Parents and Family Members - Supporting Student Success

Jacklyn Nowotnik HeadshotCOVID-19 is a pandemic that changed the sense of normalcy in many aspects of life, including education. Often, education is an in-person experience with hands-on and observation opportunities, so that students see first-hand how things work. Harper coursework for the fall semester will be primarily online with some blended on-campus requirements.   

Fortunately, technology makes it possible to learn, communicate and work together from afar but that does not diminish the idea that the last few months have been challenging. 

Elizabeth “Beth” Ripperger, Harper’s Employee and Student Wellness Manager offered a few suggestions. “While your student(s), and yourself included, try to transition to a different lifestyle, it is important to keep well-being at the forefront,” said Ripperger. 

1. Try to encourage some sort of routine. Whether it be drinking your coffee at the same time each morning, talking to friends and family on your "commute" home, or eating lunch around the same time. Try to keep some piece of a routine to help you and your student(s) stay focused as much as possible. We are social creatures, so even though your student(s) might not have some of their same friends around them right now, encourage them to stay connected. We may be physically distancing, but it is important to connect socially! 

2. Keep encouraging all of those protective behaviors such as sleeping at least eight hours a night, going to bed around the same time each night, eating nutritious foods (even though it might be tempting to sit and eat any and all snacks since it is so convenient now), and EXERCISE. For some, this might pose as a challenge. However, encourage your student(s) to walk around home, get outside if they feel comfortable, or search the internet for at-home workouts. It may be even easier to sit in the same spot all day but force your student(s) to take small breaks and get some fresh air and sunlight to help reenergize their spirit and focus. 

3. Check-in with their mental and emotional health. Some students might feel disappointment, fear, sadness, anxiety and among a myriad of other emotions as the constant change and news updates can be extremely upsetting. It is ok to not be ok. However, touch base with your student(s) and ask how they are doing and how they are processing everything. There are a variety of wellness resources out there, but a place to start is on the Harper Wellness website.

Students’ professors are still accessible via email. If a student has questions about class material or is having trouble understanding something related to class, professors are available through virtual office hours. A student can find their professor’s email on the class syllabus or in the course Blackboard shell. 

Students can also check-in with their academic advisor to make sure their current educational Degree Works plan fits their goals and that they are on track with the appropriate classes. A student can make an appointment with their academic advisor on the homepage of their MyHarper portal. 

Our academic support center is available to students with online tutoring appointments for various subjects.  

Our counseling department is available to students with resources for emotional wellness and career guidance as it relates to our Areas of Interest (AOI). 

Stay informed about our registration and financial aid dates. 

Our One Stop staff are available to answer questions about student registration and finances. 

Check out our YouTube videos about how to navigate your MyHarper portal and educational planning tool, Degree Works plan. 

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Harper College has implemented safety measures that impact fall semester coursework, events and travel. Read More