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News: Roane State launches office, website to help parents stay engaged with their students' college experience

News: Roane State launches office, website to help parents stay engaged with their students' college experience

Roane State’s new parent portal is online at www.roanestate.edu/parents. The portal offers parents access to campus news and deadlines, personalized newsletters, alerts, and insights into students’ progress and financial details.

March 9, 2018

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

There’s a new office promoting family involvement and providing ways for families help their students succeed at Roane State Community College.

It’s called the Office of Parent and Family Engagement. An integral part of this new office is providing a “parent and family portal” developed by CampusESP. The portal is online, www.roanestate.edu/parents.

The portal, available on any device, allows parents to learn more about their children’s college experience, from campus news and events to notices about tuition and grade-point averages.

Students will be able to determine what access is given to parents or guardians through the new portal.

Studies have shown that students with parents actively involved in their college experiences have higher grade-point averages and are more likely to stay in school.

With CampusESP, parents “can be on the sidelines cheering for their son or daughter, while taking a more active role in their college experiences,” said Maria Gonzales, director of Roane State’s Office of Parent and Family Engagement. “They will be able to keep up with how they are doing and see if their son or daughter needs more help.”

Gonzales said that Roane State is only the second community college in the country that has this software program. The college is also the only two-year higher education institution in Tennessee with it, she said. Roane State joins Auburn, Penn State and UNC-Chapel Hill among many others who have purchased the software.

Gonzales said the portal will provide a one-stop site, including information from the college’s Web page, thus making it easier for parents to find what they need.

Newsletters geared just for parents and guardians will be included on the site, along with a list of resources available for their children.

“If an alert indicates that their son or daughter is struggling with studies – either by email or text message – our goal is to help them find out what resources are available,” Gonzales said.

The college is now publicizing the new Parent and Family Portal with new postcards that will be given out at orientation sessions and other Roane State events where parents and guardians are present.

A new handbook and calendar will also be provided in the future by the new office, Gonzales said.

The state scholarship program Tennessee Promise, where students can attend Roane State and other institutions tuition-free, will send college officials contact information about students’ parents and guardians, she said.

“Tennessee Promise loves for parents to be involved,” Gonzales added. “We hope the Office of Parent and Family Engagement will provide the means to do just that!”

The project was funded by a Tennessee Promise Forward grant, awarded last fall by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The Tennessee Promise Forward grant program began in 2015 with the goal of retaining Tennessee Promise students at community colleges. The program was initially funded through a College Access Challenge Grant from the U.S. Department of Education and received a non-recurring allocation in the 2017-18 state budget due to positive results in years one and two.

To sign up for the portal, visit www.roanestate.edu/parents.

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