If you’re a parent of a student, we know that you want to help them move forward and be successful. Our career professionals can help guide them on the right path.

Here’s some questions we commonly answer for parents looking to be involved:

What can a student do in the Career Center?

When should students start using the Career Center?

It’s never too early to start! Many students even visit the Career Center while still in high school to get a head start on choosing an academic goal and major. Students who spend enough time thinking about their values, interests, and personality, and gathering information about different career paths are more likely to make decisions that motivate them to succeed.

What is involved in making a wise decision about a major or career?

This process involves three major tasks:

  1. Learning about Yourself
    The Career Center helps students identify the factors that lead to better decisions. These factors include their values, interests, personality characteristics, internal and external influences, and the skills they enjoy using.

  2. Learning about Options
    We teach students how to find information about occupations. Things we encourage them to learn about include preparation, job duties, salary, outlook, and kinds of people that thrive in different careers.

  3. Decision-Making
    We teach students to identify the many decisions that need to be made, how to organize information, weigh the pros and cons, test out alternatives, and revise their decisions.

What if a student declared a major when they applied to the college? Should they still come to the Career Center?

Sure! Once someone chooses a major, we can help them create an action plan to achieve their goals. An action plan might include:

  • Joining a related campus club or professional organization.
  • Speak to people employed in the field of interest (informational interview) to gather information.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Gain experience through a volunteer position, internship, or entry-level job.
  • Attend a conference in the field of interest.
  • Choose classes and class projects related to their career path.
  • Visit universities that have their chosen major.

What if a student changes their mind about their major?

This is very common. Students may have felt pressure to decide even before they had enough information. In fact, federal financial aid requires students to declare an educational goal in order to qualify. But, hasty decisions may negatively affect motivation and success. So, it is wise to encourage them to continue their exploration - we are here to help!

A student is thinking about a career that I believe is not very practical. What should I say to them?

It is normal for parents to worry--we all want our children to succeed. We hear stories and advice like, "this career is in demand," or "that career does not pay well." For example, some students think about majoring in art and their parent worries that they will end up in poverty. However, some artistic careers are in demand and pay very, very well. On the other hand, we hear that a career in nursing is very secure, but not everyone who majors in nursing succeeds. So, encourage them to get all the facts and be ready to discuss the options with an open mind. It is easier to be successful in a career that is a good match for ones personality, interests, values, strengths and skills they enjoy using.

Can I attend an appointment with my son or daughter?

Although we understand that you are concerned about their well-being, we encourage you to have them meet with a career professional on their own. This way, the student can start developing confidence in their own decision-making skills. Even if the student has a disability, it is usually best to start with individual appointments.

Will I be able to access my son's grades?

Not without their permission. Federal law (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) prevents school officials from disclosing personally identifiable education records about college students, or allowing inspection of their records without the student’s written permission (certain exceptions are covered by the law).