Parents as Partners – Talk, They Listen!

We consider parents and families to be our partners in helping to encourage, celebrate, and support our students through the transformative college experience.

Working together, we are better able to encourage curiosity and new experiences inside and outside the classroom, celebrate moments of success, provide support as our students encounter difficulty, and challenge behaviors that are in conflict with who they are called to be.

As our partner, we ask that you encourage your student to take the lead in creating their collegiate experience; to make decisions that allow them to flourish – decisions that create consistency between what they believe and know they should do, and what they actually do. We ask you to support them in stepping outside of their comfort zone to engage in experiences and seek interactions they have not had before. Encourage your student to be contemplative and reflective, to identify and set goals for the college experience, and to live intentionally toward the achievement of those goals. Know that while they are with us, we will do the same. 

But also know that we don’t expect students to arrive on campus the first day of their first year completely independent and ready to tackle every obstacle that appears in their path. The journey to independence is just that – a journey. A process of maturation and learning. Of making mistakes and growing from them. College is a transformational experience, but it doesn’t happen overnight. So, if you suspect that your student is struggling, encourage them to get help. This listing of resources is a good place to start, and many families also find our Parent & Family FAQ page helpful. And if that doesn’t seem to be working, don’t hesitate to call us.

Supporting Difficult Conversations

The transition from high school to college is both exhilarating and stressful for students and families. This transition time provides parents with an ideal time to talk about hopes and fears for the college years. To think about goals, voice concerns, and discuss strategies for dealing with the stress and challenges that often accompany the excitement of the college years.

Parents and families are often the first phone call when students encounter challenges and difficulties. Sometimes they just need a listening ear. Sometimes you’ll want to offer more. Encourage your students to share their experiences with you – maintain an open line of communication with your student and re-assure them that you’ll provide judgment-free support. Ask questions and listen for things that indicate your student is having a hard time. Below are resources to support your family in having proactive conversations with students about the college experience, as well as information about how to support your student when they’re struggling.

Talking With College Students About Alcohol

Research shows that having an authentic, personal conversation with your student just prior to starting college can have a positive effect on your son or daughter’s attitude towards alcohol. Additionally, it is essential to continue the conversation throughout the year. Parents and family members are uniquely positioned to best detect if something is going on with their student. Talk soon and talk often! You may have doubts that you can make a difference, but the research tells us that we can, and we encourage you to give it a try.  If you ever have any concerns about your student, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Please consider using the handbook below to assist you with your conversation with your student. We look forward to continuing this partnership in support of your student’s success here at PC in the coming years.

Click here for the handbook: Talking With College Students About Alcohol

Talking to Your Student About Campus Safety

The safety and protection of every member of the Providence College community is a major priority for all of us. Parents and the College can work together to help students become more aware of important issues as they relate to security measures, both on and off-campus. Please consider taking some time to discuss these issues with your student. Some of the strategies listed below can help you to generate a healthy dialogue that will communicate your concern as well as your expectations.

Urge your student to be aware of his/her surroundings. Providence is located in an urban environment and no city is immune to crime. Students need to be alert to where they are, the time of day, and the area surrounding the College. Walking or running in dark areas, and alone, can increase their vulnerability to crime.

Encourage your student to pay attention to crime alerts. These alerts are sent via e-mail to all members of the College community whenever a serious crime occurs, either on or off- campus. Students need to be especially mindful of repeated crime patterns, common locations, and the time of day in which the crime occurred. Nationally, most statistics show that certain crimes occur in the same areas, within a similar timeframe.

Remind your student not to venture out alone off-campus at night in un-lit areas. Students should think about having a plan of how they are getting from one place to another, before they leave their original location. For example, confirming plans with a friend, who can be on the “look-out” for him/her.

Discuss with your student how alcohol/drug use can compromise an individual’s ability to make good judgments. It is important that students be in control of themselves at all times. Not only should they be aware of their own safety, but they should also deter their friends from entering into dangerous situations.

Urge your student to minimize the use of a cell phone while walking off-campus. Cell phone theft is one of the fastest growing property crimes. Thieves target victims for the value of their phones and students can be easily distracted while conversing or texting.

Encourage your student to take advantage of the Neighborhood Shuttle. This service is designed to help students to travel to and from campus and the neighborhood surrounding the College. Information about the shuttle service route and times, as well as additional transportation services, can be found by calling 865.2940. This automated transportation line is available 24 hours a day.

Remind your student that the Student Safety Escort Service is available on campus. Student safety escort stations are located in designated areas in the residence halls, the library, and the Slavin Center. Also, students may call the Department of Public Safety at 865.2391 to request additional transportation support throughout the campus.

Talk to your student about what measures he/she can take to help keep residence halls safe. Students should be reminded to lock their doors, not to prop building doors open, and to report any suspicious activity to the Office of Public Safety, or to their RA/Hall Director immediately.

Encourage your student to attend a “Street Smart” presentation in his/her residence hall to learn more about safety and security tips. A listing of workshop times and locations will be made available to students during the semester.

  • To report a crime on campus, students should call the Office of Public Safety emergency line immediately at 865.2222. Emergency telephones are located throughout the campus-and calls are immediately connected to the Office of Public Safety. Students should take notice of the emergency phone locations when walking on campus.
  • To report a crime off-campus, students should call 911 immediately. This will ensure the safest and most efficient response.

More information is available at The Office of Public Safety.

Supporting Students When They’re Struggling

College can be a time of great excitement, but for many students it can also be a time of anxiety, stress, and concern. If your student needs support, Providence College has a number of resources available to assist with academic, personal and social issues and concerns. If you need help or advice, but don’t know who to call, contact the Dean of Students Office and we will be happy to help connect you with the right resource. If your student is experiencing an emergency, please contact Public Safety at 401.865.2222 or call 911 off-campus.

  • The Office of Academic Services supports students in the achievement of their academic goals, promotes meaningful engagement in learning and ensures equal access for all students to educational opportunities. The Tutoring Center and Writing Center are among the most popular resources on campus.
  • The Office of Residence Life & Housing has a full staff dedicated to supporting students as they navigate housing options, life with roommates and transition to independent living.
  • The Personal Counseling Center provides students with individual counseling for a range of personal, developmental, and psychological issues, and also assists students in exploring problematic academic concerns such as memory, concentration, perfectionism, procrastination, and conflict resolution.
  • The Student Health Center provides comprehensive and confidential physical and mental health services.
  • Faculty members, staff members, students and family members can share mental or physical health concerns about a student with the campus CARE team​, an interdepartmental intervention and support team.​