters
We're here to help your student

WELCOME TO THE SLC FAMILY

Choosing the right education is a big decision. We've created this guide for SLC parents & student supporters to help during this exciting transition.

President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt smiles in a selfie taken in his office.
Welcome Message from President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt

Welcome to St. Lawrence College!

At SLC we put students first. With this value in mind, we created a portal as a tool for parents, guardians, and members of a student’s support system to help your student transition to college life. We want you to be aware of the many services and supports dedicated to helping our students succeed. The more information we can share, the better off our students will be.

Our students will learn with us, grow with us, and build relationships in a community where everyone belongs. I look forward to welcoming all new students to where we are all #ProudtobeSLC!

Our CAMPUSES

Visit St. Lawrence College virtually.

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RESOURCES

At SLC we offer multiple services and resources focusing on student success. We want students to feel welcomed and supported throughout their journey at SLC. 

Common Scenarios

Your student might contact you if they are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. We're here to help! We've put together a list of common scenarios and steps that you can take to support them.

It’s October and your student who had an 85% average in Highschool returns from classes one day and tells you they failed an exam. They express how that several their courses do not interest them and that they are beginning to question their program choice. The student is starting to feel panicked and lose their motivation

Issues in this Scenario:

  • Shifting gears from high school and adjusting to the demands of college studies
  • Concerns about academic success
  • Learning appropriate skills
  • Establishing an educational direction

 

How You Can Help:

  • Realize that the demands of university academic are very different from those of high school. Have reasonable expectations. A significant drop in grades compared to high school is common, and an “F” in one exam or even a course does not signal an inappropriate program choice
  • Encourage your student to access the various academic supports on campus and to take part in study groups with other students, and to visit professors and instructors during their office hours if they need assistance or clarification.
  • If your student lives at home, help them to set up a suitable study space.

 

Supports at St. Lawrence College:

  • Academic Support Centre
  • Student Success Facilitators

Your student lives in residence on campus away from home. During a visit home you notice that they seem unusually quiet and withdrawn. When you ask, they initially deny that there’s any problem but later admit that they’re missing their family and old friends and are having trouble establishing new relationships. Indeed, they tell you that they’re feeling insignificant and out of place and that they’re worried about being able to fit in.

Issues in this Scenario:

  • Separating from familiar people and places
  • Adjusting to a new environment
  • Developing an identity on campus
  • Establishing new social support systems

 

How you can Help: 

  • Be available and willing to listen. Be prepared for mixed emotions, especially during the first few weeks. Pay attention to your student’s feelings and try not to trivialize their concerns, e.g., “But, these are the best years of your life!”
  • If your student is living away from home, avoid asking whether they’re homesick. If they are (even just a little) being reminded of it can make things worse. Use phone calls, e-mails, text messages, Facetime/Skype, social media, and letters (in moderation) to stay in touch (even if they don’t respond immediately). Visit (but not too often). Send pictures and “care packages” of some of their favourite things. Most students - even the most seemingly fiercely independent - need the security of family ties.

 

Supports at St. Lawrence College

  • URSLC (Events)
  • Student Government (Events)
  • Accessibility and Counselling

You know that mid-term examinations are approaching, and assignments are due. Your student seems unusually tired and anxious. You overhear them telling a friend that they’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. They indicate that they just can’t seem to get a handle on the system and to manage the workload along with everything else that’s expected of them. They’re wondering whether they have what it takes to succeed at College. 

Issues in the Scenario:

  • Adjusting to college culture including changes in academic demands, structures, and responsibilities
  • Understanding academic and administrative policies and procedures
  • Managing greater freedom and flexibility in combination with independent learning and increased personal responsibility
  • Learning time-management skills

 

How you can help:

  • Encourage your student to familiarize themselves with the college’s academic policies and procedures. Become aware of them yourself. They are outlined in St. Lawrence College’s Academic Policies webpage. Having knowledge ahead of time can prevent poor decision-making later and it is the expectation of the college that students acquaint themselves with this information.
  • Resist the urge to “rescue” or “fix it” as doing this will deprive your student of the opportunity to develop their own problem solving skills, resources and resilience. Rather, offer suggestions or direct them to campus services.
  • Recognize that, unlike high school, the university lifestyle often requires students to be on campus beyond the “9 to 5” routine. They may have classes or labs that start as early as 8 a.m. or end after 9 p.m. As well, group and, particularly, studio work often take place in the evening or on weekends, sometimes extending into the early morning hours.
  • Remind your student of the role of “the three R’s” when it comes to self-care and stress management - Relaxation, Recreation, and Relationships. All of these helps to create a balanced lifestyle and to recharge one’s mental, emotional and physical batteries.

 

Supports at St. Lawrence College:

  • Academic Policies: CLICK HERE
  • Student Success Facilitators
  • Accessibility and Counselling
  • Academic Support Centre

Your student is living off campus in a shared apartment. While they received some government financial assistance, it was a lower amount than anticipated. You agreed to pay tuition fees with the understanding your student would be responsible for other expenses. They saved some money from summer employment but are not currently working in order to focus on their studies. It is now November, and you receive an email indicating they are low on cash and asking for a money transfer to pay next month’s rent.

Issues in this Scenario:

  • Learning to manage financial resources
  • If living away from home, adjusting to a more restrictive budget and greater financial independence

How you can help: 

  • Talk about money matters before school starts. Help your student draw up a realistic budget and discuss with them a financial plan that will ensure sufficient resources to cover expenses. Revisit the budget created at mid-year and year’s end. Address the responsibilities and consequences associated with using credit cards.
  • Work with your student to develop strategies for resisting overspending and for ensuring that they have savings should an emergency arise.
  • Discuss the impact of working part-time on their studies. It is generally not advisable for students carrying a full course load (five to six courses), particularly those just beginning university, to work more than 12 - 15 hours a week. In cases where it is necessary for your student to work more than this, explore the possibility of a reduced course load.
  • Be clear and open about the amount of financial support you are able to offer and for what purposes (e.g. tuition, books and supplies, rent).

 

Supports at St. Lawrence College:

  • OSAP/Scholarships/Hardship Bursary
  • Financial Aid offices
  • Student Government Food Bank Services
  • St. Lawrence College: Learning Resources

Month by Month

At SLC we're committed to providing your student with a great experience. We have put together a calendar with important dates and exciting events throughout the academic year. 

 

  1. Smart Start: A FREE event to help students get a head start on their college journey by connecting the student with services, staff, and fellow classmates. 
  2. Orientation: Orientation typically involves several organized events that are designed to help students meet others on campus while providing an opportunity to get acclimated to the city and to campus life and to learn more about their program of studies.
  3. Classes begin on the day after Labour Day. As classes progress, first-year students often realize that they need to learn how to handle new academic responsibilities (e.g., meeting deadlines, reading several chapters in one week). At the same time, many will understandably want to participate in social activities such as campus clubs and organizations. In some cases, misgivings about program suitability might arise as early as the first few weeks of classes. 

Happenings in September:

  • Labor Day (College Closed)
  • Orientation- Tuesday after Labour Day
  • Classes commence for Full and Part-Time programs- Wednesday after Orientation Day
  • Intramural Signups via Athletics- ImLeagues Information

 

Final Date to drop a class and be eligible for a refund

  • A full refund if the course is cancelled by the college. A refund less an administrative fee if the withdrawal request is received in writing/email 10 business days after semester/course start date.

 

Insurance Opt-Out Information

  • Opt-out deadline dates are the end of the first month of your coverage for the academic year and are strictly adhered to. These dates also apply to changing plans and Family opt-ins.
  • For Fall students: September 1 to 30 by 4:00 pm
  • Thanksgiving - NO Classes
  • BScN & BBA Fall Break
  • Fall Break for most programs
  • Intramural and Student Engagement Programs Starts on All 3 Campuses

 

During this month students face two major issues. The first is the challenge of meeting the requirements of their coursework. Term papers, mid-term exams, presentations, and group projects are often due by the middle to the end of the month. Quite naturally, your student will feel rather stressed. The second involves students’ recognition that their lifestyle has changed within a short period of time. This is especially evident around the Thanksgiving long weekend. Those who go home may be unable to partake in all holiday activities. They may have to study or have a lot of reading to do. Some may discover that they cannot wait to get back to university, while others may find it hard to return.   

  • November 11: Remembrance Day

 

What is #S_NAP?

It’s SLC's Night Against Procrastination to help you tackle projects, assignments, and study for tests.

What is going on?

  • Bring your assignments, group projects, and books to study
  • Tutors, Math & Writing Centre, and Student Success Facilitators are available
  • 10-minute massages
  • Stress relief activities
  • Brain Breaks and lots of prizes!
  • Refreshments & more!

 

Grades for coursework such as mid-term exams and major assignments tend to come in at this time. Students’ academic performance can decrease by a letter grade if not more, and for some, worry about disappointing important people in their lives may develop. Students begin to gear up for final exams. Although some will be feeling comfortable with their student role on campus, others will be wondering if they fit in. Financial concerns may arise as students find that their summer earnings or first-semester loans are starting to run out. Your student may also face issues regarding their roommate or living situation.

  • Last Day of Classes for most programs
  • Christmas Break Commences: College Closed

 

Fall semester classes end this month and final exams are written, some of them in large lecture halls and/or gymnasiums. Some students study all night and develop poor sleep hygiene. Staying late on campus and joining or creating study groups is not uncommon. Some out-of-town students may eagerly await the return home for the winter break. Others may find it difficult to adjust to changing dynamics in relationships with old friends and family members. During the break, they may continue to keep to their atypical schedules and may resist attempts to enforce previous sleeping habits and curfews. Final grades and academic standing will be posted

  • Christmas Break Continues: College Closed
  • Classes Resume
  • Intramural Signups via Athletics- ImLeagues Information

 

Final Date to drop a class and be eligible for a refund

  • A full refund if the course is cancelled by the college. A refund less an administrative fee if the withdrawal request is received in writing/email 10 business days after semester/course start date.

 

Insurance Opt-Out Information

  • Opt-out deadline dates are the end of the first month of your coverage for the academic year and are strictly adhered to. These dates also apply to changing plans and Family opt-ins.
  • For new Winter students only: January 1 to 31 by 4:00pm

 

While students who have adjusted to the college system are likely to return to class feeling confident, others may experience the post-break blues after leaving home again. Those contemplating transferring programs or schools will need to investigate application deadlines as they can arise in the next couple of weeks or months. Reconnecting with friends on campus and accessing the appropriate student supports can help your student ease back into the academic routine.

  • Family Day: February 15 - NO Classes and College is closed
  • BScN & BBA Spring Break

 

The search for summer employment often begins now. As well, students living away from their family home may start to consider living accommodations for next year. Stressors associated with intimate relationships may arise. For some, these matters may be sources of anxiety and preoccupation. Reading week occurs this month. This time may be used to catch up on readings, do term papers, prepare presentations, work on group projects, or study for mid-term examinations scheduled for after the return to classes.

What is #S_NAP?

It’s SLC's Night Against Procrastination to help you tackle projects, assignments, and study for tests.

What is going on?

  • Bring your assignments, group projects, and books to study
  • Tutors, Math & Writing Centre, and Student Success Facilitators are available
  • 10-minute massages
  • Stress relief activities
  • Brain Breaks and lots of prizes!
  • Refreshments & more!

 

As the winter term moves into its final stages, the stress will most likely increase for your student. Based on the results of their assignments and mid-term examinations, some students may contemplate dropping winter semester courses. Typically, final drop deadlines for winter courses occur toward the end of this month. Additionally, students may face uncertainties related to upcoming course intentions for the next academic year. Your student will likely be preparing for their final exams but may feel more comfortable because they have experienced this before.

  • Easter Holidays: Good Friday - NO Classes
  • Last Day of Classes for most programs

 

Winter term classes end. Final assignments will be due and final exams will take place. Some students who have lived away from their families during the academic year will be excited to return home. Others may feel anxious about separating from new friends made at St. Lawrence College. Students may attempt to orchestrate their move back home for the summer while simultaneously preparing for and writing final exams. Some may register for summer courses. Those who have not already secured summer employment may feel pressured to find it. The stress students experience at this time of year can be reflected in cramming, not sleeping well, and having poor eating habits.

Final Date to drop a class and be eligible for a refund

  • A full refund if the course is cancelled by the college. A refund less an administrative fee if the withdrawal request is received in writing/email 10 business days after semester/course start date.

 

Insurance Opt-Out Information

  • Opt-out deadline dates are the end of the first month of your coverage for the academic year and are strictly adhered to. These dates also apply to changing plans and Family opt-ins.
  • For new Summer students only: May 1 to 31 by 4:00 pm

Care package ideas

The Student Engagement team came up with great ideas on how you can help your student with this big transition. You can send them care packages to celebrate a special occasion or just to let them know that you're always thinking of them. 

Put together a care package that will make the student feel warm and toasty despite the chilled temperatures. A great winter care package could include:

  • A mug
  • Hot chocolate or tea
  • Instant gourmet coffee
  • Bag of mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate covered spoons
  • Wool blanket
  • Slippers
  • Fleece pyjamas bottoms, or long johns
  • Instant soup

Toiletries can be very expensive on a college campus - especially if your student is attending college in a smaller town that doesn't have a bigger department store. In addition, your college student might not have the time to shop or the money to buy personal items. Items you'll want to consider including are:

  • Plastic flip-flops for the showers
  • Wrap towels so it's easy to cover up to and from showers
  • Shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, and lotion
  • Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Lightly scented body spray or cologne
  • Loofah
  • Nail clippers
  • Hair gel, hair spray or other styling products

If your student gets sick or injured, they may not have the time or means to go to the drugstore to pick up some items. You can make this package and send it right at the beginning of the semester, so they’ll be prepared. They will appreciate having these things on hand if they need them. Consider some of these items:

  • Vitamins
  • Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Band-Aids®
  • Polysporin
  • General cold medicine like DayQuil
  • Tissues
  • Hot tea bags

If your student is celebrating their birthday while they are away, make the student feel loved with a fun, birthday-in-a-box care package.

  • Microwave cake/Mug Cake
  • Streamers or a birthday banner
  • Birthday hats
  • A party noisemaker
  • Favourite snacks

Do you want to let your college student know that you support them in their educational goals? Try sending a package that specifically focuses on studying. Consider including:

  • Bookmarks
  • Highlighters
  • Pens and pencils
  • Handheld pencil sharpener
  • Sticky notes
  • Paper clips
  • Stress ball