Parent Update

Friday, June 29, 2012

Welcome to the Parent and Family Association (PAFA)

Welcome New Families to the Parent and Family Association!

By virtue of your student becoming a Katie, you and your family members are automatically members of the Parent and Family Association.  Our mission is to provide a welcoming community for parents and families of current students. We will provide resources, guidance, opportunities for involvement and timely communication  designed to help you assist your student reaching her academic and career goals.  PAFA provides parents with an electronic newsletter, Parent Update that is published 5-6 times a year, an engaging Speaker Series (Podcast for parents who live out-state or out-of-state), a comprehensive resource web-site ( with current events, resources, and more.  PAFA is advised by a group of volunteer parents who meet four times each year to provide staff with suggestions, ideas for programming and ways to engage parents of our students.  If you have questions or would like to become involved, contact either of the PAFA co-chairs, Ellen Richter-Norgel ( or Stacy Rooney,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Parent and New Student Orientation, Sunday, September 2

St. Paul campus will be offering parents and family members of our baccalaureate students a Parent Orientation program, scheduled for Sunday, September 2nd. In the morning, residence hall students will be able to move into their residence hall and commuter students will have an opportunity to gather for a reception just for them. Following the official Welcome at 2 p.m. in the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, the Parent's Program will take place from 3-4:30 p.m., featuring Shanan Custer, an accomplished actress in the Twin Cities and also one of the instructors for The Reflective Women course. Be prepared to be entertained, informed and uplifted as she shares and engaging and poignant presentation entitled, "It's Going To Be Ok." Whether you are a veteran of sending off a child to college or, if this is your first, you will find this presentation to be very helpful. Parents and family members will be invited to participate in a Sending Ritual following this program; parents and family members can depart from campus after 5 p.m. For a full schedule of events for New Student Orientation as well as the Parent Program, visit the Events link on the Parent and Family Resource web site:
(Note:Transfer Orientation and Minneapolis Associate of Arts Orientation takes place on Tuesday, September 4.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Save the Dates: Parent and Family Speaker Series: 2012-2013

Join us for the 2012-13 speaker series on topics important and of interest to parents and family members. All speaker series events are free to Parent and Family Association members. You are welcome to invite your student as well. When permission if given by the presenters, we will provide these events as Podcasts on the Parent and Family Resource web site: ( for families not able to attend. 

Fall 2012
Saturday, October 13 (Family Weekend)
"It's a Jungle Out There: Financial Survival Skills for Life (and after) College."  Presented by Charlie Bolognino, Certified Financial Counselor. Time: 10-11:30 a.m.; Location: 3rd Floor Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine 

Spring 2013
Sunday, February 10
"Study Abroad at St. Kate's: Who, What, Where, When and How?" 
Presented by Catherine Spaeth, Director of Global Studies. Time: 1-2:30 p.m.; Location: President's Dining Room, 372, Coeur de Catherine

Sunday, April 21
"Chapel Talk". Social Work Professor Mary Ann Brendon will share her research of how Our Lady of victory Chapel came to be -- how Mother Antonia McHugh used the Cathedral of St. Trophime, Arles, France, as inspiration. Come and learn about hte beautiful architecture and unique features of the beautiful chapel. Time: 1-2:30 p.m.; Location: Our Lady of Victory Chapel

Please R.S.V.P. your attendance to Ellen Richter-Norgel,, or call 651.690-8730.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tips for sending off your student.....

Thinking of what you'd like to share/advise/mention/plead/communicate to your student before leaving for the fall?  Here are a few great tips 
 What is the Communication Plan? Given all of the amazing ways we can communicate these days (texting, cell phone, email, Twitter, etc.) students and parents will want to talk about how and how often they will communicate. Having a conversation in advance will help with establishing some healthy boundaries while fostering the student's sense of independence and at the same time, keeping parents informed and connected.

Who sees the grades? Parents who were able to attend the Parent Registration Program during May and June learned about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which protects college students' records. This act restricts institutions from sharing grades, student account information and other records without a student's written permission.  Students and parents will want to discuss what level of disclosure is mutually expected and acceptable. Also, St. Kate's provides the opportunity for parents to have access to their student's account information with a signed release; the form is called the Consent to Release Information form. If you have not done so yet, this would be a great topic to discuss.  Questions? contact the Student Accounts office at 651.690-6503.

How will your student manage her money, financial responsibilities and credit cards? You do not want to send your student off to college without this conversation. Discuss your expectations for what your student is going to be responsible for covering on her own. You may want to help her develop a budget before she leaves. So many students have not had to be aware of personal expenses, so she may be surprised how these items can add up. Discuss who is paying for what including tuition payments, meals, books, cellphone, gas/transportation, personal spending, etc. If your student has a credit card, does she know how it works?  Refer your student to St. Kate's Money Management program for developing knowledge and financial management skills that she can use for her lifetime!

How to manage all the time and freedom? As noted in this article, few high school students have had to be fully responsible for meals, creating their own curfew, managing their time. Discussing time management tools like a day planner, the importance of creating a schedule that helps maintain balance in their lives (exercise), developing a study schedule and how to deal with "free" time would be great conversation suggestions. Her academic advisor can help her develop a schedule that will include the needed study time.

Who's experience is this, really?  Overtime, parents will want to encourage their student to learn how to advocate for ask for help from the array of offices and programs all designed to provide support and assistance. While it may feel good for parents to be needed and called on, students will feel a sense of empowerment as they access and develop their own problem-solving skills.
Article adapted from:  Checklists for Parents of College Students by Lisa Belkin entitled (

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Chautauqua

Come join the 2nd annual Summer Chautauqua! St. Catherine community members are invited to participate in this wonderful summer program of life-long learning events sponsored by the Office of Alumnae Relations, and the College of Applied and Continuing Learning. The St. Kate's Summer Chautauqua offers eight days (Aug 8-15)  of adult classes and events open to alumnae, students, faculty, staff, parents and family members and the greater community. Chautauqua will kick off with a family-friendly an Irish Ceili dance on Wednesday, August 8 from 7-9 p.m. Music is provided by Twinc Cities group Barra, with dance caller Ann Wiberg. This event is open the public--everyone is welcome.
 Speakers throughout these eight days will address topics including life balance, nutrition, poetry, ethics, health brain aging, conversation with books and much, much more.  For a full schedule of events, activities and classes offered, go to or call, 651.690-6666.  Don't miss out on this extraordinary opportunity for learning, fun, laughter and community building.