Assistant Principal at Central High School
I have served on the Board of Trustees for 2 years.
The campus atmosphere is fantastic. I graduated from Tech in 1987, met my wife Jesse who graduated in 1989, my oldest son Ben was born while I was in graduate school at Tech. Tennessee Tech is a family tradition for us. From that time until now, the closeness of the campus and the family feeling I get when I return to campus makes Tech feel like home.
As a 20 year educator mostly at the high school level, I have seen many students who go away to school get lost in the shuffle and their parents not really have enough information to help them navigate the transition from high school to college. The TTUPA helps by: 1) supporting parents that in turn allows them to support their student and 2) providing resources and information to aid in the difficult but rewarding transition from high school to college.
The lines of communication between the school, the student and the parent in high school are fairly easy to access. Once that student becomes and adult and is away at college, the lines of communication become more difficult to access. TTUPA helps parents have access to the information that they need in order to help support their student and provide another connection for the parents to the university.
My vision for TTUPA is in a couple of areas. First, I would like to see an expansion of the membership to include renewals past the freshman year. By building the value of the services we can offer and expanding the membership base, we can have a larger impact on a greater number of students. Secondly, I would like to expand the social media access that we have to include more members. While not all parents have Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, those have become direct channels to deliver information and are easily accessible. Figuring out the logistics of how that will work and who will be involved will be a challenge, but in the long run, I think it will drive more of what we do.
I have one son who is a Mechanical Engineering major and the other will be attending TTU in Fall 2013.
I think most parents struggle with the lack of information that they need to help and support their student. Students often do not share much, but unlike in high school, parents cannot know where to go for more information. That and the financial issues are always tough.
The growth and maturing that takes place in those four years (or more) of college are tremendous. The learning that occurs will last a lifetime. Have patience, guide the process if you need to, but allow your student the opportunity to make those memories and build those relationships. It is time for your student to lead and you get to guide the process from the sidelines. They may not come to the same answer or arrive at the decision the same way you would, but allow them the opportunity to try and support what they are trying to achieve. And lastly, listen as much as you speak and try to ask good questions.