Frequently asked questions about advising, grades, textbooks, and academic support
Parent FAQ: Academics
How do I get in contact with my student's advisor?
Either prior to, or shortly after the semester begins, you will receive a letter providing you with a name, telephone number, email address and best time and method for contacting your student's advisor. If you continue to be unsure, contact the Academic Advising Office at 802-387-7141.
Can I get a copy of my student’s grades and progress reports?
Under FERPA, only a student may request his or her transcript and must do so in writing to the Registrar's Office. Transcripts are not released in any other way. At the end of each semester, the Registrar's Office mails out students' grade reports (note that these are not official transcripts) and instructor comments directly to the student. Specific questions regarding your student's progress should be directed to their advisor.
What is FERPA?
In 1974, Congress passed the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This law specifies that higher education institutions may not disclose any information about a student who is a legal adult (usually 18 or older) without that student’s express written permission. This means that we are obligated to be careful about what we say or send to anyone—even parents—without a student’s express permission. Students are offered the opportunity to sign FERPA releases upon entry. These remain in effect until the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs receives a written revocation.
If your student is a dependent for tax purposes, we may disclose information to you. In order to certify this, you will need to complete the top portion of the Authorization to Release Student Account and Education Information Form. With your student’s signature, this form is all we need. Without it, we must have a copy of the first page of the most recent year’s federal tax return. Please black out any sensitive information, such as social security numbers or income amounts.
More on Student Records and FERPA, including a link to download the Authorization to Release Student Account and Education Information Form
How can I find out if my student is attending class regularly?
This is a very common question. The first thing you should do is ask your student. Even though it may be difficult to believe, they very often will be honest with you about their attendance patterns. If you are still unsure about their attendance, the next step is to contact your student’s advisor.
How does my student find out what books they need to buy?
Once your student has a copy of their schedule, they should take it directly to the College Bookstore. A Bookstore associate will help them obtain the correct materials.
My student needs to miss a class. Who should they contact?
Students should contact their professor directly via phone or email prior to the start of that day’s class. Each professor has their own attendance policies. Students should consult their course syllabus to find out the class absence policy for that particular course.
- Who should my student contact about transferring to another college/university?
My student is not doing well in a class. How do they access academic support?
The first thing your student should do is speak to the professor directly. The professor will be able to present your student with many options for getting the academic support they need. Also, students should stop by the Drake Centers for Academic Support (DCAS), which is located in the East Academic Building. The DCAS offers support for many subject/academic areas.
Is it acceptable for a student to miss a class for a religious holiday for which the college is not closed?
In most cases, yes. Students need to ensure that they let their professors know prior to the start of the class they plan on missing.
What is coaching? What type of student uses it?
Coaching Services provides a specific and unique type of support. It is designed for students who struggle with the various aspects of academic work production known as "executive functioning." Through one-on-one meetings, students work with trained faculty coaches to establish academic goals. They help to develop the strategies, utilize the skills, and establish and maintain the systems, structures, and routines that can support students in meeting those goals.