The college years are a vibrant time for students and their families, filled with the excitement of new experiences, friends and possibilities for the future.
With that excitement, though, often come a number of questions, both for students navigating the path to a college degree and for the families supporting them along the way. As part of ASU’s mission to help students succeed and to keep families informed, the university has introduced Maroon and Gold Family Connection.
This series of live video chats provide Sun Devil family members an opportunity to connect with ASU staff, faculty, students and other parents through virtual conversations hosted by ASU New Student and Family Programs on the Sparky’s Family Facebook page.
Typically offered once a month via Facebook Live, the chats feature a moderator and panelists from across the university offering advice on college parenting relating to a wide range of topics. Parents can also ask any questions they have during the chat in the comment section.
Jennifer Hightower, vice president of Student Services at ASU, says that keeping families engaged in and informed about campus life is essential to the overall success of the student.
“The Maroon and Gold Family Connections series was developed to provide families with access to information and resources that enable them to become more familiar with everything ASU has to offer,” Hightower said. “We are continuously looking for ways to best serve our students and their families, toward our shared goal of success for every Sun Devil.”
The topics of the chats have included a range of subjects and participants, including “First-Year Success Coaching: The Right Person at the Right Time,” with ASU student success coaches; “Final Exam Study Tips,” featuring University Academic Success Programs academic peer mentors; and “Supporting Your Sun Devil’s Career Exploration and Development,” with Brandee Popaden-Smith and Kourtney Walker of Career and Professional Development Services and Mary Dawes, director of ASU’s Major and Career Exploration program.
This month, “Sun Devils Studying Abroad” was the focus of the chat presented April 20, featuring Adam Henry, director of ASU's Study Abroad Office, and Casey Kennedy, ASU Study Abroad peer adviser and sustainability student.
Nicole Taylor, deputy vice president and dean of students at ASU, served as a panelist for chats titled “Supporting Your Student’s Success: First Semester and Beyond” and “Coming Home: Connecting With Your Evolving College Student,” both with Aaron Krasnow, associate vice president of ASU Health Services and Counseling Services.
Taylor says that the transition to college is a significant one and an important time for family connections to stay strong. She believes the chats provide an efficient conduit for helping families navigate this transition.
Aaron Krasnow, associate vice president of ASU Health Services and Counseling Services, and Nicole Taylor, deputy vice president and dean of students, participate in the chat titled, “Coming Home: Connecting With Your Evolving College Student.” ASU senior Aundria Littlejohn served as moderator.
“I think the conversational format is effective, as is the medium in terms of communicating with so many families at once in a way that is logistically impossible to do with all of them in person,” Taylor said. “And, it seemed to help that my co-host and I were able to answer live questions that parents and families sent in during the taping of the session.”
In addition to providing families with tools and information to support their Sun Devils, the chats offer engagement opportunities for some ASU students who have served as panelists or moderators, allowing them to share their experiences as Sun Devils and discuss the keys to their success.
The Maroon and Gold Family Connection series continues to provide families with important information and resources with ongoing monthly events, and past chats are accessible on the ASU Parent and Family Resources website.