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September2010 Volume 5 | Issue 2

Dear CSU Parents and Families:

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We have so much to share this month!

From academic advising tips to assessing Ram Welcome and Parent & Family Programs to upcoming events, this newsletter is full of great information. We’ve said it before, but we really enjoy receiving your emails, phone calls and visits. Your energy and ideas are the best part of our jobs and we love when we can help you brainstorm options, problem-solve, or just listen to your perspectives around any issue you or your student may have. If you email or call either of us, please know we work to respond as soon as possible or quickly forward your inquiry to the right resource/office on campus. If you do not hear back from us within a few days, please check back – we’d hate to ‘drop the ball’ on your important issue.

This summer we conducted our bi-annual survey of Parent & Family Programs. We sent this survey out to all parent and family members of current CSU students and asked for your feedback in multiple areas. This summer, over 1,000 families completed the survey. Thank you!! Your ideas and feedback are invaluable and we'll address them throughout the year. We’ve also taken the entire assessment and put it into Wordle - a cool online tool. You can check it out here.

A few families have called regarding CSU’s new online payment system. Please remember your tuition bill is due September 10, 2010, payable on the Bursar’s Office website. Per our new system:

  • On the new CSU online payment site, students make online payments on RAMweb and parents/other interested parties make online payments on the Bursar's Office website.
  • Electronic check payments will be accepted on the new payment site. There is no charge for an electronic check.
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit cards will be accepted on the new payment site. A Portal Administration Fee of 2.25% and 75¢ fee per transaction will be charged for each credit card payment.

Learn more about how to pay online on the Student Financial Services website and the Bursar’s Office website. Questions can be directed to Student Financial Services at 970-491-6321.

Lastly, we hope to see you at Homecoming & Family Weekend on October 15-17, 2010! It’s a 3-day weekend event, beginning with “Housing Options After the First Year”, scheduled for 1:30 pm on Friday, October 15. The fun concludes on Sunday, October 17 with a Family Weekend Breakfast. It’s our way of saying farewell and safe travels! Please make your travel plans to arrive in Fort Collins by about noon on Friday and stay through Sunday at noon to participate in all of the events! Check out the entire schedule of events at the Homecoming & Family Weekend website and be sure to register for Homecoming & Family Weekend 2010! There are a number of fun activities throughout the weekend but also free time for families to be together and explore CSU and Fort Collins. Many of our events require registration, so please go to the website to register or call 1-800-286-2586 to register soon!

Best wishes to you and your students as they get settled for the fall 2010 semester.

Sincerely,

Jody & Kacee

Jody Donovan, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Students
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312
jody.donovan@colostate.edu

Kacee Collard Jarnot, M.S.
Assistant Director of Parent & Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312
kacee.collard
@colostate.edu

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Ram Welcome Survey

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Ram Welcome

Parents and families of fall 2010 new students - we need your help!  We want to know about your Ram Welcome experience.  Held on August 19-22 this year, parent and family events started with the Parent & Family Reception on a rainy Thursday afternoon and concluded Friday at noon after morning programming specific to parents and families regarding transitions, health, and conduct and safety.  We'd appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete a quick survey about your Ram Welcome experience.  You can access the survey here

Thanks, in advance, for your feedback.  It helps us improve programming for future years!
 
 

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Academic Advising: How Do Students Use It?

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Connect by Salvatore Vuono - <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: _cke_saved_href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659">Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

By Toni-Lee Viney
Program Director, Liberal Arts Tutoring Services

One look at advising across CSU’s campus and you’ll notice a diverse group of individuals sharing a common goal – to help students as they negotiate through the many dimensions of life as a college student. At CSU, there are a wide range of dedicated professionals whose job it is to connect students to resources, help students set and meet academic goals, and assist students as they adjust to the rhythm of life in college. Every student should have an academic advisor who is there to advocate for the student, support her/him, and help each student move through challenges. At its core, advising is part of the team effort to which you, as a family member to the student, are so integrally linked. In supporting your student, it may be helpful to understand certain aspects of advising roles, responsibilities, and processes.

Who Advisors Are

Generally, advisors are either faculty members (professors) or full-time advising professionals, many of whom earned Master’s degrees in fields related to each advisor’s area of expertise. Each student is assigned an advisor within her/his major, including undeclared students who are assigned to an advisor that specializes in working with students exploring majors. If a student declares a second major, s/he will be assigned a second advisor. If your student doesn’t know who her/his advisor is, encourage her/him to contact the Department’s main office. Each Department and Academic College operates slightly differently to accommodate the unique needs of academic programs.

What Advisors Do

Advisors support students holistically. This means that each advisor works with students to address a large array of collegiate experiences, including involvement opportunities, service, study abroad, internships, and degree requirements. Each of these pieces informs student decisions about short- and long-term life goals. Advisors will review class options for upcoming semesters and talk with students about how current coursework is progressing. Your student’s advisor works as a guide to connect students to resources and help students talk through ideas about semester plans/goals/options. S/he has a really good understanding of the University system and will refer students to resources and opportunities that fit your student’s unique needs.

Students’ Responsibility

It is important for students to take the initiative to meet with an advisor at least once each semester. Encourage your student to be aware of her/his registration time and date (this information is posted on students’ RamWeb accounts). In the academic environment, students must always be looking ahead. For students taking classes this fall semester, they will need to register for spring semester courses in October or November. Most advisors will conduct outreach to encourage students to set up an advising appointment but, ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to set up appropriate appointments with an advisor. As a family member, encourage your student to monitor academic dates/deadlines and check RamWeb and e-mail regularly. Ask your student if they’ve met with an advisor and encourage them to think ahead when scheduling appointments. If your student is dissatisfied with her/his advisor, encourage your student to contact her/his academic department to request a new advisor assignment.

Thank you!

Thank you for being a grounding force in your student’s support network. CSU is home to so many amazing individuals. As an academic advisor myself, I can tell you that I truly love the opportunity to get to know your students! 

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How Parents & Families can Support Positive Growth and Development 

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Student Support

By Jody Donovan, Interim Dean of Students

Students learn both in and out of the classroom. Certainly the classroom learning focused on a specific discipline, content, and critical thinking skills is the primary reason students are in college, however, the personal growth and development that occurs outside of classes is pretty amazing too.
Students learn most when they are challenged with new information, experiences, perspectives, and attitudes. When students experience difference, they are forced to confront that difference by reviewing their existing patterns of thinking to make sense of this difference. The other critical element for positive growth and development is the support system helping students deal with these challenges.

Students are often challenged 24 hours a day/7 days a week at Colorado State University. Fortunately, there are numerous support systems on campus and in the Fort Collins community. In many cases, students’ parents and families are an additional significant source of support.

An interesting equation must be in place for students to grow and develop personally, intellectually, and interpersonally. There must be a bit more challenge than support in the environment for students to learn new skills and problem-solving methods. This is where you come in! During conversations with your students, ask about the challenges they face and how they perceive the available support systems. Be careful not to over-support because students get bored and become stagnant in their growth and development. It is also important to increase the support when students feel over-challenged. In this case, students get overwhelmed and shut down or turn to negative coping strategies to numb their feelings of anxiety.

Over this year, you’ll learn about the various tasks, skills, life lessons, and issues students face as they progress from first year college students to graduating seniors. You’ll also learn about the resources, programs, services and staff dedicated to support and challenge your students to help them transform from dependent adolescents to interdependent, mature young adults.

Next month we’ll focus on the three areas of competence facing first year students: Intellectual (Can I make it in classes? Am I smart enough? How do I begin thinking critically instead of memorizing facts and dates?); Interpersonal (How do I make friends? How do I communicate my wishes? How do I relate to people who are different from me?); and Physical (How much sleep do I need? How do I care for my body through eating healthy, exercising, and other methods of self-care? How do I access health care when I’m sick?).

Good luck with this new parenting technique called “challenge and support”! Watch your student rise to your high expectations when given appropriate levels of support. Please don’t hesitate to contact Kacee or me if you have questions or need a listening ear and strong shoulder related to challenging and supporting your student.
 

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Getting Involved!

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SLiCE

By Paige McCaleb, SLiCE Marketing and Public Relations

Is your student looking for a place to get involved in the CSU and Fort Collins communities? The Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office connects students to leadership opportunities, volunteer programs, and registered student organizations. SLiCE is an exciting place for students to engage with not only the CSU community but also agencies throughout Fort Collins. A wide variety of programs and volunteer opportunities are channeled through SLiCE. Here at the office we like to explain SLiCE as a hub for leadership, engagement opportunities and registered student organizations.

Over the year, SLiCE offers students engagement opportunities that span multiple interests and time commitment levels. There are over 330 registered student organizations through which students can get involved, as well as workshops and retreats that facilitate leadership development, and campus and community-wide service opportunities. To find out more about specific dates and opportunities, encourage your student to visit our website or stop by our office in the Lory Student Center to get involved!

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Former Foster Youth Care Packages:  We Need Your Help!

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By Hannah Love, Grad. Assistant, Parent & Family Programs

  • Only 46% of Foster Youth graduate from high school.
  • 70% of Foster Youth want to attend college, but only 10% actually enroll.
  • Of all Foster Youth only 2% graduate with a bachelors degree.

Imagine if your student moved into the residence hall without parents or siblings to help. Imagine if your student didn’t know where they would live during winter break when the residence halls close. Imagine if your student never received a card or letter from home.

This fall we are asking for you help to support these students. We have identified approximately 30 first-year students who have aged out of the foster care system living in the residence halls. The RAMFAM Association has committed to helping these students succeed by sending midterm care packages. The care packages will be delivered the week of Homecoming & Family Weekend to their residence hall. The aim of the care packages is not to send baked goodies, but items students can use: school supplies, personal hygiene products, items to help their residence hall room feel like home. Midterm pre-packaged snacks are also welcome. If you are interested in participating, we are currently collecting donations for the care packages, as well as cash donations to purchase care package items on your behalf. The easiest way to do it is to ask participants to send 30 of each item – this way we can ensure each care package recipient gets the same things. Great items to send would be:

  • Packages of loose-leaf paper
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Travel-size hygiene products
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Shampoo and/or conditioner 
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Gift cards or coupons
  • Hooks for the residence hall room walls
  • Over-the-door hooks
  • Pre-packaged granola bars
  • Pre-packaged fruit snacks

These donations might make all the difference to one of our students in need while at the same time make them feel more included and at home here at CSU. If you are interested in contributing, there are three easy ways to participate:

1. Send 30 of any item to us before October 1, 2010:
            Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
            c/o Hannah Love
            201 Administration Building
            Fort Collins, CO 80521-8004

2. Send a check or money order (again, to purchase items for the care packages) to us before October 1, 2010:
            Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
            c/o Hannah Love 
            201 Administration Building
            Fort Collins, CO 80523-8004
*Please make checks payable to the Colorado State University Foundation (with Former Foster Youth Care Packages in the memo line)

3. Bring your items or donations to the RAMFAM Association meeting on Saturday, September 18, 2010.  Learn more here.
 

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September 2010 RAMFAM Association Meeting

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Welcome to the fourth year of the RAMFAM Association! We held our first meeting in October 2007 and, since then, the organization has grown and changed, based on your feedback. The association is made up of volunteer parents and families who serve as liaisons to Colorado State University representing parents and family members of undergraduate students. We meet monthly to discuss issues, learn more about University developments affecting students, and assist in planning programs and events that involve CSU parents and families.  We're hosting our first meeting this month and we hope you'll be able to join us on campus or via webcast!  Here are the event details:

What: RAMFAM Association Meeting
Who: All Parents and Families of CSU Students
When: Saturday, September 18, 2010
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Mountain Standard Time
Where: Lory Student Center Room 228 on campus or online via the webcast and RAMFAM Blog
Cost: FREE!!

Tentative Agenda:

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Preview Recap & Feedback
  • Former Foster Youth Care Packages 
  • RAMFAM Association Business Directory Update (learn more here)
  • Bi-annual Assessment Results & Feedback
  • Homecoming & Family Weekend Update

Logistics:

On-Campus:

  • Lory Student Center Room 228
  • Parking is available north of the Lory Student Center, in Lot 310 at no cost on the weekend

Webcast:

  • Just before the meeting, please click on this link and it should take you directly to the streaming video with the blog capabilities below the screen.
  • If you run into trouble with the above link, just go to the live video to participate without the blog capabilities. Internet Explorer is the ideal browser for this system.

Blog:

  • If you are participating via webcast, we’d love your participation, questions, and comments! To participate, click on this link, type your name and comment in the white boxes provided, enter the non-spam code, and send! We’ll do our best to weave your comments and questions into the live conversation, and if we are not able to include the comments, we will post the comments and Q&A online after the meeting.

Please note, if you have had trouble logging on to view the webcast and need technical support, please contact Jason Rogien, our Technical Services Manager, at 970-491-8728 or email him at least one week prior to the meeting and he can assist you in ‘working out the bugs’.
 

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Facebook Online Discussion Board

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Colorado State Parents and Families Facebook Page PhotoWe think it is important to take parent and family feedback and do something with it. We're using the monthly e-newsletter to update you on changes we've made to our programs based on your feedback.  In our 2010 bi-annual assessment of all students' parents and families, 30% of our respondents indicated they prefer to correspond with other parent and family members of CSU students via an online discussion board. 

You ask, we deliver.  We're excited to introduce the Colorado State Parents and Families Facebook group!  Please log on to Facebook and search for "Colorado State Parents & Families" or click here to become part of the discussion.  Look for this photo to be sure you've got the right group!  We hope to engage families with various discussion topics, event updates and video posts.  We also hope you'll use it to reach out to one another with questions and ideas, post photos from CSU events, and create community among family members across the world! 

Thanks for your feedback - it makes our program stronger every year!

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CSU Health Network

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CSU Health Network

By Allison Dineen, Director of Business Services, CSU Health Network

The CSU Health Network is an integrated health network committed to providing high quality health care for our students. The health network is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and provides integrated medical and psychological care, health education, and health-related policy development for students at Colorado State University. The professional medical and mental health staff of the health network consist of board certified and licensed physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and professional technicians.

Services

The CSU Health Network provides a wide range of healthcare services to students including health education and prevention services, individual, group and family counseling, Learning Assistance programs and testing, substance abuse prevention and treatment, stress management, sports performance programs as well as the following:

  • Medical, Women’s and Children’s Clinics
  • Triage and Urgent Care
  • Immunizations
  • Psychiatric Services
  • X-ray, Laboratory and Pharmacy 
  • Allergy/Asthma Clinics
  • Optometry
  • Dental
  • Physical Therapy
  • Dermatology
  • Orthopedic/Sports Medicine

Student Eligibility

All registered students who pay the health and university counseling fee are eligible to access services at the CSU Health Network, regardless of their insurance status. All students registered for six or more credit hours are automatically assessed the health and university counseling fees. Part-time students may choose to pay the health fee and counseling fee on a semester basis or may pay for services as they are received.

Cost for Services

The CSU Health Network is funded by a combination of student fees and charges for services. Service charges are due at the time services are rendered and students can pay for these services with cash, checks, credit card or by charging their student account. Charges may also apply for late cancellations or missed appointments.

The CSU Health Network is able to bill private insurance for purchases made at the CSU Health Network Pharmacy and can also bill the CSU Student Insurance plan. However, due to administrative constraints, the CSU Health Network is not able to bill private insurance directly. However, the health network can provide students with the detailed information necessary to submit claims directly to private insurance providers.

Student Insurance Plan

In order to insure that our students have access to quality health insurance the University contracts with Fairmont Specialty who underwrites the Student Insurance plan. Summit America administers the plan and processes claims. This plan is designed to include the most needed benefits at an affordable cost. Enhancements to this plan have been added and the plan now offers an association with a nationwide and local preferred provider network. Insurance is not required to access services at the CSU Health Network.

Participation in the insurance plan is voluntary for all domestic undergraduate students. The University has determined that the Student Insurance Plan is mandatory for all international students and all full fee-paying graduate students, unless they opt out of this coverage by demonstrating proof or comparable coverage through another plan of insurance. Additional information on enrolling in the plan, mandatory coverage levels and the insurance waiver process is available online.

A portion of the cost of the student insurance plan is used to cover service fees for on-campus care provided at the CSU Health Network. The plan also provides extensive benefits for off-campus medical care.

Under the student insurance plan the CSU Health Network is the student’s primary source for medical care. The CSU Health Network can also provide referrals to an approved provider to obtain additional off-campus care that may be necessary.

Additional Information

Additional information about the CSU Health Network and student insurance plan can be obtained at on our  website
 

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Taking Stock - An Academic Initiative in the Residence Halls

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MAP-works graphic

By Nicole Landwehr, Grad. Assistant, Residence Education

Retention research has shown that by the 4th week of classes, students can predict how they are doing in their classes and how they are transitioning to college life. Taking Stock, an academic initiative, has been developed by Residence Life and the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) to support the academic needs of CSU students. On Sunday September 12th, all students living in the residence halls will attend a community meeting with their resident assistant (RA) to discuss an electronic survey sent out. This survey, developed through MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible) is intended to measure how well each student is transitioning to college life. Before students agree to take the survey, they consent to have the results released to their RA, academic advisor, and other key people so that, as a CSU system, we can communicate effectively regarding our students who are struggling. Students will also receive immediate feedback regarding their results, describing how they are doing academically and personally. Research has shown that peer to peer interventions are one of the most successful practices. Therefore, your student’s RA will be contacting them to talk about their transition to CSU in areas of residence hall experience, classes, academic resources & policies, campus resources, and support services.  If your student is living off-campus, a similar outreach is also provided through Off-Campus Life.

In accordance with the Taking Stock program and MAP-Works resource, the Early Grade Feedback program is an additional academic initiative piloted in 2009. This program collaborates with faculty members who volunteer to report either a “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory) grade for students early on in the semester, based on test scores, assignment grades, and/or class attendance. Students will receive an e-mail informing them of their “U” status and hall staff within the residence halls will reach out to students with one or more “U” grades to guide them to helpful campus resources.

We want to help all CSU students transition to campus. Please be sure to ask your student if they have taken the Taking Stock survey, because parents and families are also a very important part of this process. If you or your student has any questions or concerns, please have them discuss the matter with their advisor or RA, or call Residence Life at (970) 491-4705.
 

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