Family Fusion Newsletter

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Save Student Aid

Proposals are being made in Congress to cut federal financial aid by $150 billion over the next ten years, including a nearly $1,000 cut to the maximum Pell Grant and charging interest on student loans for low-income students while they are still in school.

We urge you to join the Save Student Aid campaign being conducted by the Student Aid Alliance.  You can learn more, to help you communicate with your Congressional Representatives about this, by clicking on this link: campaign site.

Your partnership in advocating for the preservation of federal financial aid will be much appreciated.  We will update you about this periodically, as well.

Focus: Your Student Returning Home

Summer is right around the corner and your college student will be returning home. Have you had a conversation with them about how they plan to spend their summer? We are going to provide you with a few tips to ensure a smooth transition from their dorm to your house, with a special focus on helping them find a job or internship! Whether your student has graduated or plans on returning to campus in the fall, finding a job or internship is a summer essential!
  1. Prep Work: A way that you can help your student in the job search process is by reaching out to your network of professionals before your student returns home. A lot of companies do their summer hiring before summer starts. Ask coworkers and other people in your network if they are hiring and share these details with your student.
  2. Use Your Resources: And by use your resources, we mean: use us! Our services are free to students and alumni all year long. We can help your student in this process by reviewing résumés and cover letters; provide interview practice and job search tools, as well as tips on dining etiquette and creating a positive social media presence.
  3. Let Them Relax: This might be hard to digest, but chances are your student most likely didn’t sleep well the last few weeks of class. Studying for final exams, handing in research papers and packing up their dorm room is exhausting! Give your student a few days to catch up and adjust to not being at college anymore.
  4. Remember That Your Student Is Not a Child Anymore: Your baby grew up! Recognize that they are an adult and have been living independently for months, if not years. Have an open discussion about expectations and adjust the household rules so that you both can live comfortably and happily.

Having your student return home can be an exciting event! With the use of our tips, this transition will be a little bit easier of an adjustment with an end result of your student securing an internship or job! Good luck!

Residence Life

Is your student taking summer classes?

If so, limited summer housing is available. Students who are enrolled in Alvernia summer classes, have a University approved internship or are working on campus, may apply for summer housing. Summer housing will be in Pacelli hall and will cost $65/week. There is no meal plan available during the summer. If your student is interested and may need to stay on campus, please have them stop by the Office of Residence Life in Veronica Hall or contact us via phone 610-796-8320.

Educational Planning

Although summer is fast approaching, there is still time to visit the EPC to talk about ways to make use of your break to advance your educational goals.

Summer can also be a great time to catch up on credits or get ahead in your studies. Alvernia offers summer courses in a variety of formats, including 100% online. Before the semester ends, your student should be sure to chat with his or her academic advisor about transferring in credits from your local community college or taking summer courses here.

Get Ahead with Summer Classes

Taking courses over summer is a great way to gain some credits toward graduation and, if taken at Alvernia, boost the GPA.  Courses begin and end at various times during the summer, so it is not too late to register.

Alvernia Summer Courses run in several time slots.  Registration for our first summer session is now closed, but there are still two more:

  • Mod 6     7/6/15 – 8/20/15– Days, times vary; blended, 100% online, or face to face
  • Mod B     6/18/15 – 6/26/15 – Monday through Friday, 8 am to 12 noon

Keep in mind that your financial aid package might not cover summer, so it is always a good idea to check with Student Financial Planning before registering for a course.
To register for a summer course at Alvernia:, a student should

  1. Talk to his/her advisor about how it fits in the student’s  educational plan
  2. Make sure her/his advisor authorizes summer classes in our self-service system
  3. Register for the course in self-service.

Taking summer courses at other universities sometimes is a good idea if the student wants to transfer in credits and is not concerned about bringing up the GPA.  Credits will transfer if a C or better is earned,  but  the grade will not.

To register for a summer course at another institution, the student should

  1. Talk to his/her advisor about how it fits in the student’s  educational plan
  2. Fill out a Transfer Credit Approval Form (found on the myAlvernia portal forms and docs page, in the Educational Planning Center (EPC) or in the Registrar’s office) and attach a course description
  3. Get signatures from the advisor and the chair of the department that houses the similar course at Alvernia
  4. Submit the form to the Registrar’s office. It is important to do this so that you are certain the course will transfer in!
  5. Then register for the course at the alternate institution. Later, request a transcript be sent back to Alvernia once the course is completed.

A third option is to take an online course through the OCICU, the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities. Courses taken through OCICU will count toward the GPA.  Information about course offerings can be found on the Distance Education website here:

To register for a summer course via the OCICU:

  1. Browse the course offerings listed on the Distance Education page
  2. Discuss this option with the advisor
  3. Fill out the appropriate paperwork, which can also be found on the Distance Ed page listed above.

Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness is happy to announce they have converted to an electronic health record, PyraMED.  This system includes a student health portal which will be of great benefit to our students.  Students can complete medical forms, health insurance waivers, and upload medical documentation on the student health portal when needed. Unfortunately, the transition process uncovered a few anomalies in some of the student immunization or insurance card records.  If your student receives an email, phone call or written letter from our office, please help us by: 1) checking your records or with your medical provider to verify the dates of administration of the vaccines in question, 2) following through on the requirements/recommendations of the university, 3) updating your students record by submitting new or corrected information to the Health & Wellness Center prior to August 1, 2015.

Finally, students who will be participating in an off-campus learning experience (internship, field work, student teaching, clinical rotation) in the fall should check with the Health & Wellness Center regarding any additional health requirements for their sites.  It would be best to do this once they have confirmed site placements with their departments and early enough in the summer to allow time to complete these requirements.

Taking Stock after the Academic Year

Now what? The semester is over and you have received final grades. Your student studied hard, but the outcome was not what either of you expected. This realization often creates stress for students and parents when considering what went wrong. Try to keep perspective.

Now your student is home with Summer Break in front of him or her, but what is going on? He/she is not happy. You (parents) are not happy. This realization often creates stress for students and parents when considering what went wrong. Try to keep perspective. Be careful not to fall into what Matthew McKay* calls limited thinking patterns. These thinking patterns can leave you stuck in a negative place. Some common traps include:

Filtering: You focus on the negative details while ignoring all the positive aspects of a situation. In this case, parents might focus on the one bad grade while ignoring that there were other courses in which the student excelled.

Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There’s no middle ground, no room for mistakes.  For example, if it’s not an A, it’s not good enough.

Overgeneralization: You reach a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. For example, a student or parent might worry that this is the wrong major or wrong school     because the student didn’t do as well as expected in this one class.

Performance is the hallmark of college in today’s society but try not to lose focus by engaging in limited thinking patterns. While a bad grade is distressing for students and parents, how it is handled greatly impacts the student’s future success. Help your student to move forward! Focus on how to prevent this from happening next semester by identifying what went wrong and how to address it. Use the academic support offered at school to help.  Contact our Educational Planning Center at 610.796.8266 to learn more.

*McKay, M., Davis, M., & Fanning, P. (1997).Thoughts and Feelings. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications

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