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Coaching Throughout the Year

Whether it’s their first year or their fourth, students often need your coaching on issues throughout the year. This calendar will help you anticipate issues that may arise and refer your student to the appropriate resources. Also check out the current MIAD Academic Calendar for important dates.


Students have lots of uncertainty (Will I like it here? Will I make friends?) mixed with excitement … college, finally!
Students move in, meet their roommates and set up their room/living space and start classes.

  • Discuss how you plan to communicate with each other.
  • During move-in, students may have difficulty letting go, or they may not want you around. Discomfort is part of the process. Be prepared for an exciting, but potentially emotional, weekend.
  • Ask them if they’ve planned their first advising meeting.
  • Ask them what resources on campus they are familiar with to proactively support them during the academic year.


Students attend classes and navigate the campus and explore Milwaukee. They may be excited about meeting new friends and their classes, or they may be feeling lonely and isolated. You may miss your student, but you’re not alone!

  • Discuss class attendance. Skipping class is the #1 reason why students fail.
  • Ask if they are studying 20 hours per week. College is a full-time job.
  • Ask about health, friends and opportunities for involvement in campus activities.
  • Discuss plans for frequency of returning home.
  • Ask about 4-week reports. Ask first-year and/or sophomore students if they received a 4-week report. Encourage them to communicate with faculty and seek help from tutors if they have concerns.
  • Remind your student of the resources available to them as they make decisions about their major, begin final studio projects and write final papers. Be the coach.
  • Contact the Dean of Students if you have any concerns about your student’s academic progress or personal welfare.


Students may become homesick. Roommate conflicts may arise. They may face their first round of bills (phone, credit cards). Students may also come down with an illness for the first time since leaving home. Be prepared for emotional phone calls that may leave your student feeling better and you feeling like you need to take action. This is the time to be the coach! Refer your student to campus resources.

  • Ask about their major exploration and potential spring schedule. First-year students declare their major and register for spring classes during the fall semester.
  • Ask about the student’s midterm reports. Listen and be supportive.
  • Ask if your student has been meeting with their academic advisor.
  • As if your student has started the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the next academic year.
  • Ask about workload and study load. Are they sleeping and eating? Talk about study skills, time management and all the great tutoring services available in MIAD’s Academic Success Center.
  • Ask about involvement in campus activities.
  • If your student is homesick, remind them of the resources available. Suggest that they speak with a student support counselor.
  • Discuss plans for fall break and Thanksgiving.


The last two weeks of the semester are busy and can be stressful for your student. There are final projects to create, final papers to write and the stress of meeting final critiques and deadlines. They may also be feeling anxious about first-semester grades.

  • Sending a care package or simple greeting card would be great around this time.

Semester Break

Students may return home and spend time with high school friends. They may be asking themselves, “To work or not to work?” Encourage winter break employment. Think about and discuss how rules may change over break for your student and for the whole family.


Welcome back! Students review the past semester and make changes as they get more involved on campus, or spend more time studying. A new semester schedule presents new challenges. You might feel some anxiety about your student’s grades.

  • Review or revise budgets based on a semester’s worth of experience.
  • Ask what changes might need to occur to ensure your student’s academic success.


Cabin fever may set in, and illness might pop up. Students may be thinking about spring break and initiating plans for living arrangements next year.

  • Remind your student of the Marquette Health Center and MIAD Student Services if they are sick or struggling with school and winter blues.
  • Inquire about taxes and completing the FAFSA.
  • Talk with your student about all of the factors to consider when making decisions about housing for next year. Pay special attention to what type of living environment will help your student be most successful academically.


Spring break comes and goes. Students will be tired, may be keeping late hours and not eating well as they work to complete final semester projects. You may receive more frequent phone calls, or not hear from them at all. Students will be registering for next school year.

  • Remind your student of the resources available to them as they begin final studio projects and write final papers. Be the coach.
  • Discuss summer plans.


Many students leave for the summer; most will miss their new college friends and some will return home to watch old high school friends graduate. Many students search for summer employment.

  • With a year of college behind you, now is a good time to check in about credit card use and finances, and again ask if any changes need to be made for your student’s academic success.
  • Ask how they are going to stay in touch with college friends.
  • Congratulations for a great first year!



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