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Parent & Family Newsletter

December 2015

Welcome! 

We hope everyone has had a happy and healthy fall season! We are very excited to bring you another jam-packed issue of the Parent & Family Newsletter. Inside, you will find information about helping your student adjust to the academic demands of college, staying safe while studying abroad, and resources the College has available for students facing substance abuse challenges. Find out what's going on in the schools of Business and Science in our new School Spotlight. We have also included guidelines for Winter Break move-out and other important dates and deadlines.
 
Enjoy!

Susie Orecchio, MA, NCC
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs
Coordinator of Parent & Family Programs

Highlights from the Vice President
for Student Affairs 

Dear Parents and Family Members,

This Fall Semester has been a busy one and I hope that you and your student can enjoy time this holiday season recharging and reconnecting.   

Recent events both at home and abroad have made for uncertain times, but I could not be more proud of how our TCNJ students have responded to this social unrest. Students are more engaged than ever, and are actively working with faculty and staff to ensure that TCNJ remains an environment of unity, inclusivity, and peace.

When your student returns home for the holidays, at some point the conversation may turn to current events. This newsletter provides some starting points as you seek to engage in this conversation. We encourage open discussion between you and your student about both personal and global issues.

I am very excited to see what 2016 brings to TCNJ!
 
Best Wishes,
 
Dr. Amy Hecht
Vice President for Student Affairs


 

Table of Contents
 

2015 TCNJ Parent & Family Day Recap
 

Thank you to all of those who attended the 2015 Parent & Family Day on September 26th! We hope you enjoyed the time spent with your student on campus in the wonderful fall weather. For those who attended, please share any feedback on the day's events by filling out our survey. To see photos from the 2015 Parent & Family Day, check out our Facebook photo albums. Don't forget to tag your loved ones!
 


 
Connect with us across the web for more information and resources!
TCNJ Parent & Family Resources
TCNJ Parent & Family Resources
Parent and Family Webpage
Parent and Family Webpage
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
Are you a New College Parent or Family Member? 

We have additional articles on transitioning to college for parents and families on our website. Check them out here!

Home for the Holidays
A Survival Guide for College Students and Parents

The holidays can be a stressful time for families, especially when students return home from college. Mark J. Forest, Ph.D., Director of TCNJ’s Counseling and Psychological Services, offers guidance on keeping the peace during the holiday season and recognizing signs of mental unrest within your student. Check it out here

Faculty Corner
Helping Your Student Make the Academic Transition to College
By Judi Cook, Ph.D., Instructional Design/Communication Studies; Amanda Norvell, Ph.D., Biology, Faculty Senate President;  Glenn Steinberg Ph.D., English

The transition from home and high school to a residential college experience can be challenging.  In addition to living independently, and often in close quarters with other students going through the same adjustments, students frequently find the workload and academic expectations of college courses to be unexpectedly demanding. As professors at the College, we’d like to share some advice about how families can best help their student make the academic transition to college.
 

One of our most important objectives as educators is to help your student grow in intellectual and personal autonomy.  In addition to the professors that they see in the classroom, every student at TCNJ has an academic advisor who provides advice on majors and classes based on our curriculum and its requirements.  As parents or other concerned family members, it is natural for you to want to know how your student is doing in class or perhaps to assist them with challenges and decisions they face, but it is important for you to resist the temptation to contact their professors and faculty advisors or to directly intervene on their behalf. 
 
In general, the best way for you to help your students achieve academic success is to maintain an open dialogue with them in order to gauge their academic progress and assess their overall well-being.  You should talk to your student.  Touch base regularly, but don’t pry.  Try not to criticize or sound disappointed.  Just listen.  If your student is reluctant to share information, negotiate boundaries.  Come to an agreement with your student about what you can ask about (and expect a full and honest response) as opposed to what is private and off limits to you.  But negotiate those boundaries with your student. 
 
If your student indicates that they are having difficulty in their courses, encourage them to utilize the programs and support services that are available to them here at TCNJ.  Ask your student if they have spoken with their professors about any concerns they may have about their performance in class.  Be sure that they have consulted with their academic advisor about specific academic issues or long-term career goals and aspirations.  In addition to these resources, the College offers a diverse array of support services such as tutoring, group workshops on dealing with issues such as anxiety, and individual counseling.
 
If you’d like to guide your student to more resources on campus for career planning, TCNJ’s
Career Center can help with resume writing, interview preparation, internships, networking, job placement, and more. The Lion’s Link online recruitment system lists over 400 credit-earning internships each year.  Encourage your child to establish a relationship with the Career Center early—even freshman year—in order to take advantage of workshops, one-on-one counseling, and access to digital tools for career exploration.
 
Remember that we are working hard to support students and to challenge them to develop academically and as individuals.  Rather than solving problems for them, help your student to learn how to solve problems themselves. 

 
Being Smart about Studying Abroad
By Jon Stauff, Ph.D
Senior International Officer and Director, TCNJ Center for Global Engagement



From Australia to Austria, Thailand to Tajikistan, TCNJ students are studying abroad more than ever before. Last academic year, we had 471 students abroad in semester, summer, and short-term faculty-led study abroad programs – a 29% increase from the previous year and a 72% increase over the past five years. As one component of TCNJ’s signature experience in “Global Engagement,” study abroad allows students to complete academic coursework, internships and other related work experiences, and perform service in one of more than five hundred different faculty-approved program options. 
 
The safety of our students is our ut
most concern, especially given recent global events. The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) meets with families throughout the year to discuss academic, financial, health and travel insurance (mandatory for all study abroad students), safety, and security issues related to international travel and overseas study.  The CGE receives daily updates from the US Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) and periodic updates from HTH Worldwide Insurance as part of its monitoring efforts, and other campus offices such as TCNJ’s Campus Police supplement this work with data from additional sources of security information. All TCNJ students studying abroad have been advised to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) of the US Department of State and to register any off-site travel plans with the resident staff at their study abroad program location. 
 
The
CGE home page has in-depth information about each TCNJ semester exchange, semester program, and winter or summer faculty-led study abroad program; resources for students, faculty, and parents; and a comprehensive A-Z index that should help anyone find much of what they need to make an informed decision about study abroad.  A special page for parents outlines the different study abroad modalities, detailed information about study abroad payments and the application of financial aid/scholarships to study abroad, and health/safety/security information that may fall through the cracks of a student’s mind as they are preparing for their international journey.
 
Should there be questions, please contact the CGE staff at (609) 771-2596 or
goglobal@tcnj.edu.  CGE staff members look forward to working with students and families to help them achieve their study abroad goals.
Winter Break Closing Information
By Ryan Farnkopf
Director of Residential Education

Residence halls will close for winter break on Tuesday, December 15 at 8:00pm, and reopen Sunday, January 24 at 10:00am. Residents are expected to vacate the halls 24 hours after their last exam or by the closing date, whichever comes first.
 
Please remind your student to take all valuable possessions home for the break, including electronics, jewelry, passports, medication, etc. and also to pack appropriately, as staff will not be available to let people back into their rooms before the halls reopen.
 
If your student is moving into a new room in the spring, please vacate the fall room completely by the hall closing date. Any possessions left behind after closing will be discarded as the room is prepared for a new spring resident.
 
Students will be emailed a notice with a closing check list, tips, dining hall times, and other important information for finals week in early December, and this information will also be posted on our
website.
 
For more important dates and deadlines in the upcoming months, see below.


Significant Dates and Deadlines

  • Deadline to change meal plan for the Spring semester: 12/6/2015
  • Housing applications for the 2016-2017 academic year open: 12/7/2015- 2/7/2016. Last year, all students who applied on time were offered a space on campus.
  • Exam period: 12/8/2015, 5pm – 12/11/2015, 8pm; 12/14/2015, 12am – 12/15/2015, 5pm
  • Residence Halls close for Winter Break: 12/15/2015, 8pm
  • Tuition Payment Due Date: 1/8/2016
  • Residence Halls reopen: 1/24/2016, 10am
  • Tuition Payment Plan (Sign Up) Deadline: 1/25/2016
  • First Day of Spring classes: 1/25/2016
  • Spring Semester Course Add/Drop Deadline: 2/2/2016
  • Last day to apply for May, August, and December 2016 or January 2017 graduation without a $35 late fee: 2/5/2016
  • Last day to submit Change of Major forms for Fall 2016 registration: 3/4/2016
  • Residence Halls close for Spring Break: 3/11/2016, 8pm
  • Spring Break: 3/14/2016 - 3/18/2016
  • Residence Halls reopen: 3/20/2016, 2pm
  • Find more important dates here.
School Spotlight

Spotlight on the School of Business
By Bill Keep, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Business



At the School of Business, we are keeping busy and, more importantly, keeping our students engaged in shaping their future. During the fall semester, we hosted our "3rd Thursday” events, open to all interested students. Our themes were: Speed Networking, Entrepreneurship, and Global Business. At these events, students hear from and can talk with alumni and business professionals sharing their experiences. In September, students learned about making that first introduction/impression. In October, four alumni entrepreneurs shared their experiences. And in November, participants in Germany and Chile joined us via Skype, followed by a panel of professionals with global experiences. Our spring topics will be: Sports Careers, Internships from the Student’s Perspective (4th Thursday due to spring break), and Personal Finance.
 
In October, we also brought Brian Smith to campus. While Mr. Smith may not be a household name, the product he introduced to America certainly is: UGGS! In November, we held our 5th annual Women’s Leadership Summit which, as is our tradition, featured a student only session with the keynote speaker. Fall also brings the open registration for our annual Mayo Business Plan Competition (MBPC). For the
5th year, students are challenged to form a team with one to three other students to come up with a successful business plan. To provide a bit of incentive, this year, the MBPC will award $50,000 in prize money - $30,000 for 1st place. All TCNJ students are eligible to compete.
 
In the fall, we pay a little extra attention to our incoming first year students as this is an important transition semester. Our first year seminar gets students comfortable with campus, introduces them to faculty, and beginning this year, takes them through fourteen modules on Excel. Employers increasingly tell us that Excel skill is a must. To help our students adjust, we have a wonderfully successful Peer Mentoring program with forty upper division students volunteering their time to meet and talk with small groups of first year students.
 
The School of Business works closely with every area of campus, encouraging students to begin mapping a path forward. Whether engaged in campus leadership, sports, community work, student government, or other student organizations, these activities help students develop a more full view of the professional world and communities in which they will live. As always, I am open to ideas and opportunities to further support our students.
 
Happy Holidays!

Spotlight on the School of Science
By Gem Perkins
Assistant to the Dean, School of Science

 

The School of Science is pleased to launch the TCNJ–Novo Nordisk Lecture Series during the 2015-2016 academic year.  The series includes four lectures throughout the year, two during the Fall 2015 semester and two during the Spring 2016 semester. The Fall 2015 lecture topics were “How a Drug is Born” and “Advancements in Understanding Bleeding Disorders” while the Spring 2016 topics and dates will be announced soon.

 

In addition to sponsoring the Lecture Series, Novo Nordisk will be a sponsor of TCNJ’s 2016 Celebration of Student Achievement in a way that directly links student participation in the Lecture Series with presentation of the students’ undergraduate research at the campus-wide Celebration. Three Novo Nordisk Student Prizes (in the form of tuition scholarship support for $2,500 each for the 2016-2017 academic year) will be competitively awarded to student researchers who have attended at least two of the TCNJ–Novo Nordisk lectures during the 2015-2016 academic year and who will be presenting their undergraduate research at the Spring 2016 Celebration of Student Achievement.

 

More information about the Lecture Series and the Student Prizes is available here.

 

Reducing Substance Abuse and Supporting Students in Recovery

By Christopher Freeman, LPC, LCADC
Community Recovery Supervisor


Many families send their students to school worrying whether their students will drink too much or experiment with other drugs. While it is a cultural myth that every college student uses alcohol to excess, one thing we know is that college students are more likely to engage in binge drinking than their non-college peers. The increased risk for unhealthy substance use is a problem that The College of New Jersey is committed to addressing.

It is estimated that 30 percent of college students meet the clinical criteria for substance use disorder. In short, a substance use disorder is alcohol or drug use that results in recurrent negative consequences. In the case of binge drinking, these consequences include damage to physical health, social relationships, and academic success.

The impact of substance abuse can be devastating if left unadressed. Yet, in the midst of devastation, change and recovery is possible. TCNJ is committed to providing programs to reduce substance abuse and support students in recovery. To do this, we have launched exciting new programs and initiatives.

Lion’s House is a living and learning space for students in recovery. It offers supportive housing and community for students working towards growth, sobriety, and academic excellence. Lion’s House is a place where students can actively work on recovery and positive change. Students that live in Lion’s House are in an environment that emphasizes community living, participation in recreational activities, and personal growth and wellness. It is a place where students can embrace life without alcohol and other drugs.

“RECreate Your Night” is a program that provides students with late night activities so that they have healthy options for having fun. It is a myth that all students use alcohol and other drugs. In fact, many students want alternative activities rather than defaulting to attending parties. Having healthy options for recreation serves to reduce substance abuse and provide additional support to students in recovery.

In addition to Lion’s House and RECreate Your Night, TCNJ offers counseling for students who want to make changes to their substance use. TCNJ is an environment that encourages help-seeking and will work with students to address both academic issues and personal needs.

It’s also important to keep in mind that family members play a role as well. They can talk to their student about the dangers of binge drinking. They can be careful to not perpetuate the myth of college excess by implied approval. Parents should also provide good models of healthy substance use and support their student if treatment is needed.

TCNJ is a caring community and offers many services and programs to support their students. These are just some of the ways that TCNJ is committed to providing an exceptional college experience. For more information about these programs and services please contact Christopher Freeman, LPC, LCADC, Community Recovery Supervisor, at
freemanc@tcnj.edu or (609) 771-2571.

 

Giving Back to the College

By Melissa Lide
Associate Director of Annual Giving


'Tis the season for giving! Consider including TCNJ on your gift list this year, and help provide for the bright future of the College. The TCNJ Fund focuses on ensuring an accessible and exceptional education for our hardworking, high-striving students. All gifts to the TCNJ Fund assist the College in fulfilling its educational mission by enabling both the essentials and the innumerable, invaluable extras of the TCNJ Signature Experiences.
 
What do your gifts to the TCNJ Fund make possible?

  • Personalized, collaborative, and rigorous education
  • Undergraduate research, mentored internships, and field experiences
  • Community engaged learning
  • Global engagement
  • Leadership development

Every gift is testimony to what we can achieve together. Make your gift online today.
 
Another wonderful way to give back to the College is by
personalizing a brick in Alumni Grove. As a member of TCNJ’s family, you are invited to leave a lasting and unchanging legacy for your student. Bricks are available in two sizes and can be engraved with names, short sayings, memorial commemorations, and Greek letters, as well as the College logo or the College athletics logo. Each brick order includes a free mini brick replica! This is an opportunity  to create something special that your graduate will always remember and will be able to appreciate while visiting the campus for years to come. Bricks make a great gift, and parents and families of the Class of 2016 receive 15% off until  March 1st, 2016.                      

News & Notes
  • TCNJ has been awarded the prestigious Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishment by the Council on Undergraduate Research. The award recognizes TCNJ as an exemplar in providing high-quality research opportunities to undergraduates. TCNJ is one of only three institutions in the nation to receive this honor. 
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guides higher education institutions on how to manage the privacy of student records. Find out how this affects you with a helpful tutorial from Records & Registration.
 
TCNJ Barnes & Noble Bookstore

3 Common Money Mistakes New College Students Make
By Janel Bazih
Vice President and Marketing Manager, Spencer Savings Bank
 
When your student goes off to college, they embark on an exciting and fulfilling life experience. But with that comes a dramatic increase in responsibility, particularly in money management. Even if they are already managing their own bank account and bringing in a steady paycheck, your student is prone to a learning curve in terms of keeping track of their money. Here are three common mistakes that first-year college students often make:
 
1. Not Setting a Clear Budget
Budgeting is the first lesson in money management. Your student probably understands the concept, which might lull them into thinking they have their budget all figured out. But in order for them to truly understand their financial standing, you should help write out their monthly expenses for the semester or year. This will give them a clear picture of how much spending money they’ll have and help them to maintain adequate funds.
 
2. Not Checking Their Balance Regularly
Even the most rigid budget is subject to unexpected costs and the occasional splurge. That’s why it’s important for your student to regularly check their balance online and review their monthly statement. Aside from keeping them in line with their budget, it’s also a good habit for security purposes.
 
3. Not Getting a Student-Friendly Account
Let’s face it – adulthood takes time. That’s why your student should seek a local bank with student-friendly account options. Now open in TCNJ’s newly constructed Campus Town, Spencer Savings Bank offers a StudentEdge checking account that caters to your student’s needs with:
  • No Minimum Balance Requirement
  • $25 Minimum Opening Deposit
  • Free Online & Mobile Banking
  • Unlimited Mobile Check Deposits
  • Free ATM/VISA® Check Card
  • ATM Rebates (Monthly Limit of $8)
  • Overdraft Protection Options
To learn more, visit spencersavings.com or call Spencer Savings Bank at 1-800-363-8115.

 
Copyright © 2015 The College of New Jersey, All rights reserved.


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