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Information for MAPS Families

MAPS understands that families are a major source of support and encouragement for students. Below are some tips we recommend for families as they help their student navigate the transition to college and adulthood.  

How Families Can Help:

Most importantly, remind your student they are capable of being successful! Many students encounter “imposter syndrome,” which is the belief that one is not worthy of opportunities because they believe they do not measure up to their peers. This simply isn’t true! Remind your student that they belong here and that they deserve to pursue their chosen degree path – even if they have to ask for help sometimes! Our first-generation students are in great company here at Western, with over 30% of our current student body identifying as first-generation. Your student will be able to find support all across campus from peers, faculty, and staff!

Encourage your student to seek help when they need it. Sometimes a new environment can be intimidating, especially for first-generation students. Our staff and faculty at WCU love helping students! We are here for you and your student and want to support them academically, emotionally, socially, and financially. We have several campus resources available to help your student reach their full potential, and we encourage them to reach out if they need it. Remind them MAPS is also a resource for academic support and a safe place to ask questions if they aren’t sure where to go. Our Compass Program is designed to offer one-on-one support for students with a professional staff member as their Student Advocate! 

Understand that your relationship with your student may change as they adjust to college life and, for some, the transition to adulthood. This might look like communicating less often with your student or your student staying on campus during the weekend & perhaps even Fall/Spring Break. These four years are an important part of your student’s life, especially if they are pursuing a college degree right after high school. Not only are they adjusting to college-level expectations, but they are also doing so while learning the skills necessary to be fully independent. We understand that for many first-generation students, familial obligations have always played an important role in their lives. We don't expect families to be less important when they are in college! However, you will likely find that students are unable to prioritize those obligations in the same manner they have before while also working toward their own academic, personal, and professional goals at WCU. We find that families who make it a priority to follow the first two recommendations listed here don't have much trouble at all keeping a great relationship with their student through these changes!

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