College Visit Dos and Don’ts

Advice about visiting colleges was posted on the Pediatric Behavioral Health Web site  www.pbhealth.org

 

Renee Goldberg is a certified educational planner (CEP). As an educational consultant at Pediatric Behavioral Health, she advises families and students with a variety of educational needs. She received her Ed.D. from Clark University in 1983 where she established services for Clark students with learning disabilities and ADD/ADHD. Dr. Goldberg worked with some of the clinicians of Pediatric Behavioral Health at UMass Memorial Medical Center when she was an educator in the pediatrics department. She has extensive experience in all areas of special education but also works with mainstream students. Her Massachusetts professional licensure is in the areas of special education and secondary English.

  Dr. Goldberg’s Helpful Tip


 

WHEN SILENCE IS THE BEST POLICY

 When your take your child or adolescent to visit and tour a potential school or college, you probably have a long list of questions that you would like to ask.

If there is an information session for parents only, asking those questions is fine. You can gather as much information as possible to see if the particular school or college is a good fit for your student.

However, if you attend an information session with a group, allow your student and the other parents to ask the questions. Your child or teenager will probably be embarrassed if you ask about meal plans, dorm life, weekend activities, sports, difficulty of classes, tutorial help, and most other topics. If you have burning questions, you can always call or send an Email when you return home. Let the focus of the school or college visit be on your child’s reactions and questions, not your own. 

I learned this the hard way when my daughters were visiting colleges. Every time I asked a question, I received a withering glance from my older daughter. I noticed her moving farther and farther from me and closer and closer to the other students on the tour. I realized that she wanted to listen to the tour guide, view the surroundings, and meet the other students. At the next college, we followed the “LESS IS MORE” rule for our questions, and we all were a lot happier. Our second daughter, of course, benefitted from our previous experiences and did not have to endure our embarrassing questions.

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