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Student Engagement

Welcome

Welcome to the Parent and Family Support website. We are thrilled you stopped by! We consider you a part of the Volunteer State Family now, and we want to partner with you in supporting your student (s). As a community college, we have students of all ages and from varied backgrounds. No matter the age or background, a unique trait that is shared throughout is the support of family and friends in the student's quest to graduate. Studies have shown that the more support a student has, the more likely they are to successfully complete college.

In order for college students to be successful in all areas, we hope that you will encourage your student (s) to get involved and have a well-balanced experience. Students who get involved and become engaged in campus activities are also more likely to successfully complete college.

Often, Parents and Family support groups feel that once their student begins college, they are no longer able to help the student with challenges. While we do have federal laws that prohibit sharing academic information with anyone other than the student, we still need your help. You know your student better than we do. If your student exhibits behaviors at home that seem to cause concern, chances are likely they are exhibiting these behaviors in the classroom. "Most kids are extremely nervous before they set off to college, and their nervousness comes out in different ways, not all of which are attractive." (Barkin, 1999)

  1. When your student (s) learn about support services on campus, make sure that you are aware of them and how your student can access them.
  2. Encourage students to take on a more proactive role. Professors and Advisors want to know what their goals and aspirations are while in college.
  3. Encourage relationship building. Students should be committed to meeting and building a rapport with their professors and academic advisors.

Parents and Family support persons are encouraged to contact the Office of Retention Support and College Success with any questions, comments, concerns. Visit us a www.volstate.edu/retention. You may email us at college.success@volstate.edu or contact us at 615-230-3390.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my student need a computer?

The college has computer labs available for students to utilize if they do not have a computer of their own. Students should always plan accordingly and prioritize their assignments. Some classes utilize computers more than others so students should be aware of this. As we become more technologically advanced, computers are more of a necessity. 

Are there extracurricular activities that my student can get involved with?

Yes! Absolutely and we encourage student involvement. Students who become involved are more likely to be more successful and perform better academically. Students should also be building their academic resume as soon as they start their higher education career. What sets your student apart from every other student with the same GPA and major? Employers and four year intuitions are looking to see how well rounded your student is when applying for jobs and/or scholarship opportunities.

How many classes should my student take?

This question is tough to answer. Many of our students have outside commitments and priorities that must come first. Typically what we advise students to do is prioritize their needs and wants. Example: If your student has to work a full time job to pay bills, support a family, etc. then we strongly encourage the student to start out slow. Take a couple of classes just to get accustomed to college.

Students whose number one priority can be school are usually encouraged to take a minimum of 12 credit hours (about 4 classes) in a semester. 

Ultimately, you know what type of student you are supporting. Students should understand that enrolling in college is a huge commitment. 

My student has a job and has to work. Is this okay?

Many of our students are in this same group. However, the most responsible and mature decision for these students is to start out slow in school. Taking a full course load is NEVER a good idea if your student works a full time job.

How can I get access to my student's information?

You must obtain that information from your student. By law, most academic information cannot be released to anyone but the student. The college is restricted by a federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). I know this is unsettling, especially if you happen to be the financer for your student's college. However, we must protect the students and their privacy. Your student is the best source and we encourage you to build that relationship of openness and honesty with your student.

We can and will give you information on general policies and practices that are not directly related to your student and their academic records.  

Do students get grades in the mail?

Grades are not mailed. Students receive grades at the end of the semester via their Vol State Portal. Students should regularly log in and check their Vol State student account and email for academic progress reports.  These can come in the form of ALERTS or Kudos or even Mid-Term reporting.

Will my student receive progress reports throughout the semester?

The college has an Early Alert system. This system is designed for Faculty and Staff to alert the Office of Retention Support Services and College Success to any students who may be in danger. Students are responsible for being aware of how they stand in their classes. We encourage students to meet with their instructors and and follow the syllabi as instructed.

My insurance company needs proof to show that my student is enrolled.

Your student can visit the Office of Records and Registration and request that an Enrollment Verification be submitted to your insurance company.

My student is taking a class in Livingston, but the rest of his classes are on the Main Campus in Gallatin.

This is an ALERT! Red FLAG! Our Livingston Campus is about 2 hours away from the Main Campus in Gallatin. Likewise, Highland Crest is our Springfield Campus, which is located about 45 minutes away from the Main Campus. The class schedule should be fixed.

My student does not like her Math class at 8:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Can she change her schedule?

Class schedules cannot be adjusted past the add/drop deadline once a semester begins. This period is typically three days after the semester begins.

Your student should pay close attention to deadlines within the semester. These deadlines are typically announced via email, posted on the monitors in each building, announced in classrooms, published on the website and in the college catalog.

What exactly is a credit hour?

Great question! This is the amount of time your student spends in one class for a semester. Example: English 1010 is 3 credit hours. Your student will be in English 1010 for three hours a week for the entire semester.

My student's schedule says TR. What does this mean?

This means that your student has enrolled in Tuesday/Thursday class(es).

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