Top 10 Tips

  1. Get familiar with services available to your student that might help them out.
  2. Remind them that it’s ok to ask for help, and to ask early! The faculty and the support services at UNBC are here to help students succeed. All any student has to do is ask.
  3. Underline the importance of going to class! Even though attendance may not be taken, important information is missed by not being in class. Your student is expected to treat university like a full-time job. Step one is showing up!
  4. Encourage your student to connect with their professors; this includes introducing themselves and utilizing office hours.
  5. When you share your opinion, thoughts, and values with your student, encourage them to utilize on-campus resources, advisors, or support services. Your student’s success is the university’s first priority; we are here to help them.
  6. Check in with your student, even if they don’t text back right away and don’t forget to visit them. They might not seem like it, but they do miss you!
  7. Expect university culture shock – they are walking into a brand new environment; this is kind of a big deal. Give your student the time to find solutions to their problems in their own way while at university. The first few semesters can be difficult, but students will learn to adapt at their own pace.
  8. Let them make their own decisions. Let your student choose their own major, decide what classes they want to take, and determine their class load. These actions will service them well as they progress through the next few years, on their own, through university. If they are unsure, leave it to the professionals, UNBC has many support services to aid students in this decision.
  9. Ask questions, most students appreciate it when their parents take an interest in what they are doing and offer advice; but avoid telling them what to do.
  10. Avoid asking your student if they are homesick: The power of suggestion can be very strong, and you must remember that even if your student does not say they are homesick, they still miss you.

High School vs. University

High School

  • Students count on parents and teachers to remind them of their responsibilities and to guide them in setting priorities.
  • Teachers carefully monitor class attendance.
  • Teachers check to see if students have completed homework.
  • Teachers approach students if they think they need assistance.
  • Teachers often write information on the board to be copied into students’ notes.
  • Students may study outside of a class as little as zero to two hours a week, and this may be mostly last minute preparation.
  • Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material.
  • Consistently good homework grades may help raise students overall grade when test grades are low.


  • Students will be faced with a large number of moral and ethical decisions that they have not had to face previously.
  • Professors may not formally take role, but they are still likely to know whether students attended.
  • Professors may not always check completed homework, but they will assume students can perform the same tasks on tests.
  • Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect students to initiate contact if they need assistance.
  • Professors will lecture non-stop, expecting students to identify the important points in their notes. Good notes are a must.
  • Students need to study 3-4 hours outside of class for each hour spent in class.
  • Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material. Students, not the professor, need to organize the material to prepare for a test. A particular course may only have 2 or 3 tests a semester.
  • Grades on tests and major papers usually provide most of the course grade.

Parent-Student Communication

With the help of email, text messaging and cell phones, a students’ ability to communicate challenges to parents is nearly instantaneous. Never before have parents been so connected to their students’ university experiences moment by moment as they unfold. The learning curve for parents is to ensure they know how to support their student in the most effective way.

The Good

Being so connected means that you can now offer more support than ever before. University can occasionally be a difficult transition, so just knowing that you’re close by can be reassuring to your student. You can also know what’s happening in your student's life.

The Not-So-Good

Since parents have more accessibility to the details of their students’ daily lives, it can be hard for parents to let go. University professionals are getting more and more messages from parents calling campus looking for answers to their students’ problems. Parents should do their best to learn what the university experience looks like, this way, when a problem arises, you can support your student by pointing them in the right direction.

Long Distance Support

While you may be constantly worrying about your student's diet, accommodations, friends, academics etc.; they will be trying to stay focused while still missing the support of family and friends. There are ways to make your student feel better and stay on track: letters or cards for special occasions or just for laughs; a surprise phone call; and “care packages” are a connection to home. Getting some well-timed encouragement can help your student keep going as they plow through notes and late night studying.

Encourage Your Student

For some students, their first year can be full of indecision, insecurities, and disappointments. It is also full of discovery, successes, good times, and new people. For many; however, it’s not the good that stands out. For those who believe all university students get good grades, know what they want to major in, have activity-packed weekends, make thousands of close friends and lead carefree lives, they may need to re-evaluate their perception.

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act

While UNBC understands that as a parent, you have a deep interest in your student's progress and accomplishments at university, much of the information you might seek from UNBC is restricted due to the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act.

This restricted information includes, but is not limited to, grade statements, medical information, financial information, and personal information. UNBC is allowed to disclose this information only if the relevant individual has given specific, written consent or so that the next of kin can be contacted in case of emergency.

If you have concerns about your student’s academic, emotional or physical well-being, work to keep the lines of communication open and maintain a supportive relationship with your student so that they will share with you.

Undergraduate Academic Calendar

All UNBC students need to be aware of the rules and regulations of the University. UNBC expects students to follow these rules and regulations. Both students and parents should be aware that UNBC has disciplinary procedures in place.

The University’s undergraduate policies and regulations are outlined in the Undergraduate Academic Calendar.