Parents Matter Transcripts

Episode 1 Transcript

Welcome to Parents Matter, a series of videos designed to help you support your students studying at FDU.

In this episode, University Provost Dr. Gillian Small welcomes you to the community and shares her thoughts on the FDU experience.

"It's important that we have areas that we can focus on such as the health sciences and STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] areas, hospitality and tourism, and other areas that we really want to grow and have as highly ranked programs. We have a number now: Our Hospitality and Tourism program is ranked number six in the country recently. We have programs in graphics and animation that are high ranked and we want to continue to grow that so that students who come here -- and especially the parents of those students -- can feel assured that the students are getting the best possible education. But I will say that I feel it's no longer enough just to give students the best academic education they can get. It really is important to also give them a real-life experience so that when they leave this University they're really prepared to go on to the next stage whether that be in further higher education or whether it be into the workplace. So, we're committed to giving our students research opportunities, internships, and other real-life experiences so they really are prepared to enter the next stage of their career.
"We know that the most important thing perhaps to parents is that we provide their students with a safe and supportive environment and we're committed to doing that. But we also want to challenge them; we want to bring out the best in them so that they can be the best possible person going forward and be well equipped to take on the world.
"I would just like to thank them for entrusting us with their sons and their daughters for a few years and make the commitment to them that we will do everything we can to not only provide them with that safe and secure environment and supportive environment but that we also will prepare them for the next stage of their careers and send them off from FDU with everything they need to do, to have, and to be equipped with, to tackle the next stage of their lives."

Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Please tell your friends, click on the link, share it, and join us next week.

Episode 2 Transcript

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- [Announcer] Thank you for joining Parents Matter. In this episode, three Student Affairs representatives talk about student life at FDU. They include Vidal Lopez, Dean of Students, Steve Dembowski, Assistant Dean of Students Athletic Engagement, and Jocelyn Moses, Assistant Dean of Students Engagement and First Year Experience.

Up first, Vidal Lopez talks about his role as Dean of Students and the key functions of the Dean of Students Office.

We are the first contact for the students here at the university. During orientation, when we review when we're with the students. We go over conduct, which is a big part of what our office does. We're in charge of code of conduct. We do the adjudication for students who violate the code of conduct. But more than that, we are the connection or the bridge between the faculty, staff and the students.

Something that we take very seriously here at the university. We had something that's a federal law, it's called Title IX, and Title IX used to protect women in athletics and now under that umbrella, there is bullying, there is sexual assault, and those cases generally are, there is a report that's generated and goes to public safety. A professor will generate a report that will come to our office. We will call the students in, we will have a conversation, and based on what we gather from that conversation we might adjudicate the case, but generally we do follow through. We do a thorough investigation. The Director of Human Resources, Rose D'Ambrosio is also involved in that process, and we make sure that we touch bases with everyone and we put things in place so that these things don't happen like letters of disengagement from the students, so they are not in contact with each other. If someone is found responsible, of course, a sanction will be given to that individual based on the violation.

We do a lot of stuff aside from jobs, we have orientation leader jobs. We have student worker jobs in the office. The grad assistant jobs. We do leaves of absence. We do Grad Salute. We do Commencement, so we see the students at the beginning and we see them at the end when they graduate.

- [Announcer] Next, Steve Dembowski, Assistant Dean of Students for Athletic Engagement describes his role and responsibility to the FDU community.

- One of my missions is to engage the university, the student body, the faculty, the staff involved with athletics because it's such an important part of university life and the holistic view of FDU.

Our Division I athletic competitions, which is the top in the country obviously. And we want to get everybody engaged from the students all the way up to the faculty We have volleyball, girls volleyball. We have men's and women's soccer. We have basketball: They went to the NCAA Tournament a couple years ago, we have baseball, we have softball. We have track and bowling as well. Golf. We have fencing -- We have a fencing program here. The coaches are from Ohio State. They are here. They opted to come to Fairleigh Dickinson and help us out with their athletes. And all the coaches, they put their time in; we have a whole gamut of athletics. It is so important to have that base and communicate that to the students and see it.

- [Announcer] To wrap up this episode on student affairs at FDU, Jocelyn Moses, Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and First-Year Experience offers her commitment to parents and students.

- So through this program, our parents will gain resources and tools that will help them navigate through this. Understanding that, now yes, your students are going through this journey but you too are going through this journey, so you're not alone. So through this program, my main point is really to just be that tour guide through this opportunity here at FDU.

There are tons of resources, engagement opportunities for parents to get involved in. Whether it's through campus events, whether it's through large athletic events but we really want to make sure that we bridge the gap between our families and our students here at FDU. We have a events like our athletic events that we really encourage our families to come out, participate, enjoy.

There's so much to do around here in this community between Hackensack and Teaneck that will really help our students to engage not only in their surrounding areas but of course in the FDU community. I will definitely be launching mini workshops for parents whether it's online, webinars, through our social media platform as well through our listserv.

- [Announcer] To request information about the First Year Experience, email FYFEP@FDU.EDU. Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. Join us again next week.

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Episode 3 Transcript

In this episode of Parents Matter, Campus Public Safety Director, Dave Miles, talks candidly about safety at FDU.

We're very fortunate that we are a safe campus. Back in 2010, the Daily Beast had a survey done of the top 50 safest campuses, and the Metropolitan Campus was the 26th safest in the United States. We take great pride in making sure that everybody feels safe whenever they come to the campus.

Our department is 33 members, and we patrol the entire campus. We have three shifts of officers, so there's always an officer on staff in our dispatch area. They dispatch officers around the campus to any kind of issues or concerns. We also have officers that are patrolling the campus going in and out of buildings, in the parking lots, anywhere on the campus to help students or anybody that's here.

We offer an escort service during the hours of darkness. If a student is in one building on side of the campus and they want to get to the other side of the campus, they contact public safety and we'd be more than happy to pick them up and give them a ride back, so they're not by themselves. Our officers are out there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure that the campus is safe or we're handling any issues that do come up.

I speak to a number of student groups about safety on the campus, so we're out there, we're promoting it. During orientation days, like I said, we're out there. Plus, we have handouts that we give out to people. When new students are coming to the university, we have a table set up, we're giving out information, so we're always making everybody aware.

I also write a column for the campus newspaper, and I provide basic safety information on topics for the campus as well as our crime statistics that happen for the period prior to the issue. We do post information in the residence halls about fire safety. We have it on the back of every residence hall, room, or suite door. We have information on what to do in the event of a fire; where to go, what not to do, what to do, those sorts of things.

We also post information around in classrooms. It's a basic general decal sign that says, "For all emergencies contact public safety," and it has our telephone number. We also have worked with the Teaneck Police Department regarding pedestrian safety: On the campus we have signs that we put around which basically tell people, "Heads up, phones down." That's for pedestrian safety. We've worked with the town and now they're also on the streets that are adjacent to the campus right on River Road. In some other areas they have the signs also, so people are aware. We are putting our information out there.

Under the federal law which is called the Clery Act and everything, we are required to also put out notifications, a timely warning in the event of any emergency that happens on campus, and we would get that out to individuals and post it if need be. Fortunately, we have not had to do that, but if we do, we will get that out there and make sure everybody is aware of what to do and what not to do.

One of the things that we do offer because a lot of people don't want their name involved with incidents or reporting -- we have what we call Silent Knight. It's on the university website under the public safety section. That's anonymous reporting, so anybody that sees something on the campus that wants to report something can go anonymously, they fill out the form that's on the website, it comes directly to my email and we can then investigate it.

I think as parents they have to make sure that their son and daughter understands that even though we have a public safety department here and we do patrol the campus, some of the burden does fall on them. They have to make sure that they lock their doors when they leave their rooms. They have to make sure that they don't let people into the buildings that they don't know. They have to make sure that if they see something, they say something and notify us. Working together we can have a good partnership if everybody assists us because even though we're out there, we can't be everywhere. If we get some assistance from students, parents, anybody on the campus, it makes our job a lot easier.

Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 4 Transcript

In this episode of Parents Matter, two representatives from Residence Life will talk about the on-campus living experience. We have Ruben Flores, associate dean of students for residence life, housing and campus ministry, as well as Rebecca Miles, associate director of residence life for operations. Here's Ruben Flores.

Housing and Residence Life is committed to assisting our students and making the most of their living experience and supporting students in achieving their educational goals.

We have a professional staff of students, 30 resident assistants, 45 graduate hall directors who are charged with assisting and developing community in the residence halls. We find it's necessary and important for students to feel connected, to feel engaged. And we know that our role is important in facilitating those opportunities for students. So beyond the room and meal plan assignment process, after school starts, we feel that learning is also happening outside of the classroom in the residence halls. And our role and our charge is to make certain that students are having that experience.

Housing and Residence Life is responsible for the overall management, administration, and program development for the University residential facilities.

We have a capacity of approximately 1000 residents. This includes on-campus housing and meal plan assignments. In addition, we develop and offer programs, events and experiences to connect, engage and develop our residential students. There are 19 buildings on the Metropolitan Campus, which are comprised of double, triple, and single rooms. Across the resident halls areas, we have the Lindens, which primarily house our first-year residents, the University Court area, and Northpointe. We also offer year-round housing from August to May in our Linden six.

We are pleased to offer three special living options, which is our Global Scholars Hall in University Court four, the life house in University Court five, and the honors house in University Court six.

I'm in charge of making sure the rooms are move in ready to welcome our students. Making sure the furniture's in good condition. If we need to order something, I'm in charge of making sure it gets ordered. I'm in charge of assigning everybody their students. I am in charge of room selection process where students are able to go in and sign up for housing. I assign all the meal plans, I do cancellations, I do everything that has to do with their housing.

We're really big on connecting with the students. So a student is always going to feel at home when they live in the residence halls. We have RA programming. That allows them to connect with each other. Our office, there's always somebody on call within our office. So if there's ever an issue or concern, somebody is always available to come and assist them. And like I said, I think it's important that they feel that their student is at home when they are here.

Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 5 Transcript

Narrator: In this episode of Parents Matter, Donna Robertson, University Director of Career Services describes the career development journey for first year students.

Students are going on a journey with their academic career, so why shouldn't a professional career be the same way? They're learning about who they are, who they want to be, what careers may interest them, where they want to fit in the world as we're trying to create global citizens. So where in the world do they see themselves fitting? That's not a transactional process, that's a journey, it's developmental. So our goal is to help them figure that out along the way and teach them the process so they can redo this over and over again because they may have many, many careers before it's all said and done.

We have a career course called University 1002 Preparing for Professional Life. This is a required course for all freshmen, regardless of major, regardless of what their aspirations are. So what we do in this course is we teach the career planning process. We talk about career assessment or self-assessment. We talk about, of course, building a resume and interviewing skills. But we also include things how to conduct a mock interview, how to reach out to people, how to find people to conduct informational interviews and talk to the professionals who do what they think they might want to do and have them practice that. Lots of presentations in those classes.

It's an opportunity for them to really put some real world application to a really important skill.

What we try to do is say, "You know what, parents? You can support this." Yes, they do have to learn how to do things on their own, but you can support them by instead of saying, "You're changing your major again?" say, "Tell me why you're interested in it." Ask those probing questions. Think about their own network. Who can they introduce their student to in their own network, in their own family, even? Maybe do some job shadowing at their job. I find a lot of students don't really know what their parents do.

But helping to support things like that, helping them to learn how to balance work and school. Yes, school is super important, but if they can learn that time management with balancing some kind of work or volunteer experience at the same time, that's an important skill set. So those are definitely ways that parents can support their students.

One of the mantras that I have in our office is come early, come often. So with our students, we feel there's no such thing as too early, no such thing as too late too. We work with the alumni, so it's okay. But we like for them to come early so that we can start. There's no cap on how many visits they can come to the Career Development Center, meet with a counselor. They can do that as much as they want. But the come early, come often is so that they can get started and test things out.

So service learning, great way to use volunteerism and community service to explore things, to build their own network. Internships. Internships are so key. We generally recommend students maybe think about their first one as early as that first summer between that first year and that second year, obviously depending on their academic program. Sometimes those programs have internships built into the program, so they have to see their academic advisors and their faculty advisors for that.

But again, there's no such thing as starting too early. So internships, even part-time work on campus can be very helpful, just learning how to be someplace at a articular time, have a manager, how to work with that manager, how to work with a team, those are all really good skills for them to learn.

No matter who comes in the door, someone will help them. We're very customer service oriented. But we also like to be specialists so that a particular counselor who works with the business students, or who maybe works with the technology students, they know the employers in that area, they've worked with the faculty in that area, they know the alumni in that area 'cause they may be former students. It helps us better guide the student when we have a little bit of that industry knowledge as well as the basic career development knowledge.

For parents, again, this is an important milestone in your student's life, and it may look a little different than yours, and that's okay. You know your student, you've done your best, you've done so much to get them to this point, trust that. Trust that you've done the right thing, 'cause you have. And they're going to find their way. It may not be at the pace or necessarily the plan that you thought it would be, but it will come around and they will land, and they will be successful, and all of you will be so much happier for it.

Narrator: If you would like to obtain more information about Career Services at FDU, go to Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 6 Transcript

Welcome to Parents Matter. In this episode, Dr. Janet Boyd, Interim Associate Dean of University College, Director of School of Humanities, and Interim Director of Art and Media Studies, talks about academic support services.

I really recommend that students go and see the professor in the office hours, because you develop a relationship in case your student needs a letter of recommendation at some point for an internship, or a scholarship.
Also, if they're going to need a mentor for an independent study class, or for an honors research thesis. It's really good to get to know professors outside of the class. That's the first place your student would go for help, the professor.
I would also point out, though, that your student needs to be proactive. It's not like high school, where the teacher might call home if your student's struggling, or if there's an issue in class. Now, that your student is no longer a minor, they fall under the FERPA Act, which is an educational privacy act, and your student will have to actually notify the university that we can speak to you about their academic progress.
We also have the Metro Writing Studio, which is staffed with professional tutors. They can help with all phases of the writing process from you get your assignment, how to get started, with revision, all the way up to the final draft. The writing studio is available on a drop in basis, so it's at the students' convenience. It's a free service, and they also offer workshops throughout the semester. Usually once a week, and they're very popular workshops, especially our citation format, such a MLA and APA citation format. There are workshops on 'Beyond Wikipedia', doing real research, technical communications, lab report writing, so these are also free of charge and run regularly.
Another resource available is online tutoring. We have, which is a consortium that FDU partners with. I just want you to know, we're here to help. There's lots of academic support available for students, and I also encourage students not to just come when they're struggling. They can come also use these support services at any point in the semester. Students need appointments. They meet with the same tutor each time and they are peer and professional tutors, and almost all subjects we offer here, at Fairleigh Dickinson.

Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 7 Transcript

Welcome to Parents Matter. In this episode, Renee Volak, university director of financial aid, talks about resources that are available for your students.

There's a couple of things that I think it would be useful for parents to know. First thing is, if they've not done so already and they're actively involved in their students' financial aid and helping with those issues, they need to know that what they have to do is make sure that their child puts them on a FERPA release, and the FERPA release, it's a federal regulation, it allows us to speak to them as a parent. Otherwise, the department of ed's regulations indicate that we really can't speak to them about their students' financial aid without that FERPA release.
FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and it's really easy for students to grant permission. They just have to go to their Webadvisor account, the students do. On the student tab, there is a communications section, and under that communications section, there's a FERPA and emergency releases.
The other thing that I think that's really important for parents to know, if they don't know this already, is the FAFSA needs to be completed every year. So if you've completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, allow us to assess your need for financial aid, and you want to renew that, you want your child to continue to get financial aid every year, that needs to be renewed every year.
So they have a long time to fill that out, any time from October 1st, returning students, all the way to April 15th. The State of New Jersey, however, requires that you complete it no later than April 15th if you want to be eligible for the State of New Jersey's tuition aid grant, that's a really, really important deadline.
When you fill out your FAFSA, the State of New Jersey has some additional questions, three or four extra questions. There is a link on the bottom of the FAFSA to take them out there. So we want to make sure they remember they have to do that every year as well if they want that Tuition Aid Grant, really, really important.
The Department of Education tells us that students must be making academic progress in order to continue to receive financial aid. The standard of academic progress is that they have to complete at least 66% of the credits that they've attempted, and they must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
When you apply at FDU, we send you a financial aid package anywhere between January and March, depending on when you apply. Returning students don't receive a financial aid package until June, and so sometimes we get panicked phone calls from parents, which I totally understand, if they don't know the process. The reason is two-fold. One, we're preparing those packages for those incoming students so that they can make their decisions, but more importantly, it's because the academic year must be completed and we have to do all those finishing things at the end of the year, grades have to be turned in and all the rest of that, before we can provide a package. So just wanted to alert parents that it'll be June before they'll get that financial aid package for returning students.
We have a new self-service module that we just opened up this year. It's great. It's a great opportunity for students. They can not only look at their financial aid awards and accept them or reject them, which they may have done already, but it's of continuing use in the academic year because there's a checklist for any documents we may be missing. There's reminders for things that are coming up. Financial aid is a ongoing, live, of-the-moment thing, and I think a lot of people don't realize that.
So if you have a change in circumstances or special circumstances, we would ask that you contact our office and talk to us about it. Often, there is something that we can help you with, and even mid-year, even midway through the academic year. So we're there. That's our purpose. That's why we're there, to help you and help you through special circumstances. We're always happy to help you. Our office hours are 9:00 to 5:00, Mondays through Fridays. Each family has a dedicated financial aid representative, an advisor, but I always say to parents, "If your advisor is not available and it's something urgent, anyone in our office can assist you with your questions."

Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 8 Transcript

Welcome to Parents Matter. In this episode, head basketball coach Greg Herenda talks about NCAA division one sports and the exciting sports culture at FDU.

When you talk about one sport you talk about them all because it's a family. All of the student athletes at our university are very very close. We share the same weight room. We share the same cafeterias. We share the same campus. So our players and our student athletes are very very close. We go to each other's games. So it's one tight knit family and it's exciting. It's competitive. It's academic. But most of all it's a family and it's a team and I'm very proud to be the coach of my team but also I go to many other sports and we cheer for each other. It's a positive and encouraging environment.
Our division or our conference is the northeast conference which is a tremendous conference which for the most part is concentrated in the metropolitan area but we also go to Mount St. Mary's in Maryland, out to Western PA and Robert Morris, St. Francis of PA, we go up to New England with Central Connecticut, Sacred Heart, Bryant University. So it's a very competitive conference. We'll all kind of competing for the same players in this area but we all have different positive aspects to recruit those players with. So it's very very exciting: metropolitan. We have our media day in the Barkley Center in Brooklyn for men's basketball. So it's a cool conference, and I think the players like it. Once you get involved with it you have an opportunity then to win it and win a championship which we did in 2016 and then go to the NCAA tournament. So it's very exciting.
I think just in the collegiate competitive world that we live in, we're learning every day and we're teaching every day the student athletes how to compete in very demanding and competitive world. So I think it's invaluable what our student athletes do on a daily basis. They work really hard. They're on time. They learn all the prerequisites of success for the future. So it's really really important I think. Our players once they do graduate, move on, they're ready to go to work and to start their lives and have a great career. So I think it's really essential.
We have a really really strong support network for our student athletes. We have for men's basketball we have our pod coaches. So each coach has their pod of players that they're totally in charge of in regards to how they're doing, their participation, their work. Then our academic support system run by Nikki Heinel is awesome. So it's a place where it's a small university where you have support and if you fail, you fail on your own. There's no reason to fail. We catch them early.
Athletics brings people together. It brought our alums together. It brings our parents together. It unifies what you're trying to do. Athletics success kind of fuels the fire and makes things go in an athletic world.

Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 9 Transcript

Narrator: Welcome to Parents Matter. In this episode, April Quatrano, nurse practitioner and Director of Student Health Services, talks about the wellbeing of your students here at FDU.

April Quatrano:

I direct our Health Center, so that would include the day-to-day operations and staffing. We have six registered nurses. We also have some administrative staff that help us with medical records. We are on the Teaneck side of campus, and we're located in the Student Union Building on the second floor. We're there Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00.
If a student isn't feeling well, they come to us for various issues, and we can diagnose, and if needed, we can prescribe medication. Also, if they miss class due to an illness, they'll come to us, because we do issue advocacy letters on their behalf in those instances as well. Also, during the year, we do a lot of educational programs with different topics, as we see fit for the student body that we're serving.
If there's an emergency, we usually will get a call. Usually, if they're not on our side of the campus, Public Safety will get the call first, and they will call us. If they're close by, we will respond to that. If not, Public Safety will respond, and if they feel that it is an emergency, they will call 911. If not, they will escort them over to us for care.
We encourage them to carry their own medication, store their own medication, and keep track of their own medication. That being said, we do not store it for them at the Health Care Center, because if you can imagine, we couldn't store everybody's medications. But if it's something that I prescribe, I would prescribe it, and then we manage them on it.
There is New Jersey immunization requirements that everybody has to meet to attend the college. They do differ if you're a resident versus a commuter, and/or a nursing student. All of that information can be found on our website. But if the students don't have those vaccines, more times than not, they'll come in to us, and we will give it for them.
We do have a dietician available on campus, so if we feel that a student's eating habits aren't how they should be, or they're losing weight and/or gaining too much weight -- because that does happen the first year that they're here (they don't make the right choices) -- we do a lot of referrals. So a lot of times, I say that we're kind of the gatekeepers, because they come to us for a whole array of problems, and then we kind of identify what the problem is, and then we find them ... If something that we don't deal with personally, we get them to the next level of care where they have to be so that they can get help for what they came for.
Incoming students will have to show their immunization records. So, that being said, if most students went to high school in New Jersey, they already have all of those immunizations. Also, they have to fill out a student profile, a meningitis response form. This can all be found on our website. Some of the forms is for the student to fill out, and/or the parent if they're not 18. Some of them go to the health care provider; they will need a physical exam within one year. And the requirements do change whether you're a resident versus a commuter. Of course, the residents, we require more vaccines than the commuters, but always for the commuters, since they are on a college campus, we do strongly recommend they get those vaccines that the residents need to have as well.
We go through, every quarter, the charts, and if somebody is not complete, we will reach out to them via email several times. We will also try to call. If we don't get a response, it will result in the student's account being placed on a medical hold, and what that means is, simply, they just won't be able to register for classes. So then, they'll come to us, and they'll say, "Well, I cannot register," and we'll say, "Well, because you're missing a vaccine or a physical exam." And then at that point, they will have to get that so they'll be able to register. Again, these are state laws in New Jersey, so we don't make the laws, but we do have to enforce them.
If the student is 18 years of age or older, we do have to abide by HIPAA compliance. So, if you need information regarding the student, on our website we have an Authorization to Release Medical Information form. That will need to be filled out by the student with whom we can release medical information to and what kind of information we can release. That would be the only way we'd be able to talk to somebody over the phone to release the information.
I always say to the students, you know, I don't want them to be scared to come to us and talk to us, because they do need somebody to talk to. Sometimes this is their first time away from home, the first time that they're away from their parents, they're just meeting friends, and they don't know who to turn to. So we tell them, "You know what, no question is ever dumb," or, you know, "You can come to us for anything, because we can always find ... If we can't help, like I said, we will find somebody that can help you." Our door is always open, and we want to have open line of communication with the students, because if they're not physically well, they can't succeed academically.
So you go to the main college page,, and in the search box, you type in "shsmetro," which stands for Student Health Services, Metropolitan Campus, and it will take you directly to our page, and you'll be able to find everything there.

Narrator: Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 10 Transcript

Speaker 1: Welcome to Parents Matter. In this episode, Jessica O'Brien, associate dean of students for union and campus engagement, talks about extracurricular activities and the importance of service learning.

Jessica O'Brien: We offer cultural, social and educational out of classroom learning experiences. Being a former education practitioner, I look at our program from that perspective, as well as trying to tap into what's current and what students want now, because I realize that we have to attract and engage them from both places. So, I want parents to know that it's not unintentional what we do. We put core learning objectives into all of our programs, and sure there's some social programs, things that are just for fun. This is college life. But the return on investment is high. Most of our programs are either free, or very low cost.
We have anywhere ranging from 60 to 65 student clubs right now depending on the turnover rate for the year, and we have academic clubs, we have social clubs, we have service organizations, multicultural organizations, religious organizations. All types of different options for students to be involved in. If we don't currently have it, we do allow students to create their own organizations, as well, with the appropriate amount of interest on the backend.
Whether it's something as benign as gaming with your friends on Fridays to winning an award with our mechanical engineers club. Step out of your comfort zone. It may not seem that interesting to you to go to this event, or that even, in the moment, but you might meet someone there, you might network there. We have so many great networking opportunities not only socially, but academically, professionally, as well. We cosponsor with so many different departments. Career development, athletics, international student services. The entire division of student affairs. Veteran services, and the list goes on. It really could be a life changing moment, especially for many of our students that really need a great opportunity.
We have not only students organization events. We have campus departmental events, and part of my role is campus engagement, which is the entire community. We engage not only our residence students, which is the easiest group to program for, because they're hear, it's great, but commuters. Part-time, full-time, international, domestic, we want to be cognizant that we're not just a residential campus. For both the parents and the students, it's good to know that most, if not all of our events are free, or very low cost. We do want them to look at our facilities and our programs, and say, "Okay, I see where my money is going." And they receive that in the classroom, but they deserve that same experience outside of the classroom. And our events are a premier experience. You're not in the nosebleeds when we go to the Barkley Center. You're on the floor, you're seeing Jay Z and Beyonce, and that's what the students want. The little bit that we ask for if they have to pay anything, we want to give them that premium experience, because this is a premium environment.
Our alternative spring break program is a traditional program offered at the campus. Lately, we've been focusing on the New Jersey region. Going all the way back to Hurricane Sandy, where we actually took students down, and helped rebuild the boardwalk. I had the pleasure of going with them. It was really something I'll never forget.
We employ about 50 undergraduate students, and we have 5 grad students, as well, and they help us. When our event's in the building, they do setups, breakdowns, AV and technology. We have several students that do marketing for us. Doing things like making wallpaper for the building down to our printable calendars that we do. Our social media outlets are run by our own students. So, these are real hands-on learning opportunities for students. They're not just sitting at a desk checking people in, or working on a computer. They're working with people. They're interacting. They're problem solving.
You've made a good choice. We'll take good care of your students, and don't ever let them tell you they're bored. They should never be bored because there's so many ways that they can get involved, but we let them know through our social media outlets. We provide them with a printed calendar. They get an email every week that tells them this week's and next week's events, not only in our department, but the entire campus. So, yeah, they have to check their email, though.

Speaker 1: Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 11 Transcript


Welcome to Parents Matter. In this episode, Charles Imbimbo, psychological counselor with Student Counseling and Psychological Services, or "S-CAPS." talks candidly about services available to students.

Charles Imbimbo:

We offer free and confidential individual counseling. It's confidential and in order for us to speak with anyone, a student would have to sign a release of information, however, that doesn't necessarily apply to emergencies where we'd have to break confidentiality. We also offer various personal development workshops that cover all sorts of topics such as loss and grief, dealing with stress, sometimes positive psychology.
We also offer advocacy which is there to support students academically. If the student who's seeing one of our counselors has a problem and it affects their ability to do well in their classes, at their request, we could send a letter to their professors and usually requesting extended time or excusing some absences. And it's really up to the professor as to whether they'll utter our request, but most do. We also have the Meditation and Mindfulness Group, which I lead. And that helps students learn to let go of negative thoughts and emotions. And it helps them to be more present oriented. And to deal even with symptoms of anxiety or depression, so it's a very useful technique that I also use in my therapy with students.
First, I'll try to assess what the difficulties are and talk to them about how they're perceiving things and then I may use cognitive therapy which helps them look at their negative thought patterns and to see how maybe their reaction to their problems is maybe more extreme than is warranted.
Part of it is really getting them to sort of get some distance from their negative thoughts or from the stressful situations and to try to understand things more clearly and also to get them to relax. I use a wellness model, trying to get them to eat well, to sleep well, to exercise, to work on their mental health.
We have five professional licensed mental health professionals, we're fully staffed. We're located on the Teaneck side behind the courts, which are dorms and not far from student union building. We actually have the online self-help screenings on our webpage and they're anonymous as well, and so a student could go on and there are various topics that we have and they could be screened for depression, anxiety for an eating disorder. It will guide them if they scored high, maybe it will recommend that they see one of the counselors but are otherwise anonymous. So we know that students use them, we can tell that, but we don't know who they are.
A student may learn some very useful skills from attending one of our workshops and they may not need counseling, but they may decide that they do and one doesn't necessarily need to have a very severe problem in order to see a counselor. It could be for any number of issues, homesickness, a problem with a roommate, a problem with the professor. It could be any issue that bothers them.
So I encourage parents to get involved and not just in SCAPS activities, but a lot of departments on campus will collaborate and we're part of the division of Student Affairs. So we will collaborate with different members of that department or division, I should say. A parent could suggest if the student is having problems that maybe they could talk to someone and they could either walk in to make an appointment or call and it's really by appointment, but if it's a serious situation, we drop everything and handle it. Or they could encourage the student to maybe attend some workshops first. If they're not sure about meeting with a counselor individually.


Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 12 Transcript (English)

[Voiceover] Thank you for joining Parents Matter. In this episode, we have Fernando Alonso, who is the director of Latino Promise.

[Alonso]Latino Promise is a program that was designed in 2007, if I remember. It was part of our second stage of the Latino Pipeline Initiative. The first one being the Puerto Futuro, which is the adult program.
The second one came to help traditional-aged students who are having difficulties getting into school. And what I mean by that, they have economic, language, social barriers, and so they didn't have really the best GPAs or the SATs. They needed another chance. So we brought 'em in under an associate's degree program at FDU, and it was called Latino Promise. You come here, we promise to help as best as we can to help you succeed. And that's really what it is. We bring in kids with the low GPAs, the low SATs, and then we have them actually progress through our program. And go from, let's say, a 2.1, for argument's sake. By the time they're finished with our program, there's a lot of them up in the 3.0s or higher. We help 'em with a lot of the skills that they didn't get while they were in high school. And within the program, we have a leadership component. And that is a program that helps them, not only to speak in front of people, but write better, communicate, but also do project management and work with the community. And that is something that you don't see often in college.
I think the interesting part right now is we have a project for them, which they have to go into the community as a group. So it's a group management project. Work together, communicate with nonprofit organizations. And do something for the community. Generally, it'd be the Hispanic community. So they have to figure out who they're going to talk to, how do they get the communication going, find out what's important for that organization. And then together, work as a unit from the university to better help that organization help the Hispanic community.
The big thing we see is, you know, parents have to be involved with their kids. You know, parents have a lot of problems. They've got jobs, they've got issues, they're working hard, but they have to be behind their son or daughter. And that's a key thing that we try to help out. So we do a lot of community outreach. We go out there, we talk to the parents, and telling them what they're going through. And sometimes, actually, the majority of the times, our students are first generation going to college. And so the parent doesn't really understand it. So we try to help them out. Fernando Alonso, Latino Promise. Fernando Alonso Latino Promise.

[Voiceover] Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 12 Transcript (Spanish)

[Voz] Gracias por unirte a Los Padres Importan. En este episodio, tenemos a Fernando Alonso, quien es el director de Promesa Latina.

[Alonso]Promesa Latina es un programa que fue diseñado en 2007, si recuerdo. Fue parte de nuestra segunda etapa de la Iniciativa Latino Pipeline. El primero es el Puerto Futuro, que es el programa para adultos.
El segundo vino para ayudar a los tradicionales estudiantes de edad que tienen dificultades para ingresar a la escuela. Y a lo que me refiero con eso, tienen barreras económicas, de idioma, sociales y, por lo tanto, no tenían realmente el mejor GPA o el SAT. Necesitaban otra oportunidad. Los incorporamos a un programa de grado asociado en FDU, y se llamaba Promesa Latina. Vienes aquí, nos comprometemos a ayudarte lo mejor que podamos para tener éxito. Y eso es lo que hacemos. Un modelo exitoso Traemos a los niños con el GPA bajo, el SAT bajo y luego los hacemos progresar a través de nuestro programa. Y que pase de, digamos, un 2,1, por el bien del argumento. Para cuando terminen con nuestro programa, hay muchos de ellos en la versión 3,0 o superior. Les ayudamos con muchas de las habilidades que no obtuvieron mientras estaban en la escuela secundaria. Y dentro del programa, tenemos un componente de liderazgo. Y ese es un programa que les ayuda, no solo a hablar frente a las personas, sino también a escribir mejor, a comunicarse, a la vez que a la gestión de proyectos y al trabajo con la comunidad. Y eso es algo que no ves a menudo en la universidad.
Proyecto grupal de semestre Creo que la parte interesante en este momento es que tenemos un proyecto para ellos, que tienen que ir a la comunidad como grupo. Así que es un proyecto de gestión grupal. Trabajar juntos, comunicarse con organizaciones sin fines de lucro. Y hacer algo por la comunidad. En general, sería la comunidad hispana. Así que tienen que averiguar con quién van a hablar, cómo hacer que comience la comunicación, averiguar qué es lo importante para esa organización. Y luego, juntos, trabajen como una unidad de la universidad para ayudar mejor a esa organización a ayudar a la comunidad hispana.
Participación de los padres Lo importante que vemos es que los padres tienen que involucrarse con sus hijos. Ya sabes, los padres tienen muchos problemas. Tienen trabajos, tienen problemas, están trabajando duro, pero tienen que estar detrás de su hijo o hija. Y eso es una cosa clave que tratamos de ayudar. Así que hacemos un montón de alcance comunitario. Salimos, hablamos con los padres y les contamos lo que están pasando. Y a veces, en realidad, la mayoría de las veces, nuestros estudiantes son la primera generación que van a la universidad. Y así, el padre realmente no lo entiende. Así que tratamos de ayudarlos. Fernando Alonso, Promesa Latina. Fernando Alonso Promesa Latina.

[Voz] Gracias por unirte a Los Padres Importan.. Recuerda que te gusta y comparte este vídeo. Te veo la próxima semana.

Episode 13 Transcript

Narrator:In this episode of Parents Matter, Dr. Scott Behson, Professor of Management and Global Faculty Fellow in FDU's Silberman College of Business, talks about the Silberman experience as well as the important role that faculty play in, and out, of the classroom.

Dr. S. Behson:

It's a really exciting time to be a student at Silberman. First off, we have excellent faculties, small class sizes, professors who both really care about students and are plugged into what's going on in the business world.
We've also kind of re-engineered our student services within Silberman College, so we have a whole suite that can be a home base for our students, it's right with our center and our offices for placements and outreach.
Parents, you play an important role in your students education. Now, not quite in the same way you did, during their early education, but it's important that you still support your student, and there's many ways you could do that. For many students, especially for freshmen, especially for those who maybe are moving or are commuting, college is different than what they've been used to, they have a lot more independence in how they manage their time, they have to be a lot more responsible about doing work in between class sessions. So, it's important that we as parents support our students with time management, maybe give them some advice in some of those skills. Students will be only be in class for 15 or 18 hours a week, but they really need to do 40 or 50 hours of work. So, the best you can help your student construct the time and a space where they can get their work done, that they need to get done academically, this would really, really help them.
Another thing parents can do, is to try to minimize the stress in the home. Remember, our students are going through a transition, a very positive one in the broad sense, but it could be stressful at times, so if there's ways we can think of as parents, that we can maybe minimize some of the changes and the stressors around our students, this will probably be better for them.
So many resources here. First off, faculty, but also, we have an excellent academic resource center, and a writing studio, and the library, and there's counseling services that are excellent, there's psychological and ... services like that. And again, I think professors can really be a great resource. And I love working with students outside of the classroom, during office hours, just side conversations before and after class, and those are important to keep yourself kind of on track.
And I think one of the things that parents can do, is to role model some of this, so you shouldn't be necessarily the one talking to the professor for your students, but you can role play with them, you can practice with them, you can show them maybe what ... talk to them about what their strategy could be, in terms of talking to a professor, or reaching out for help, or finding resources.
As finals are coming along, or where the back-ends of the semester ... this can be a stressful time for students, because if they had fallen behind anywhere there's less time to catch up. This would be a great time to encourage your student to go talk to a professor.
My best advice for students, is instead of cramming the night before, it's so much better to do one or two hours of work on your class to review things. Think of it as an athlete, right? Before you run a marathon, you don't run a marathon the day before, right? You train in smaller increments before the athletic event, so we should treat finals with the same kind of mentality.

Narrator:Thank you for joining Parents Matter. Remember to like and share this video. See you next week.

Episode 14 Transcript

Speaker 1: Welcome to our last episode of Parents Matter for fall semester 2018.

Interim campus executive Craig Mourton talks about the past semester, and provides important highlights for the spring 2019 semester ahead.

Craig: It is my hope that our students have had a wonderful freshman semester, that they've not only excelled academically, but also participated in a lot of different organizations.

I always get great pleasure talking to the parents and meeting the parents at orientation. I hope that they really took heed to what I encouraged them to get involved in student organizations, particularly one that relates to the academic.

I hope that every student here has joined a club, or at least sampled a few club so they can help find a niche for their experience of FDU outside the classroom.

When students come back in the spring, they'll be starting the [inaudible 00:00:49] 1002 course, which is the introduction to professional life. They'll learn more about ways to interact with faculty and how to build internships, and how to start building that resume.

But I hope their first semester, they still have connected with the faculty in their major. Research tells us that successful students interact with faculty early and often, and it's one of the best predictors of student success, is that relationship with faculty, both in the classroom and outside, for both mentoring opportunities, internship opportunities, and just discussions about real life application of the courses that they're taking.

We view the freshman year as a whole year experience, so while we do put a lot of effort on making sure that the students know the resources, and get involved, and get engaged, and meet new people during the first semester, we do carry the first year experience into the second semester.

And as I mentioned before, the unit of 1002, is the hallmark of the second semester. This course is a professional preparedness course. It supplements the 1001 transition course in the fall. Every new student will be taking that course in the spring, and we hope that the students really take advantage of the great things that that course has to offer.

Whether it be how to develop your electronic image professionally, how to develop a resume, how to seek out internships, how to build relationships, how to network, these are all important things that our second semester students should be focused on.

In the old days we focused a lot on our junior year, and we gave the career preparation there, but now we want to move that back to the first semester. And we still want students to enjoy the early college experience, but also keep in mind that this is all building up to a wonderful career that they can obtain by having a Fairleigh Dickinson degree.

The offices will be closed between the holidays, but we will reopen for January 2nd. There is a winter session, so if your student hasn't already checked that out, there's some great online courses, but also courses on campus that students can take a January term course.

All the offices are open to support that, but if there's anything that you need from any of the offices, please contact us through the website, and the information you've been sent through the parents' resource guide.

We are excited for opening on January 22nd, and you'll be receiving information from Resident's Life regarding move in dates and information for the residential students. And then also a lot of interesting things about what we have planned for the spring semester.

I just want to thank the parents again for trusting us to be the educator of your students. We recognize that it's a major investment of time, and resources, and energy on choosing a college, and we're glad that you chose FDU. And I hope if any parents have any questions, to please reach out to me, and I'll be more than happy to assist.

Speaker 1: Thank you for participating in Parents Matter throughout the semester. Please take a moment to let us know if you enjoyed this video series.

All of us at FDU wish all of you parents and your students a happy holiday season, as we look forward to spring 2019.