Once again, a new semester has begun. It’s a joy to see students fill the campus after four weeks of relative quiet, to hear them reconnect with one another and begin to make plans for the coming days. There’s a sense of renewed energy and determination in the air as students start their new classes. The students truly bring life to this campus.
For some students, however, the return to campus is not necessarily an easy one, especially if fall semester was a struggle. Students who fell behind in their course work may be facing academic probation and needing to retake some classes. Others may be returning with significant physical or mental health concerns, which limit their ability to fully engage in student life. And students who spent much of last semester feeling lonely may be dreading the thought of experiencing more of the same in the months ahead.
It is difficult for a parent to say goodbye to a child who is returning to college under these types of challenges. Not being present to encourage them or provide accountability is a helpless feeling. Let me assure you that the staff and faculty at Biola care for each and every student on our campus. We understand that the college years are filled with challenges and opportunities for growth, and for that reason we offer a variety of avenues by which a student may seek assistance.
For students who desire to improve their study skills, The Learning Center, located on the upper level of the library, offers academic counseling, tutoring and workshops to assist students. Individual appointments are available at the student’s request. In addition, students who want help with writing assignments can visit the Writing Center in upper level Sutherland Hall during office hours, Tuesday - Friday. Trained writing consultants are available to review and provide feedback of written assignments already in progress, no matter the discipline or level of expertise. Encourage your son or daughter to take advantage of these services, but keep in mind that your student needs to take the initiative to get the help he or she needs.
Emotional ups and downs are part of everyone’s life, but sometimes the demands of college weigh heavy on a student, making it difficult to experience peace or joy. If this is the case with your student, I would encourage you to suggest that he or she confide in their Resident Assistant, Resident Director, or a professor. Sometimes getting another’s perspective and receiving encouragement and prayer are just what a student needs to get out of a funk. In some instances, an individual needs to sort things out with a medical professional. We are especially blessed at Biola to have access to nurses and a physician at our Student Health Center and trained therapists at the Biola Counseling Center. These services are provided for the benefit of our student body, but a student needs to take the initiative in order to access them.
And on the topic of taking the initiative, this seems to be the most difficult step for students who need assistance. There are a multitude of reasons for why a student won’t take that first step to getting help. It could be they don’t want to trouble someone else, or they fear appearing “needy.” For some it’s just a matter of not wanting to make the extra effort. Whatever the reason, it is important for individuals to learn that taking the initiative to seek help is a necessary part of growing up and a sign of maturity. When a student is able to ask for help, he or she is already taking a significant step towards becoming a healthy adult.
We count it a blessing to have your students here at Biola. Thank you for entrusting them to us. If you have any questions, or just need to speak to someone about a concern, you are always welcome to call the Office of Parent Relations at 800-99-BIOLA. We love to connect with our Biola parents.
Director, Parent Relations
All parents are invited to attend Biola’s Homecoming Weekend, February 20-22. Join Biola students, staff, and alumni as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the La Mirada campus. The weekend will be full of events for the whole family. The highlight of the weekend will be the men's and women’s basketball games on Saturday evening. Prior to the games please join us for a special Parent and Student Reception, where refreshments will be served and Professor Tim Muehlhoff will lead a discussion regarding communication between parents and their adult children. The reception is free, but be sure to R.S.V.P. by calling 1.800.99. BIOLA or by visiting the Homecoming website. You will also find a full schedule of events on this page.
March 27, 2009 Biola will host its first ever Grandparents Day! It will be a day specifically designed to honor the role Grandparents play in your student’s lives, and to introduce them to your student’s home away from home. If you have not yet done so please visit the Grandparents Day page to provide us with contact information for all interested grandparents. Here you will also find a full schedule of the day's events.
Biola has found that parent-to-parent contact is a great addition to the recruitment and decision making process for families and prospective students. So once again, the Office of Parent Relations is partnering with Undergraduate Admissions to assist in calling parents of prospective students and we would like to invite you to participate! We are seeking 100 Biola parents who would be willing to call 10 parents of prospective Biola students in their local area. If you are interested, you will be provided with all the necessary information, including a list of FAQ's and a sample script. To participate please call 1.800.99.BIOLA or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING!
In the final parent email of the fall semester, we communicated to you the creation of a special fund for students facing serious financial challenges as a direct result of the country’s economic crises. We are please to announce that the Student Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) received $81,000 to distribute to fifty undergraduate students, and an additional $67,000 to assist international students.
Thank you to the many parents, alumni, staff and faculty who generously contributed to this fund, making it possible for a significant number of students to continue their Biola education this spring semester.
Whether you are new to life as the parent of a college student, or a seasoned expert, the federally mandated privacy laws that enshroud almost every area of your student’s collegiate life can be absolutely baffling. Now that your student is in college it may seem as if you are blocked in your attempts to gather information about the education you are paying for. As staff and administrators we recognize the frustration this may cause.
While our staff is committed to being as helpful and forthcoming as possible in response to parent questions, there are in fact federal laws that protect students’ information from all third party inquiries. The University as a whole, but specifically the Accounting Office, the Office of the Registrar, and the Learning Center are governed by a regulation known as FERPA, or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The Health Center, and Counseling Center are under an additional set of regulations known as HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
For the next few weeks we will be highlighting various sections of the University and the ways in which Privacy Laws impact their dealings with you and your student. It is our desire that a greater understanding of the processes and regulations regarding student privacy will allow for quicker and more efficient exchanges of information and prevent frustration.
Week 1: Understanding the Biola University Accounting Office and Student Privacy. http://www.biola.edu/parent/resources/privacy_policy/
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! The Parent Relations Department can help make sure your student has a great day with our specially prepared care packages that are delivered straight to your student’s dorm room, complete with a personal note from you. Choose from a “Pampered” Valentine for the girls or a “Fun and Games” Valentine for the guys. But be sure and place your order by Friday February 6th. All deliveries will be made on Friday February 13th.
Chapel is held on: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:30- 10:20 a.m. in the Chase Gym; Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:30- 10:20 a.m. in Calvary Chapel; Wednesdays evenings at 9:10 p.m. in Calvary Chapel. Singspiration, a worship service, is held Sunday nights at 8 p.m. in Sutherland Aud. Special alternate chapels occur throughout the semester.