Family Resources

Welcome Pioneer family members,

We are so glad that your student has joined the William Paterson community. Our job is to make their college years a successful and enriching experience.

A student’s transition to college is often times as challenging for parents. Helping your student make the transition to a university setting raises many questions, and striking a balance between guiding your student and supporting their independence may be difficult.

As partners in your student’s education, we ask that you encourage them to develop relationships with their academic advisors. Academic advising is one of the most important services that William Paterson offers, since it helps students navigate through college, and offers important guidance as it relates to program/curriculum requirements, academic policies/procedures, and charting their way to graduation.

Advisement Center Parent and Family Handbook »

  • When choosing a major or planning for their future, it is important that students be allowed to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, pick their own courses and eventually, choose their own career and education path.
  • During their college career, a student may feel overwhelmed. They may call home, want to drop courses, or take a leave from school. While this is common, we need your help in conveying some down-sides to short term decisions that may greatly impact their long term goals. Please listen, encourage and reassure them that it is part of the educational process to doubt. Please suggest that the student talk to their academic advisor. There are several success and support services at William Paterson which are listed below. Please help them understand that dropping courses may impact their ability to complete their degree in a timely fashion and may affect their Satisfactory Academic Progress, which may affect their ability to get financial aid.
  • Please encourage the student to interact with their professors. Student surveys show that students who develop close relationships with faculty get more out of their education than students who do not.
  • Focus on learning instead of on grades. Ask which faculty members they have met, which classes they enjoy, what they are learning and in what types of extra-curricular activities they are involved.
  • Students should know that on the road to success, there may be some bumps and stumbling blocks. The student should know that a “C” in a course is not a sign of failure but instead an opportunity for them to seek out resources, like tutoring or workshops regarding time management.
  • Call us, but please know that the University is limited by federal law, as to the information we can share with families. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) prevents William Paterson from releasing a student’s information to anyone without his or her written consent.