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Remarks to Parents/Families, Move-In Day, August 22, 2012

It is my pleasure, on behalf of our entire campus community, to extend a warm welcome to the families of the Keene State College Class of 2016.

We know from student responses that parents have the greatest effect on where students attend College. Your confidence is not misplaced.

Keene State is one of 27 public liberal arts colleges nationally that emphasize undergraduate teaching and learning. Our academic tradition is 104 years old and our College is a nationally recognized leader in high impact practices that transform undergraduate students.

We excel in multidisciplinary approaches to learning and many KSC students leave with more than one major, having constructed their own multidisciplinary approach to how they want to pursue their interests and enter the workplace.

We have an excellent diversity of undergraduate programs, and within them capstone experiences, project-based research opportunities, connections with the business community, and a history of community service that builds character, civility, and respect. Our highest priority for the coming year is academic excellence and student success.

The poet Carl Sandburg said "Nothing happens unless first a dream." We believe that Keene State is an outstanding college for your students to develop their dreams and the skills necessary to accomplish them. We offer a transformative experience, but these must be their dreams.

They must be doing this for themselves. It must be their goals they are pursuing, their vision that leads them, and their purpose that guides them. We pledge to support them on their journey with exceptional academic programs, which Provost Treadwell will speak more about.

Keene State is a very engaging community and the relationships formed here with faculty, staff, and fellow students will endure a lifetime. We encourage students to join clubs and organizations, take part in performances and sports, attend leading political and scholarly presentations. Vice President Robinson will speak more about "Personal and Social Success."

This is not a casual journey they are on. Our mission as a liberal arts college is to prepare promising students to think critically and creatively, to engage in active citizenship, and to pursue meaningful work.

It is probably your dream that we accomplish this in four years and for most students that will happen. It is ours as well and we have done our homework to know what to look for as early warnings that students are having difficulties. You should also know that a few weeks into the semester, faculty will give mid-term grades, report on class attendance issues, and identify students at academic risk, or who have made poor social or time management decisions. We will be watching their progress right from the start, using analytics and our own data and resources to get them on track and keep them there. Ask me later about a financial tip to students and parents.

How many parents have students with undecided as their major? Even at Stanford University, the most popular major is "I don't know" or "I just changed it!" Early on, students with undecided majors will participate in academic and career counseling to give structure to their academic plan and keep their four-year dream attainable.

Keene State College continues to be an attractive school for first generation college students. I am the first in my family to attend college and I know it is truly helpful to have a cohort of others in the same boat. About 40 percent of the entering class fall into this category.

I went to some of the experts on campus life at Keene State--our Resident Assistants—and asked for their best advice to new students. Here's what they said:

  • Don't be afraid to ask anyone from college for help.
  • Take advantage of relationships with faculty and staff.
  • Find the academic help centers soon, not on the day of the test.
  • Use campus resources – the counseling center, the health center, the recreation center.
  • Ask your Resident Assistant. They're a great resource, no matter what the problem.

With the privilege of being a member of this community comes responsibility. We recognize that your sons and daughters are adults; they must acknowledge that we hold our values very dear. We provide comprehensive and caring services, that include a judicial process and diversity training, to ensure that this college is a safe place for growth and inquiry, to ensure respect for one another's property and well-being, to ensure hurtful speech and actions have no place in this community.

When new students join our Keene State community, they join a long tradition of community involvement that relates directly to their course of study. Here are some examples of what we refer to as experiential learning:

  • Health Science students evaluated barriers to healthy eating for families participating in a wellness program for youth with mental, emotional, or behavioral issues.
  • History students interviewed machinists, engineers, and managers in declining firms and rising firms, and donated the oral histories to the Historical Society.
  • Student teachers took on service projects to benefit the schools to which they were assigned.
  • Marketing students assisted local non-profit organizations.
  • Music students performed at the local homeless shelter.
  • Sociology students volunteered at local homeless shelters for the New Hampshire Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services.
  • Safety Studies students served as consultants for companies and community organizations.
  • Management students served as "loaned employees" and computer science students redesigned the website for United Way.
  • Architecture and Communicorps students worked for regional not-for-profits.
  • Dance students taught in schools that could not otherwise afford such a program.

It isn't all done for credit. Keene State students also pursue volunteer activities that simply enrich their lives and those of others. For example, they:

  • raised money for important causes, through activities such as the Alzheimer's Walk, the Relay for Life, and the Barefoot Walk.
  • used their spring break to travel to 9 domestic locations to build affordable homes, restore beaches and plateaus, paint inspirational murals, and mentor youth, and
  • served food to their homeless and hungry neighbors in Keene and in communities far away.
  • We have countless reasons to be proud of our students and I'm confident that will continue with the newest members of our community -- your sons and daughters. In time, you will find them transformed in mind and character, prepared for engaged citizenry and meaningful careers. They will make you proud.
I look forward to seeing you again at Parent/Family Weekend, September 28 and 29, especially on the 29th when I will greet you at the President's Residence.

Here's a financial tip to parents:

As an authorized payer, you will receive your student's billing statement online when your student sets up the account through MyKSC. If your students go to the Student Accounts Office, with their KSC ID, and complete a FERPA Release Form, the staff can share with you information about pending financial aid status that isn't on the billing statement. Remind your student to go to the Student Accounts Office in Elliot Hall if you want this.


Updated: August 29, 2012 KSC Photos on SmugMug Subscribe to the KSC RSS news feed Keene State on Facebook Keene State on Twitter Keene State on YouTube

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