Resources for USC Upstate Parents
WHO TO CONTACT: Dean of Students (family crisis / medical absences); Student Success Center (all other absences)
SUGGESTION: The class attendance policy is determined individually by each professor. Faculty may permit students to make-up work only for serious illness, death in the family, representing the University off campus, etc. Please contact the appropriate office for further assistance if your student is accumulating absences.
ISSUE: Academic Difficulties
WHO TO CONTACT: Professor or Student Success Center
SUGGESTION: Students who are struggling academically should first and foremost meet with their professor. They should also be referred to the Student Success Center to get academic counseling and to receive any needed additional academic support necessary (tutoring, SI, etc.).
ISSUE: Alcohol/Drug Abuse
WHO TO CONTACT: Health Education
SUGGESTION: Try to determine the extent of abuse; encourage student to seek professional help. The problem may be too severe for parents or students to deal with alone. Contact Health Education for consultation and referral.
ISSUE: Roommate Conflicts
WHO TO CONTACT: Residential Life or Counseling Services
SUGGESTION: Encourage student to take time to work through conflicts; discuss the value of learning to get along with someone who is different; help student to be appropriately assertive without being domineering. Make them aware of Counseling Services as a resource.
WHO TO CONTACT: Health Services
SUGGESTION: Encourage the student to go to Health Services for treatment. If needed, Health Services will make the appropriate referral or work with the primary care physician for treatment.
WHO TO CONTACT: Counseling Services or Residential Life
SUGGESTION: Before school starts, determine when visits home will be scheduled and when you might be able to visit the campus; let your student know that homesickness is a common problem with freshmen and Counseling Services can offer support. Use campus notifications to help student learn about things to do on campus and in the community. Urge student to contact the Office of Student Life about how to get involved at USC Upstate.
ISSUE: Changing Major
WHO TO CONTACT: Career Center, Counseling Services or Academic Advisor
SUGGESTION: Research shows most college students will change their major several times during their college experience. This is normal and does not reflect indecisiveness, but more likely a clarification of students’ interests, values and skills as they relate to career choice. Encourage your student to seek career
counseling in order that they might clarify their career path.
WHO TO CONTACT: University Police or Resident Assistant
SUGGESTION: USC Upstate is a relatively safe place, but students need to be reminded that they need to take the same precautions here that they would in any metropolitan area. Emergency call boxes are located throughout campus. Tips on personal safety and the security of property will be provided by the
ISSUE: Parking Tickets
WHO TO CONTACT: University Police
SUGGESTION: Make sure student has a clear understanding of where on campus students (depending on sticker color) can park. Unpaid parking tickets end up on a student’s account – you may want to make sure your student knows he/she is responsible for those charges.
ISSUE: Withdrawal from a class
WHO TO CONTACT: Professor, Academic Advisor, Student Success Center, Financial Aid
SUGGESTION: Student should always discuss matter with professor first. Additional support and advice can be provided through the Student Success Center. Students should also check with their academic advisor to determine impact of decision on degree progress. Students should be aware of deadlines set forth in the academic calendar every semester. Students receiving scholarships or financial aid should check with the Financial Aid Office to determine any impact of withdrawing from a class.
Issue: Determining a Career Goal
WHO TO CONTACT: Career Center or Counseling Services
SUGGESTION: Career exploration is a process which takes place over the duration of the college experience. Personality inventories utilized in career counseling, exploration using SIGI (a computerized career guidance instrument), internships and resume development are just some of the components students can use to
continually refine their career goals.
We know dropping your child off at college is sometimes difficult, but we have some tips for you to make the experience a pleasant one.
- If possible, plan a campus visit, e.g., a sporting event, a weekend, or a day at Upstate with your student. Take your student and his or her friends to lunch, dinner or for an outing. You will not believe how many friends your child has when a free meal is involved, especially at the end of the semester when money is low. If you include friends, you are a welcomed guest just about any time.
- Phone, email, text or connect on social media with your student, especially in the beginning of the year. Keep in mind that your college student may also be thrilled to receive an article of clothing once in a while, or something silly/sentimental.
- During the semester, send a beloved food item. If your student comes home on the weekends, send the leftovers back to campus.
- Purchase a gift certificate from a grocery store or your student’s favorite store. Your student can then spend the certificate on food items, etc., and you know the money will go for what it was intended.
- For holidays, send something appropriate, like plastic pumpkins filled with Halloween candy, holiday baskets, etc. Students love traditions whether they are at home or away at college, and it’s good to send enough to share.
- Discuss financial management with your son or daughter before he or she begins at USC Upstate. It is strongly recommended students either open a local bank account or use a bank near home. You may also consider educating your student on the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards as they will have plenty of opportunities to apply. Keep in mind that college students are rarely denied.
- Encourage your student to balance his or her checkbook before leaving USC Upstate for breaks. This is a common problem because students are not at school to keep up with their mail.
- Have your student create a monthly budget instead of a semester budget for the first year. But encourage them to be somewhat flexible the first semester as it is difficult to anticipate expenses.
- If you have not begun giving your student added responsibilities at home during his or her high school senior year (budgeting money, washing and ironing, extending curfews, managing time, etc.), do it now.
- Remember, parental guidance does not mean trying to control your student’s decisions or actions from home. Keeping criticisms to a minimum will keep the lines of communication open.
- Encourage your student to foster a good rapport with his or her academic adviser and to develop a network of peers, administrators, faculty and staff to count on for advice and guidance.
- Be aware of any stipulations established by your health insurance provider. Most require the student to be full-time in order to receive benefits. Also, make sure your carrier will cover your student out-of-state.
- Know how to find contact info of local businesses and agencies that are most important to you.
- Make sure your student keeps the Registrar’s Office informed of address changes for both local addresses and mailing addresses.
- If your student begins to get into academic trouble, refer him/her to his adviser early on. Don’t wait until he/she is on probation.
- Students who get involved on campus are prone to greater academic success than students who leave campus after class. USC Upstate has more than 80 clubs and organizations active on campus. Encourage your student to explore what’s available.
- Don’t be upset if you don’t hear from your son or daughter the first week of college. Instead, be pleased he or she is fitting in, having a good time and keeping busy.
- Don’t attempt to rush in and “save the day” for your son or daughter. Now is the time to trust that your years of influence will make a difference. The reality is, the student is now on his or her own, so let go. Be concerned, of course, but let him/her work things out.
- Support without always agreeing. Validate your student’s feelings and perceptions, but don’t assume it’s the whole story.
- Most of all, keep a sense of humor — no matter what you see or hear.
Because we see students as adults, most communication concerning bills, grades and academic performance will be directly with them. We encourage you to communicate regularly with your child and to recognize there are many situations in which the University cannot release information to parents.
Academic Records and FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is federal legislation that deals with the rights of students as it impacts their educational record. This includes both the students’ right to inspect and amend records as well as the right to exercise some control over the disclosure of their information. An annual notification to students concerning their rights under FERPA is published in both the catalog and class schedule.
Verification of Enrollment
Students needing proof of enrollment for medical or other purposes may obtain this information online through the Self Service Carolina (SSC) system or by visiting the Record’s Office with a photo ID.
Release of Information
A student must provide a signed and dated written consent form before a school may disclose records to a third party. Certain exceptions apply, including the parents of a dependent child. Parents must provide documentation of dependency as defined by the Internal Revenue Code as well as a notarized affidavit.
As a parent, you will want to consider how you and your student will handle the communication of grades, payment of tuition/fees, academic standing, etc. The University is strictly limited as to the information it can discuss with anyone but the student. Therefore, you may want to consider the following:
- Set your expectations for your son’s or daughter’s semester grades. Example: "I expect you to complete 12 semester hours with at least a C average."
- Communicate those expectations and consequences to your student. Example: "At the end of your first year in college, I expect you to have a 2.0 average or I will not be willing to assist you financially."
- Ask to see a copy of the final grades for each semester. Grades are available through SSC and are typically available a week after the last day of final exams.
Avoiding the contentious nature and additional paperwork of seeking this information without the student’s consent is in the best interest of you and your child. If you have additional questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 864-503-5220.