Parents & Families
The transition to college is not only a new experience for the student going away, but can often times be challenging for the entire family. Sending a student to college can be both exciting and stressful for all involved. Your student will need family support in order to make their transition into the NJIT residential life experience a successful one.
While we encourage students to take an active role in residential life, we understand that you as parents or guardians will have questions and concerns. The NJIT Residence Life Office wants to help your family provide support and encouragement to your student as well as provide your family with resources that will assist in your transition as well.
We have compiled information for your family that we hope you will find useful during this process.
- Tips for Parents/Guardians
- Residence Life Conduct Process
- Safety and Security
- Staying Informed/Useful Links
- Parent/Guardian FAQ
- NJIT Welcome Programs
- Family Newsletter
Comments or Questions?
Sign up for our parent mailing list. Register your email address with us to receive important residence life information and updates.
As students transition from children to adults, how do you keep abreast of what is going on in their lives, especially if they aren’t very communicative? It is common for parents to inquire about their student’s well being.
- Before you contact university staff members, consider the following:
- When students take on the legal status of “adults”, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), governs how NJIT deals with student records. This federal law does not allow us to share any part of a student’s record with anyone without student’s written consent. This includes student conduct records, academic records, and any records pertaining to student housing. The only exception is in an emergency.
- Denied access can be difficult to comprehend, particularly for parents who pay for their student’s education.
- It is important for your student to be the primary source of the information that you receive. Encourage them to communicate openly and honestly with you about issues involving their education. This is a critical skill to develop and helps build trust and respect between parents and students.
- College can be frustrating. For many, it is a time of confusing relationships, redefined friendships, and transition. Many have a hard time at first.
- Students have a tendency to call parents when they are having an emotionally difficult day. Many choose to share positive experiences with their friends and a higher proportion of the negative experiences with parents.
- You can provide a listening ear for negative and positive experiences by making a point to ask about the good things that are going on. Students need reminding about the positive aspects of their college experience to develop and help build trust and respect between parents and students.
Room for Mistakes
- Students will make mistakes as they negotiate what it means to be an adult. Some mistakes are more detrimental than others, and many will be important life lessons.
- The natural inclination is to correct a student when they head toward an unwise choice. While this is understandable, the end result may be that the student does not learn how to make that decision independently.
- We ask that parents discuss the options and allow room for students to make their own decisions. By making the wrong choice and dealing with the consequences, students learn to make better choices in the future.
- Issues of trust often come up. Parents who have been involved in their children’s lives are no longer involved on a daily basis. Parents wonder what the student is doing when they haven’t heard from them. In addition to safety concerns, they worry about choices being made in other areas.
- Our experience indicates that students occasionally make unwise choices, but most maintain their value system and the skills necessary to make smart decisions.
- Due to advances in communication technology, students and parents stay in touch on a daily basis. This is different than in previous years, when a phone call once a week and the occasional letter or package from home was all the contact students had with their families.
- New technologies make it easy to remain close but have had a negative effect on student development. Student’s who maintain close contact with family and friends from home often do not fully engage in the college experience.
- Cell phones, e-mail, and instant messaging can be a “crutch” for students who are not comfortable in their new environment. By filling their time with people from home, they avoid the difficult task of making new friends and establishing relationships.
- Parents can help by maintaining a “healthy distance” and encouraging students to utilize the resources and people at NJIT for interaction and solutions.
- Effectively guiding your student to independence will be very rewarding!
* taken from “Guiding Your Students to Independence,” provided by UCSB Housing and Residential Services, 2005.
Residence Life professional staff assume the primary duty to supervise student behavior in the residence halls. However, student misbehaviors can occur in a wide-range of areas. While the vast majority of these incidents will be resolved in the area in which they occur by the Residence Coordinators in those areas, more serious offenses will require referral to the Dean of Students’ Office.
In its simplest form, student misconduct will follow a well-established path from RA to Residence Coordinator, and if required, on to the Assistant Director/Director of Residence Life, the Peer Review Board or to DOS. The conduct meetings are part of our overall educational process and afford students the opportunity to re-evaluate their behaviors and understand the impact of their behaviors on themselves and the entire community.
Parents and guardians can assist by encouraging students to take responsibility for their actions. It can be extremely tempting for parents to want to step in and “fix” the problem, but this is not beneficial to your student’s development process. Our judicial process is fair and provides the opportunity for students to be heard and to appeal if they so choose. If your student talks to you about a judicial situation that they may be involved in, encourage them to be responsive and actively participate in the process. Students often ignore letters and correspondence from the office which can make the process more difficult for them in the end.
For a complete listing of our Residence Life Policies and Procedures click here
The safety of your student is a top priority here at NJIT. Escorts to parking lots or across campus are available during the evening and after normal business hours. Additionally, New Jersey Transit recently installed closed circuit television equipment in the Lock Street subway station that has improved safety at the stop. NJIT officers will continue to monitor the platforms in conjunction with the escorts.
To increase safety and security encourage your student to do the following:
- Keep NJIT ID’s with you at all times. This is what identifies students as members of our community. If an ID is lost it should be reported to Public Safety immediately.
- Sign in all guests and visitors at the desk. It is the responsibility of the student hosting the guest to be with that guest at all times while in the residence halls.
- Keep doors locked and do not share room combination/key information. Leaving doors unlocked, even if just going down the hall or to the bathroom, leaves the room vulnerable for theft.
- Utilize the university escort system.
- Report any suspicious activity to Public Safety at 973-596-3111.
For more information about safety and security visit the Department of Public Safety Webpage.
As the parent and/or family member of an NJIT student you are part of the NJIT campus community as well. NJIT offers opportunities for families to participate in special programs such as NJIT Day and Midnight Madness as well as sporting events throughout the year. Click on one of the links below to stay informed about campus events.
Family members of residential students should stay informed about checking in and out of the halls, break information as well as policy changes. The official newsletter of residence life, “Whisper in the Woods,” provides all of this information and more.
Other Useful Links
- The Center for Academic and Professional Enrichment (CAPE)
- The Center for First Year Students
- Career Development Services (CDS)
- Financial Aid
- Campus Tours
I have heard about resident / community assistants (RA/CAs). What do they do?
Each floor has two resident / community assistants. They have many roles: community facilitator, activities organizer, resource person, peer counselor, administrator, disciplinarian and friend. They are second, third or fourth year students selected based on their skills, interests and abilities, which enable them to assist and advise students. RA/CAs receive extensive training throughout the year to further develop their skills.
Who are Residence Coordinators?
Resident Coordinators (RCs) are full-time, professional staff members who live and work in the residence halls. They are responsible for the day to day administration of a residence hall. Resident Coordinators are involved in the section, training and supervision of the Resident Assistants (RAs) and Community Assistants (CAs). Encourage your son/daughter to talk to their RC if there have any concerns. Each RC has an office located on the first floor of the residence hall that they supervise.
Can I visit my son or daughter?
Each resident is allowed to have up to 3 guests at one time. Guests must be signed in at the front desk and present a valid ID to the desk attendant. You should prearrange your visits with your son/daughter because they will need to come to the desk to sign you in. The desk attendant cannot allow any outside visitors into the building without being properly signed in by a host.
Can my son or daughter change rooms?
All room changes must be approved by the Assistant Director of Residence Life. Generally, room changes are made during specifically scheduled periods of the year. There will be information posted in the halls about these dates. A student who wishes to request a room change outside of the room change period should speak to their Residence Coordinator or the Assistant Director. If your son/daughter is not getting along with their roommate, you should encourage them to talk to their roommate and fill out a roommate agreement. Our resident assistants are also available to assist with this process as well.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting to be added to our mailing list. Include the following information:
- Your Name
- Your email address
- Son/Daughter’s Name
- Son/Daughter’s Class (i.e., freshman, sophomore)
- Son/Daughter’s Residence Hall