Support Your New College Student

Support Your New College Student

Your student has made a life-changing decision by choosing to attend college. This is likely an incredibly exciting yet challenging time, which will inevitably bring obstacles.

They may doubt themselves and question their abilities. When that happens, we want them to know Kirkwood has all the resources they need to be successful—now and in the future.

Read through the questions and answers below to better understand how we can help you support your new college student.

Orientation FAQs Orientation Checklist

Academic Support

A large number of Kirkwood students plan to transfer after their time at Kirkwood, so our advisors are experts at helping every step of the way! If your student is planning to transfer after they're done at Kirkwood, make sure they meet with an advisor to ensure the courses they're taking will transfer to the new institution.

Looking for deadlines or information about when things are happening on campus? Find information on Kirkwood events, college holidays, breaks, Commencement, school start/end dates, registration, and billing/payment/refund dates on the academic calendar.

Visit the Kirkwood Bookstore to purchase books and supplies for class. Your student will receive a list of the books they'll need from the classes they've registered for. Plus, get your student decked out in the latest Eagle apparel from all the top brands!

Open seven days a week, the library gives students space to research and study as well as a quiet spot to read or rest between classes. Our librarians are also an excellent resource for students who may need help researching or finding materials needed for their classes. 

Tutoring is free for all registered Kirkwood students through the Tutoring Center. If your student needs help, all they need to do is ask!

The Writing Center provides feedback and tips to help your student become a better writer, at no cost.


Health & Safety

Student Health

We work with area health providers to offer comprehensive care, referrals and resources for students. Student Health Clinic services are available at MercyCare Prairie Creek, located just across from main campus in Cedar Rapids, and initial appointments are free for Kirkwood students. 

Counseling Services

Professional, experienced counselors are available to help with student academic, career and personal concerns.

Learn more about counseling services.

Emergency Notifications

Kirkwood Alert is your real-time connection to emergency information, updates, college closings, delays, and more. Notifications can be sent via email or mobile device to parents and students.

Sign up for Kirkwood Alert.

Student Information

FERPA

FERPA is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data. Learn more about FERPA and parents' rights.

Sharing a Student Concern

If you are concerned about the behavior or well-being of a student, you're encouraged to complete the Student Concern Form. The Dean of Students office receives these submissions and has a variety of resources to help provide assistance and referrals to appropriate resources.

Meet the Dean of Students

Student Life & Housing

Kirkwood does not own or operate student housing, but our Housing team helps students find nearby apartments and roommates. Most apartments are within walking distance of the Kirkwood campus.

Housing Options Roommate Matching

Technology

Students can search and register for classes, pay tuition, view or request transcripts, access financial aid and tax information, change majors, and view their class schedule, semester grades, and more with MyHub. Parents can also get access to pay tuition and view student records. You'll need to set up an account before you're able to log in. 

Log in to MyHub

Online courses are accessed through our learning management system, Talon. Students use the system to access their course material, activities, and current grades.

To get started with Talon, your student will be automatically enrolled in a "Welcome to Talon" course. It explains how to be successful when learning online as well as tips and tricks for navigating the tool.

Log in to Talon

Supportive relationships are important to a student’s success and we encourage students to communicate often, and work closely, with their families and other important people in their lives.

To make it easier to share information, students can request a “proxy” login that allows those important people in their lives to see parts of their records or make online payments toward their bill. The student selects what information the proxy can see, and can change or revoke that at any time.

Students can give access to their tax forms, billing information, grades, and financial aid.

To request a proxy login:

  • Log in to MyHub
  • Click on “My Links” and type “proxy” into the search bar
  • Click on “Person Proxy”
  • Under the “Select a Proxy” drop-down menu, choose “Add Another User” and complete the required fields with your proxy's information
  • Select which types of access you like to provide to your proxy and hit “Submit”

For other kinds of information to be released to parents and others, students must give their consent by completing, signing, and submitting a Consent for Release of Education Record form.

To find out why Kirkwood needs the student’s consent to talk to or release information to someone other than the student, see FERPA.


Possible Stressors During the First Year

August

  • Leaving the security of home, family, friends, and everything familiar in your student’s hometown.
  • Facing the unknown: new friends, new experiences, new expectations, new environment, new demands. It is all new! Encourage them to reach out to Counseling Services.
  • With greater independence, your student is responsible for making their own decisions and dealing with the consequences.
  • Testing the value system when exposed to new situations and people.
  • Lack of money Look into on-campus jobs opportunities, like Work-study. Note: Work-study options are based on need, your student will know if they're eligible based on their award letter. Explore community jobs

September

  • Financial aid disbursed 
  • Housing/roommate adjustments
  • Students who commute may feel “left out” or not part of the community.
    Encourage them to explore Student Life opportunities.
  • Feeling the need to decide on a major and future profession can begin.
    Reach out to Career Services for help.
  • Social pressure and fitting in with the group. Sometimes it takes a while to find just the right group of friends.
  • Learning how to manage time. Contact Counseling Services for help.

October

  • Thinking about classes for next semester. Encourage your student to schedule an appointment with their academic advisor
  • Midterm grades are posted for students to review in MyHub

November

  • Growing academic demands as the semester nears an end
  • Finalizing a class schedule for the next semester
  • Excitement about going home for the holidays, but also feeling nervous about going home after a few months of independence

December

  • Preparing for exams, finishing papers and projects, and concern about end-of-semester grades
  • Re-adjusting to the routines of school after a lengthy break
  • Reconnecting with campus friends
  • Facing the reality of first-semester grades if they don’t meet expectations. 
    Encourage your student to check their financial aid status and meet with their academic advisor
  • Uncertainty about the major that seemed to be perfect a few months earlier. Reach out to Career Services for help. 
  • Evaluating the whole first semester
  • Financial aid disbursed

February

  • The routine may become “boring”. Encourage your student to get involved in a clubactivity, or intramural team
  • Winter weather: Have your student sign up for Kirkwood Alert to stay up-to-date on weather-related delays and cancellations
  • Making plans for spring break

March

  • Preparing for midterm exams
  • Midterm grades are posted for students to review in MyHub
  • Spring break expectations
  • Lack of money - review the job board or encourage students to connect with Career Services
  • Spring fever
  • Preparing for finals
  • Determining whether to take summer classes or not
  • Summer and fall registration occurs in April - encourage your student to speak with their academic advisor
  • Leaving friends for the summer and returning home to an environment that may seem “different” for some students
  • Feeling pressure to find meaningful employment for the summer

More questions? Review the entire academic calendar.


Reach Out

Questions? Contact our student services team to learn even more about how we support Kirkwood students from enrollment to graduation. 

Cedar Rapids
Melissa Payne
Dean of Students
319-398-5584
melissa.payne@kirkwood.edu

Bobbi Miller
Associate Dean of Students
319-398-7798
bobbi.miller@kirkwood.edu

Iowa City
Nick Borders
Director, Student Services, Iowa City Campus
319-887-3977
nick.borders@kirkwood.edu

More questions? Reach out via our contact form.