Parent Newsletter

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A Student Affairs Newsletter for Parents

Tips for College Success: What Parents Can Do to Help

We expect success from every UCSB student. We know that each student admitted to UCSB has the ability to excel here, and that success in college generally translates into success in endeavors beyond the undergraduate years. Learning to make the most of the campus environment is an important way for students to increase their chance to succeed both in their studies and in their working lives, in addition to greatly enriching their university experience.

Family support is another important factor in a student's success. The support that students perceive they are getting from home actually plays a significant role in their confidence and in their ability to succeed at the university. Surprisingly, this factor overshadows nearly everything else in the research that predicts college persistence. Research also shows that family support predicts better health and well being among college students.

Family Support

What is family support? You might be thinking about the pocketbook at this point. Yes, financial support is important. What's more important, however, is moral support: the sense of well being that comes from knowing parents and family are behind a student's college effort. Students want to know that family will be there to help out when there is an emergency. They want a place to come home to, even if they only take advantage of this refuge sporadically. They want family to be a safety net!

Fortunately, most students do perceive this family support. If you aren't sure you have conveyed your support, this might be the time to simply state it: "I am very glad you are choosing to go to college!" "I want to make sure you are feeling you have the support you need while you are at school." A simple statement that affirms your support overtly may be an important declaration for your son or daughter to hear.

If you are looking for additional ways to support your sons and daughters, here is a brief list to consider:

What, Not How

Ask students what they are doing rather than how. It is a subtle difference that conveys your interest without sounding evaluative. We do plenty of evaluation here in the classroom. Simply showing interest in the work they are doing and the experiences they have is reaffirming.

Reduce Stress

Think of ways your son or daughter has successfully relieved stress in the past and suggest similar kinds of positive activities. Sending a picture of a family vacation or favorite haunt from the past can also be helpful. College is packed with many stressful experiences, and finding ways to manage the load is important. One beneficial mechanism for students is to visit UCSB's stress management program at Counseling & Career Services, where there are relaxation chairs and tapes, among other resources.

Time Management

Students often think they should be studying all the time they are not in class. This can lead to considerable amounts of wasted time that mentally gets counted as "studying." One surprising finding is that students who work (less than 20 hours a week) actually do better in school and are more likely to prioritize their time more effectively than those who do not work. You might want to encourage your son or daughter to take a time management or organizational skills workshop at Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS). This could be just what the doctor ordered.

People Interaction

Your sons and daughters will interact with the world one student at a time as well as in groups during the discussions and study sessions for their classes. Listen to their tales of difference and to their stories of diversity of people and opinion with an open mind. Usually students attend one class a quarter that challenges or encourages them to explore a different perspective, to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. These experiences are crucial to a student's development and an important part of the overall university experience. It's also important to encourage your son or daughter to interact with faculty and staff and to get used to working with administrators and authorities. That will translate into better transition on the job later in life.

Your Contacts

People in supervisory positions and those who make decisions often have good feedback for young people even in fields different from their own. You can help your sons and daughters make contacts with supervisors, executives, and others who can provide a view of the working world from a variety of perspectives.

Helpful Resources

We know that the more students use the resources of the university the more likely they are to persist through the hard times and be successful in their transition to graduate school or to work. Encourage your son or daughter to meet the staff people working in the service units at UCSB. They should also be taking advantage of faculty and teaching assistants during their office hours. The more interactions they have, the better.

Community Connection

Being part of the campus community is important to developing self-confidence about education. Students who make strong connections with student groups, activities and faculty or staff are more likely to be successful and persist at school. Consider encouraging your son or daughter to become more connected on campus, and not to be on the road home too often. Connecting on campus means remaining here during the weekends in order to participate in activities that may not look academic but mean a great deal in the bigger scheme of things. Hearing an expert in a field, attending cultural activities, and joining in volunteer action are ways for students to extend their potential for their future.

New Position to Address Academic Integrity and Civil Behavior

Like many colleges and universities around the country, UCSB has a few students whose behavior might best be characterized as "out of bounds." Cheating, plagiarism, acts of intolerance-these all fall outside the range of acceptable behavior for students in a university setting. In an attempt to better educate the campus about issues of academic integrity, civility, and community, the Office of Student Life plans to hire a conduct educator and hate incidents response coordinator.

One hope is that the more information faculty have about academic dishonesty and how to prevent and respond to it, the less the campus will experience it. The conduct educator will develop an anti-cheating program and take it on the road, instructing teaching assistants and faculty on approaches aimed at reducing the incidents of cheating. Studies have shown that there are a number of effective approaches, and giving a staff person responsibility to teach these and spread the word is a good step toward a long-term solution.

In addition to cheating and plagiarism, UCSB also has experienced a number of troubling incidents of intolerance. While we always support the right of students to believe as they wish and express unpopular ideas, we are also mindful of how intolerant behavior can negatively impact both the individual who is targeted and the campus community as a whole. In other words, mutual respect is non-negotiable. Intolerant and disrespectful behavior, especially around race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, and religion, compromises our sense of community and our ability to live and learn together. Our new hate incidents response coordinator will have the challenging task of responding appropriately to incidents of intolerance while also ensuring everyone's right to freedom of expression.

The search committee comprises representatives from the campus community and will spend much of spring quarter reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, and selecting the finalist. We hope to have someone on board by the beginning of fall 2000 at the latest.

It Takes A Village

In an effort to meet the high demand for UC Santa Barbara student housing, Housing & Residential Services has been pursuing the design and development of a new undergraduate student housing complex. The proposed complex, called Manzanita Village, is designed to house eight hundred undergraduate students in seventeen separate residential units. The units will offer the campus a more "human scale" housing option and will provide residential experiences focused on academic or shared-interest themes.

The UC Santa Barbara campus submitted the Manzanita Village project to the California Coastal Commission in early 1999. The California Coastal Commission approved the project in June of 1999, but levied a series of special conditions on the proposed development. Due to the project's proximity to environmental resources, compliance with the Commission's conditions requires extensive redesign of the Manzanita Village project. This redesign process has delayed the anticipated opening of this new student housing.

The campus is currently evaluating the schedule impacts of the redesign and investigating opportunities to expedite the process. At this time, the campus anticipates the Manzanita Village project will be opening in Fall of 2002.

UCTV: Stay Tuned In

The University of California recently launched a public interest television channel, UCTV. Programming is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. PST, seven days a week, to more than three and a half million television viewers throughout North America on EchoStar Satellite's Dish Network. UCTV offers informational, educational, and enrichment programming featuring documentaries, faculty lectures, interviews, research symposia, distinguished speakers, and artistic performances. The programs airing on UCTV are also broadcast live on the Internet:

Building Bridges, Creating Community

This spring, the Office of Student Life is launching the Isla Vista Community Development Peer (IVCD Peer) program. This program for the Isla Vista community is one of the efforts by the University to enhance the quality of life for residents of this community where a large number of students live. As part of a team of twelve Peers, the IVCD Peer will be called upon to represent the University in Isla Vista and to help develop a sense of community. Their duties include:
  • clarifying tenant rights and responsibilities

  • counseling and referring students to appropriate community or University agencies

  • serving as liaison to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol on issues such as security and Neighborhood Watch programs

  • providing opportunities for faculty, staff, and student interaction

  • designing and implementing community forums

  • participating in the communication of community standards

  • ascertaining student needs in the Isla Vista community

  • providing an on-going newsletter on events and issues such as safety, sexual assault, and substance abuse

  • and providing feedback to the Dean of Students and others regarding the concerns of the community
  • We believe that this peer program can have a positive effect on the Isla Vista community and would like parents to encourage their students to apply for the positions and to participate in the programs that the Isla Vista Community Development Peers sponsor. This program offers students an excellent opportunity to develop leadership and community-building skills while at the same time enhancing the living experience of all residents in Isla Vista. Applications are available at the Office of Student Life.

    Summer Employment Leads

    Is your son or daughter interested in summer employment on campus? If so, opportunities abound at UC Santa Barbara's Housing & Residential Services (H&RS). A variety of positions are available, from staffing the front desk in a residence hall to working in the maintenance shop as a painter. Working for H&RS has many advantages, including the availability of inexpensive apartments, flexible work schedules, and great food at discounted prices. All this in addition to earning a competitive wage!

    Applications can be obtained at the following locations: H&RS main office - 1501 Residential Services, all Residence Halls, and all Dining Commons. Applications are available now until the deadline, April 3, 2000, at 5:00 p.m. For more information, please contact the H&RS Student Personnel Coordinator at (805) 893-5519.

    Summer is a great time for students to try out potential career choices through internships or part time jobs. A Summer Jobs Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, April 17, in front of the University Center (UCen). Or students can find opportunities anytime on the Web. Some sites for interesting internships are:

    Adventure employment in Alaska, forest fighting, white water rafting, snowboarding, skiing, cruise ships, adventure travel companies and more.

    Links to National Parks, Camps, Resorts, Ski and Ranch Jobs and more by State.


    Places talented minority youth in summer business and industry internships with weekend leadership seminars. Includes a partial listing of company and organization links with intern programs organized by career or industry categories.


    Click on internship database, then US, then CA, and then Large Companies for links to internship home pages of firms offering paid, summer internships.


    Click on undergraduate career services and then scroll down to internship section for links to local area internships, national, international, post BA, and science and technical internship links.

    In Search of... (Hints for Finding Housing in the Surrounding Community)

    More than likely, you have already started conversations with your son or daughter about finding housing for the next school year. We want to offer a few helpful hints that you can share with your son or daughter in preparation for the apartment search process.

    Hint #1:

    There is an invaluable book called the "Survival Guide." The Guide gives students detailed instructions on how to make their housing search easier and successful. Ask if your son or daughter has a copy and has read it. (All residence hall students receive a copy).

    Hint #2:

    The biggest problem students have is with roommates. Selecting good roommates is critical. The guide provides a questionnaire potential roommates should review together before they begin their search.

    Hint #3:

    Once students have formed a roommate "group," it is recommended that the parents get to know each other. At least 75% of the local owners/managers require mutual co-signers. This becomes important when you sign not only for your son's or daughter's rent, but also for your son's or daughter's roommates' rents. The "Joint and Several" clause is found in almost every rental contract in this area. It's recommended that you get a copy of the lease and review it with your son or daughter to make sure everything is understood.

    Hint #4:

    The Community Housing Office provides a Move-In/Move-Out videotaping service for a nominal cost of $10. Within 3 days of move-in, staff will document the condition of the premises. This also is done when students move out. Encourage your son or daughter to call Community Housing for an appointment at least one week before moving in or out to help protect student deposits (and perhaps your deposit too)!

    Hint #5:

    Encourage your sons and daughters throughout their tenancy to be proactive in their conflicts. If they call home and tell you about problems with their roommates or landlords, encourage them to handle the conflicts immediately. If they are having continual conflicts, have them come to the Community Housing Office for guidance. Trained mediators can assist them in resolving their disputes.

    If you have any questions, feel free to call or e-mail the Community Housing Office at (805) 893-4371 or

    Sun, Studies and Summer Sessions

    This summer your son or daughter might consider making time to take courses at UCSB Summer Sessions. UCSB is offering more than three hundred lower-and upper-division courses in over forty academic areas. Parents will be happy to learn that they can actually save money when their students attend Summer Sessions, since fees are lower and there are no out-of-state fees. What's more, students can graduate sooner by taking hard-to-get courses, making up courses they missed, and completing some of their GE requirements.

    The Summer Sessions catalog will be available in early April and will contain an application form and all the information needed to register for Summer Sessions courses. Catalogs can be picked up at the Summer Sessions Office, SAAS Building, Suite 2214. Summer Sessions is scheduled for June 28 - August 4.

    For general information on Summer Sessions programs, check the following website:; e-mail; or call (805) 893-7306

    UCSB Factoids

    • 3,807 undergraduates received Bachelor degrees last year; 482 graduate students received a Master's; 228 graduate students received a doctoral degree.

    • China is the country with the most international students at UCSB.

    • Roughly 1,200 UCSB graduates have served in the Peace Corps since its inception, which ranks UCSB as the 14th top school overall for the most Peace Corps volunteers since 1961.

    • U.S. News and World Report's guide, "America's Best Colleges" the most widely read college guide in the country, named UCSB as the 13th best national public university in the nation this past fall.

    • 50% of UCSB students participate in some form of community service compared to 25% of all Americans. The UCSB Community Affairs Board is the largest student-run volunteer organization in the U.S.

    It's A Date!

    April 15:
    Federal tax filing deadline. Parents can apply for the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Consult with your tax preparer for details.

    May 1:
    The application to apply for Summer Sessions' financial aid is available in the Financial Aid Office.

    June 30:
    Students and parents should have returned all forms and documents requested by the Financial Aid Office regarding their 2000-2001 application for financial aid.

    Graduation at a Glance

    Commencement 2000 Schedule

    Sunday, June 11 - 1:00 p.m. - College of Creative Studies

    Saturday, June 17 - 9:00 a.m. - Science and Mathematics

    Saturday, June 17 - 1:00 p.m. - College of Engineering

    Saturday, June 17 - 4:00 p.m. - Environmental Studies and Social Sciences I

    Sunday, June 18 - 9:00 a.m. - Social Sciences II

    Sunday, June 18 - 1:00 p.m. - Humanities and Fine Arts

    Sunday, June 18 - 4:00 p.m. - Graduate Division

    For information call (805) 893-7382, send e-mail to:; Or check out the website at: Reminder: Make hotel reservations early! Coastal Escapes 1-800-292-2222

    Grad Day

    Grad Day will be held on April 12 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the UCen Lobby. Students will receive information about the Alumni Association, caps and gowns, diploma framing, announcements, and career books. Check the Graduation Center on the bookstore website at

    Grad Gift: Gaucho for Life

    Need a special graduation gift idea for your son or daughter? Why not give the gift that will last a lifetime? A life membership in the UCSB Alumni Association. Benefits include: career connections, job postings, networking, Coastlines publication, travel tours, alumni directory and locator service. More information can be found on the Alumni website at

    Celebrating Academic Excellence

    This spring quarter, Housing & Residential Services will honor residence hall students who have maintained a 3.75 grade point average or higher during fall and winter quarters for this academic year.

    Academic Program Chair, Dr. Ronald Tobin, and Housing & Residential Services Director, Wilfred Brown, have collaborated for the past four years to recognize these high- achieving residents at a banquet. Honored students may invite a faculty member who has played a role in the student's success.

    Organized by Office of Residential Life staff members, this program is one of many that support the campus goals of academic excellence and diversity. The event will be scheduled for early spring quarter in the Corwin Pavilion.

    Campus Connection On-line

    An archive of past issues is included on this site for easy reference to a wide variety of issues, programs, and resources. The newsletter, which provides a vital link between home and the campus, will continue to be mailed to parents of all undergraduate students fall and spring quarters. Stay connected to campus and your student-bookmark it for easy access!

    Campus Connection is published by the University of California, Santa Barbara, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, to provide news and resources to the parents and families of UCSB undergraduates.

    The University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Division of Student Affairs recognize the diversity of our society and the many important people who have become "parents" to our students; these include step-moms, step-dads, uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings, friends and others who play a significant and supportive role in the lives and successes of UCSB undergraduates.

    Editor: Barbra Ortiz
    Copy Editor: Debbie Fleming
    Contributors: Carolyn Buford, Carol Hiles, Micael Kemp, Kristyn Kifune, Julie Levangie, Elizabeth Ozar, Burt Romotsky, Bill Shelor, Michael Takahara
    Design: Brenda Bernu Reheem
    Office of the Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs
    University of California
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2036
    If you need this document in an alternative format,
    please call 805-893-7884.
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