Full course description

Launching Fall 2017

The New Parent Experience (NPE) webinar is a semester long, one-hour per week course for parents and families of freshmen first-generation college students enrolled in majors offered by the College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor University. The NPE is designed to inform and partner with family members on how to help their students make successful transitions to collegiate life. Topics will include, among others, partnering for academic success, parenting from a distance, and a back-stage tour of the many resources offered at Baylor University to assist students. Participants will access this webinar from their personal computer or hand-held devices. The webinar is housed in The College of Arts & Sciences, and is a collaborative effort of the following Baylor offices: Parents Network, Paul L. Foster Success Center, Student Life and The College of Arts & Sciences.  

Goals & Benefits:

Parent/Guardian(s) who participate in the NPE webinar will have a better understanding of Baylor’s Mission and how it is embedded in the student experience, the different services that are available to students—ranging from financial aid to academic advising and career and professional development, and a better understanding of how to help students navigate through the college environment. This course will also support community among participants.

Presenters involved in the New Parent Experience were chosen to be part of the webinar series because of their knowledge and expertise within a particular area of the university. During the 12-week course you will hear from a host of individuals from across campus. Some are professors teaching your students, while others work in the counseling center, office of prehealth studies or academic advising, for example. Some are Executive Directors, Associate Deans, or Vice Presidents. All have one thing in common: to offer you and your student academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.

Outline of the New Parent Experience:



Session Title

Session Description

Tuesday, August 22           7 PM CST

Dr. Lynn Wisely,  Gail Offringa, & Chief Brad Wigtil

The First Few Weeks of College

This session will provide an overview of the semester and will have sections on:  Campus Safety (University Police, Title IX), college vocabulary, and most asked questions (by parents)

Tuesday, August 29          7 PM CST

Dr. Jeff Doyle & Dr. Terri Garrett

Engage and Thrive – The Essential Guide for Both You and Your Student

This session will help parents know how to support and guide their student while in college.  The media has made a big deal about “helicopter parents,” so we want to help parents know the positive effects of parent involvement in college, while also helping students to develop independence and self-advocacy skills. 

Tuesday, September 5   7 PM CST

Dr. Eric Holleyman &  Dr. Sinda Vanderpool

Today’s Choices Shaping Tomorrow’s Future

1. Describe the courses entitled Christian Scriptures and New Student Experience (NSE) as expressions of the Baylor Mission. 2. Highlight the multitude of decisions new students make in the first 2 weeks of the first semester related to community and academic progress. 3. Highlight best practices and normal adjustments associated with student success and apply to first three weeks of a student's first semester.

Tuesday, September 12   7 PM CST

Dr. Jim Marsh, Dr. Burt Burleson, & Tiffany Lowe

“Bear”ing in Mind and Soul: Psychological and Spiritual Health

Life happens at Baylor both in and out of the classroom.  This session will cover topics such as depression, homesickness and spiritual challenges.  Parent/Guardian(s) will learn what signs to look out for and where to go if and when questions arise.

Tuesday, September 19   7 PM CST

Joyce Miller &  Michelle Cohenour

Academic Advising at Baylor

This session will inform parents about the advising process, expectations of both the advisors and the students, as well as outcome goals for your students.  Advisors at Baylor use a partnership approach in appreciating the importance of family support in the academic journey. Advisors seek to equip students to take responsibility for their educational plans and challenge them to take advantage of learning opportunities outside the classroom. This session will dialogue with parents on how that is accomplished. 

Tuesday, September 26   7 PM CST

Sally Firmin &  Anna Shaw

Backing your Success

Different from high school, college works in a world made up of semesters, credit-hours, final exams, term papers and far fewer in class hours than high school.  This session will address these differences and how to plan one’s day to include class, study time, exercise and fun.  We will also  take a deep dive into the services provided for tutoring, accommodations, and extra help. All students need help along the way, it is critical to know this at the start of college.

Tuesday, October 3         7 PM CST

Amine Qourzal

Going Further with Financial Aid

A deeper look at the Baylor financial aid process, including understanding a realistic debt load, maximizing scholarships and the role of the FAFSA in the process.

Tuesday, October 10     7 PM CST

Matt Burchett

Understanding the Baylor Community and Traditions

Baylor University is a place where we strive for a transformative experience for every student.  This session will cover how involvement at Baylor and in Waco helps your student discover more of who God designed them to be and are becoming.  Through the lens of involvement and the core traditions of the university, you can learn more about how your student can get connected and find friendship at Baylor. 

Tuesday, October 17     7 PM CST

Amy Ames & Christie Walker

Career & Professional Development…..A Valuable Resource

To educate parents about Career & Professional Development (CPD) so together we can prepare students for success at Baylor and Beyond. To raise awareness that CPD prepares students for graduate/professional school and career success.

Tuesday, October 24     7 PM CST

Dr. Meg Patterson &  Sara Ritter

Helping Your Student Be Well

In our session, we will discuss the importance of wellness in student success, and how students can pursue wellness while on campus.  We will also highlight ways for students to learn resiliency and manage the demands of college.

Tuesday, November 7     7 PM CST

Dean Blake Burleson &   Dean Betsy Vardaman

Why go to College anyway?

College fills a gap ignored by professional training and not yet fully approachable by those mastering basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.  Through the liberal arts students will learn how to communicate— (1) both in written and verbal form, (2) how to solve problems –including analytical skills, and (3) interpersonal people skills.

Tuesday, November 14  7 PM CST

Dr. Lynn Wisely, Gail Offringa, & Dr. Rich Sanker

Final Week in Two parts: (1) Healthcare interests and (2) Life after the Webinar

Many enroll to Baylor wanting to become physicians – this session will include a section highlighting the variety of careers in healthcare and how Baylor prepares students.  Secondly, as it is our last session, we will review key points from the semester and discuss how Parent/Guardian(s) can continue to be involved and participate in the Baylor community after the Webinar.