Family photo of student with her parents on large inflatable chair

by F. RODRIGUEZ | Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Transitioning into college to pursue a career can be seen by family members as a phase of growing up and adapting to a more independent lifestyle. Parents understand that this is a stage in their students educational path and often seem to retract their presence from their experience. But to what degree should families be involved in their students college journey? “Family involvement has a critical impact on the lives of students, they ultimately act as a support network.” explains Daniel Gutierrez, Associate Director of Family Engagement. Today’s young college students have been raised in an environment of constant parental involvement and the transition from high school to college is a life-changing experience for both student and family. The connection with family is strong as students enter college and most students desire a continuing, close relationship with their family that includes open communication, positive parental support, and affirmation. With this support network established, students can rely on a trusted source that can positively influence their college years.

The Office of Family Engagement, an office within the New Student Transitions and Family Engagement center, focuses on encouraging family members to participate in their students college experience. Gutierrez explains it this way; “We are the best unknown secret. Our office serves as the Breezeway for families, as we focus on providing accessibility to university resources.” The Office of Family Engagement does not only serve as a one-stop-shop for parents, but they also host events for families throughout the school year so they can gain a better understanding of not just the resources FAU provides, but what the community is like.

This upcoming weekend, the Office of Family Engagement will be hosting Owl Family Weekend, which will run from Friday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 22,. This three-day event will focus on celebrating families and the support they offer their students. The event will have all kinds of activities. Kicking off with live music performances in the Student Union, family tailgating at Campus Recreation, and invigorating Owls Football game. This event is an experience families hate to miss.

“Providing services such as webinars, helplines, newsletters, and care packages, allow us to provide information and support between families and students, but this weekend is about the fun college family experience rather than academia. With our services and events, we try to build a lifelong partnership with the student’s family and the university,” expressed Rose Paul, the Family Engagement Coordinator. “Interconnecting student, family, and university is what our triangular service model represents, we strive to provide accessibility to families who want to stay connected not only to the student, but the FAU community.”

For more information on this weekend’s upcoming event, visit Owl Family Weekend or to learn more about available resources, visit Office of Family Engagement.