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The Parent Experience - Clas of 2015


Though news reports across the nation carried stories about what was happening at TCU last week, it really did not represent the activities of more than 8000 students who live, work, play, and study here.  This month, student leaders have been selected to be RAs, Frog Camp facilitators, and Connections mentors.   Last week, TCU women’s golf team was named Golfweek's Team of the Week. TCU pitcher Andrew Mitchell was named the Mountain West Pitcher of the Week for his performance on Feb. 24.  A talented field of actors has been rehearsing “the Elephant Man,” the TCU Theatre’s production which runs February 28 – March 4. 

More than 500 students are registering to participate on Saturday March 10 in TCU LEAPS, the day of service that occurs every long semester at TCU.  Hundreds of students are signing-up for fall 2012 housing on campus.  The same hundreds plus many more are at the library, in their rooms, and around campus preparing for quizzes and tests now and the often-feared “midterms” that will occur before Spring Break.  Yes, this list is only a small example of all the wonderful, exciting and normal things occurring on the TCU campus this week!
For students, the most important March dates fall between 5:00 PM on Friday, March 16 and 8:00 AM on Monday, March 26, the period of time known as Spring Break!  Spring Break can be a fabulous week of fun and relaxation, community service, networking for the best summer internship**, organized study time, or very bad memories wrought with visions of poor choices resulting in disappointment, injury, and sometimes death.  Spring Break is about choices.  The article, Safe Spring Break offers some topics worthy of conversation if your son or daughter is heading off to the beaches with friends.   If your student is staying home for the break a combination of fun, networking, community service and studying may be the best combination for the perfect week away!  Wherever and whatever your student is doing over break, we want to see rested and motivated students in class on Monday the 23rd, ready to face the second half of the semester!

**By the way, speaking of “networking” for summer opportunities, the Center for Academic Services are offering a workshop on Monday and Tuesday, March 5 and 6 titled, “Planning a Productive Summer.”  Like all workshops, it takes place in Scharbauer 1010 at 4:00 PM.

Though students are focused on Spring Break, some important dates are coming up and are highlighted below:

Unsatisfactory Grades due to Registrar at 9:00 AM
Wednesday, March 7

The week of March 12, ask your son or daughter if he/she received any unsatisfactory reports.  If the answer is “yes,” it can be a red flag that something needs to change.  It may mean the student needs to work harder.  It could also mean that he/she should drop the class or register for pass/no credit.   The student needs to visit with his/her professor and/or academic advisor in order to make the best decision.

Last Day to Withdraw from a class
Thursday, March 15
Students must speak to their advisor prior to making changes to their schedule.

Last Day to Elect Pass/No Credit for a class
Friday, March 16
Students must speak to their advisor prior to making changes to their schedule.

Schedule Advising for Summer and Fall 2012 Begins
Monday, March 26

A few weeks ago, the TCU Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, and Vice Chancellors met to determine TCU’s "Vision for the Future."  The Chancellor sent the Campus community a summary of the report just this week.  We wanted to share it with you.

There are some fabulous workshops in the Career Center.  They are featured later in this newsletter.  Encourage your student to participate!!

Again we welcome our guest author Kevin Smith with an article he has written specifically with parents of graduating seniors in mind.  With a title like “Great Jobs Are Available,” even your students will want to read it!

Most important, Family Weekend is September 21 – 23, 2012.  We will play Virginia.  More information will be available at http://www.familyweekend.com/ as the date gets closer.  Homecoming is October 19-20, 2012.  Our opponent will be Texas Tech.  You will not want to miss either game!

Again, let me remind you about the questions in the column on the right.  Please answer them.  It is very helpful to us as we plan for the future.

As always, if I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to ask. Don’t forget to check out our web site at parents.tcu.edu for all the latest news!

 Go Frogs!

Kay Higgins, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Student Development
Director of Parent and Family Programs

March 2012


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 Important Dates

V-Day Poetry Slam
March 5, 6-8 p.m.
Campus Commons

Academic Success Workshop: Planning a productive summer
March 5 & 6, 4:00-4:50pm

Condom Bingo
March 6, 6 p.m.
Sherley Hall

The Party followed by
Self-Defense Demonstration
March 6, 7:30 p.m.
BLUU Beck/Geren

Safe Spring Break Bracket Tournament
March 7, 7 p.m.
Clark Hall

Career Center Workshops
Marketing Yourself, Building Your Personal Brand
March 7

Senseless Acts of Comedy
Spring Break Edition
March 8, 9 p.m.
BLUU Ballroom

Money Talks- Credit Cards: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly for College Students
March 13, 3:30 p.m., Scharbauer 2008 

Academic Success Workshop:Preparing for Advising & Enrollment
March 26 & 27, 4:00-4:50pm

Networking Nights
Criminal Justice- March 6
Interior Design- March 8
Communication- March 13

Career Center Workshops
The Post Graduation Job Hunt
April 4

Please make sure you file your FAFSA application by May 1 to meet the priority funding deadline. Please visit
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to complete the application. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions.




March Parent Survey:
Class of 2012

My student is doing what for Spring Break?

  • Staying on campus
  • Participating in a university sponsored program  (Washington, D.C., Service in Fort Worth, San Francisco with  Religious and Spiritual life, etc)
  • Going to a resort/beach with friends
  • Going to a friend’s home
  • Going with our family on a vacation
  • Coming to our home
  • Other  ____________

Which of these sentences describes your student?  (Check all that apply.)

  • My student is preparing for the transition from college to life after college.
  • My student attended the Senior Conference in January.
  • My student is planning on participating in closure events such as the Senior Toast and Graduation?
  • My student is concerned about becoming financially responsible?
  • My student is more financially responsible than I could ever be!

Click here to respond!
click "fill out"

Great Jobs are Available
By C. Kevin Smith

Spring is here, and your son or daughter is graduating soon. Congratulations! Now the question becomes – is your student ready for the transition ahead? Has he set forth a vision that logically fits his strengths and interests? Does she have the right frame of mind to successfully navigate today’s competitive landscape?

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to coach and train hundreds of junior-and senior-level students at several universities, including TCU. Based on these conversations, I’ve made these quick observations:

- Life on campus is good!
- There are some talented young men and women who expect to succeed.
- Conversely, few students could articulate a compelling vision for themselves professionally; in fact, only about 20 percent could give specifics of a desired job and how their strengths enabled them to potentially excel in the position.
- Many weren’t sure where to start the process of securing employment, and there were far too many proclamations of the marketplace having no available jobs.

As parents, our challenge is to turn these observations into discussion points for growth and opportunity. Often the greater challenge is to make our own transition – from parent to guide, from a place of telling our sons or daughters what to do to instead facilitating a conversation.

Allow me to make three suggestions I believe will aid in starting a discussion with your student:

1. Yes, there are jobs available, and some incredible ones at that! Organizations, both big and small, are ramping up efforts to mitigate the upcoming talent shortage that will be created by baby boomers exiting the workforce. As a result, students who have differentiated themselves (by on- and off-campus efforts) are in demand.

A key starting point for your student is building confidence. The belief that there are no jobs can be a lack of workplace understanding, or, quite simply, fear. Being afraid of the unknown is normal, but fear too easily leads to doubt and inactivity.

Our state of mind before making a decision, especially a life decision, is critical. Determine ways you can objectively encourage your student, which does not include a speech on how wonderful they are and how lucky any employer would be to have them. Platitudes will not corral fear. Research and discuss industry hiring trends or desired skills and characteristics that employers are seeking. The more objective you can make the dialogue, the quicker you will help your student overcome fear.

2. Challenge the assumptions of your student and seek out greater detail. Most students don’t know what they don’t know. As a result many are choosing to distribute generic resumes to electronic application systems that rarely result in a job. Less than 10 percent of all hiring is made through this process despite increasing volumes of job seekers blindly sending resumes.

A majority of hiring comes through personal recommendations, completion of internships and other direct methods. A hiring manager needs to know what’s unique about your student, how they will fit culturally within the organization, and how well they will perform the duties required. Is your student spending a proportionate amount of his or her time in activities that can demonstrate these abilities?

If your child says he is sending out resumes but getting no response, challenge him to engage in conversations. In fact, encourage him to engage in multiple discussions with a variety of people in many settings. He’s going to hear “no.” Help him understand that’s the only way to find a “yes.” She is going to mess up on a call or in an interview – that’s the only way to learn how to do better the next time. This is the time to stub their toes a bit, and let them learn and grow.

One other cautionary point regarding the first observation: Life on campus really is good … and fun! Students spend time with like-minded peers and enjoy beautiful settings, all without much worry. Although they know they need to do more regarding post-graduation, subconsciously it’s hard. This is where accountability is needed from you or another caring adult in your student’s life.

3. Passion, focus and clarity are absolute musts. Too many seniors are still ambiguous about their career goals or speak about them in generic terms. Others give specific answers yet have little substance behind the claim. Employers have too many choices in candidates to try to guess how your student is gifted or what they want to do.

Help your student strategically position him or herself for success. A statement such as “I want a job in marketing” needs to be honed. “I first caught the bug for grassroots marketing and the nonprofit sector as a volunteer for Special Olympics in high school. I am completing a psychology degree and have fully immersed myself the last two years in community-based programming for national brands such as Frito Lay and Pepsi as a field-marketing intern for The Marketing Arm in Dallas. Therefore as a May 2012 graduate of TCU I believe I can best contribute to the success of your company by …” It’s easy to see the difference, as a parent or a potential employer.

In the end the key to accelerating the transition into the fulltime workplace is development of a results-driven strategy. The marketplace needs individuals who are hopeful and have confidence in their abilities, who are outwardly focused and inclusive of workplace experiences and relationships, and finally, individuals that clearly demonstrate self-awareness, focus and the drive to follow a dream.

Good jobs are available. Is your soon-to-be graduate prepared and ready?

C. Kevin Smith (kevin@meaningfulstart.com) is a father of three and 25-year marketing & brand strategist with organizations such as FOX Sports, Converse and P.F. Chang's China Bistro. He is founding partner of Meaningful Start, a private coaching practice and consultancy designed to partner with parents and universities, hiring organizations and career practitioners, all with the intent of accelerating the launch and performance of new or soon-to-be graduates into the fulltime workforce.

Make Sure Your Student is Being Safe this Spring Break

Few words in college students’ vocabulary are uttered with more fervent hope than “Spring Break.” Spring Break is meant to be a period of time intended for rest of the mind, relaxation of the body and rejuvenation of the spirit for students. However it has also become associated with rowdy parties and rambunctious behavior.

Every year, thousands of college students participate in some type of spring break activity whether it is includes traveling to an exotic location, taking a road trip, or participating in a service or volunteer project. In order to help prepare students for their spring break plans – regardless of their destination – every year, the TCU Alcohol & Drug Education Center sponsors a Safe Spring Break Campaign.

The goal of the Safe Spring Break campaign is to promote safe and sober diving, responsible decision-making, planned strategies for personal safety, and avoiding high-risk drinking or substance use. In addition to these programs which will be held on campus prior to Spring Break, here are some tips you can share with your students, particularly if they are planning to travel during Spring Break:

• If traveling, pack copies of all your travel and identification documents in case the originals are lost or stolen.
• If driving, get your vehicle checked out and tuned up to reduce the chance of a break down, and don’t forget your phone charger just in case!
• Whether swimming at the beach, skiing down the mountain, or roofing a house, don’t forget sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 or higher.
• If you choose to consume alcohol, remember that alcohol and other drugs (even over-the-counter medications) don’t mix! Serious drug interactions can occur with even common medications.
• Never leave your drink unattended, and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. It is far too easy for predators to take advantage of students by spiking drinks with drugs.
• Use the “Buddy System” and never leave a friend alone or allow that friend to leave with new people they just met.

We want Spring Break to be fun and memorable for our students. Please encourage your students to think about their own responsibility and health when it comes to their Spring Break plans.

For additional information, contact the TCU Alcohol & Drug Education Center at 817-257-7100.

Important News from Housing and Residential Life:

Junior/Senior Cancellation

Rising Junior or Senior students who cancel their housing between July 16 – August 15 will be assessed a $500 cancellation charge. After August 15, they will be assessed a $1,000 cancellation fee.


Once a rising Junior or Senior student moves into the residence halls, he/she is agreeing to the full academic-year housing license and cannot cancel mid-year to move off-campus, etc.


Housing Sign-up information for current residents:

Students who submitted a Housing Application between February 3 and March 2 will be issued a lottery timeslot to select their space between March 27 – 30.


Two Off-Campus Housing Fairs will be held on-campus in the Brown-Lupton University Union (BLUU) Ballroom to allow rising Juniors and Seniors the opportunity to visit with local apartment communities about their leasing options. These events will begin at 8:00pm on March 14 or April 17.

For more information & a list of important links, visit our website.

TCU Parents' Association
TCU Box 297350
Fort Worth, TX 76129