Welcome from the Dean
As Dean of Students I would like to welcome you to the start
of another academic year and for those of you that are new, to
our McMaster community. I oversee a number of areas in Student
Affairs that support student success. It is rewarding for me personally
and for our staff to see the excitement of the new students as
they begin the next stage in life -- their university career and
to share in their development during their time at McMaster.
I hope that parents of incoming students had the opportunity
to attend the information sessions provided through the Summer
Orientation Days hosted by our First Year Experience Office, and
Welcome Day. These are great opportunities for new students to
find out about the many support services within Student Affairs
that they have access to at the University. We also want parents
to familiarize themselves with these services so that you can
help your son/daughter take full advantage of all that McMaster
has to offer.
Recently my son graduated from McMaster. It seems a long time
away, but you too will be in this position. Today you may be feeling
anxious about letting your young adult leave home perhaps for
the first time. In about four or five years, and sometimes a little
longer, you too will feel the joy of seeing your son/daughter
walk across the stage as they receive the degree they have worked
so hard to earn. Time goes very quickly!
Please know that we are parents too and face the same concerns
you have. Like you, we are here to provide guidance and support.
Allow them to make decisions, figure out how to solve their own
problems, and ask questions and seek out help.
Again, welcome to the start of the academic year and our community
and please feel free to contact Student Affairs at email@example.com
or (905) 525-9140, Ext.27455.
AVP Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Parents Are Partners in Student Learning
Student Affairs’ believe that the
student’s whole environment
is an educational one. As such, everything that influences a student's
life contributes to their development, intellectually and socially.
Therefore, students’ learning outside the classroom is as
equally important as the learning that takes place in the classroom.
Student Affairs provides services and resources designed to meet
students’ developmental needs but they still need you. There
are three primary ways in which parents can continue to support
students that will lead them to higher levels of success at university.
Easing the Transition to University
Entering university is a significant developmental milestone for students, and it reverberates throughout the family. Although each student, and each family, is unique, there are some issues that commonly occur for parents and families. This letter provides some general information about developmental issues in University age students, and speaks to some of the concerns and questions that you might have about your student and about our services.
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We want to hear from you!
We are undertaking a revision of the Mac Parent website and Newsletter.
I am writing to invite you to take 10 minutes to go online and
complete a survey. The information you provide will help us provide
you with the information that you want and need.
Upon submitting your responses, you will automatically be entered
in a draw for a chance to win an iPod Touch valued at approximately
$350 (or the choice of a $250 McMaster Titles Bookstore Gift Card)
- either can be used by you or passed on to your son/daughter.
Your participation is voluntary, and you need not answer every
question. We view parents as key partners in student success,
and for this reason I hope you will consider participating.
We have contracted the services of StudentVoice, an independent
consulting firm operating in the United States to help us with
other assessment projects. The data will be stored on a server
controlled by StudentVoice in a single location with an email
address for each respondent; however, the data received by McMaster
will not include personal information by which individuals can
be identified, making it impossible for anyone at McMaster to
know who responded. StudentVoice will not use the information
for any other purpose than this survey. While stored in the U.S.
the data may be subject to the U.S. Patriot Act (which means a
government agent, with cause, could request to see individual
information). The information will otherwise be held confidentially.
If you have any difficulty logging in, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 716.652.9400.
To proceed to the survey, go to http://www.studentvoice.com/McMasterParentSurvey.
Dr. Phil Wood
Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs)
And Dean of Students
McMaster’s Libraries invite you to Parent Night
Parents and students are invited to attend a Parent Night at
the McMaster campus the evening of Thursday, October 16th, 2008.
The evening will feature a number of panelists who will talk
about strategies for being successful in university, with a focus
on academic success. This event will be particularly useful for
students in their first and second year. Speakers will include:
- Professor for IntroPsych, McMaster’s largest first
year class, Dr. Joe Kim
- Academic Skills Counsellor, Peter Walsh
- First Year Experience Librarian, Krista Godfrey
- Peer Mentor and fourth year student, Rebecca McDermott
Parent Night is sponsored by McMaster University Library. The
campus libraries are committed to teaching and learning at McMaster
and helping students to achieve their academic goals.
If you’re interested in attending, or for more information,
please contact Catherine Baird at 905.525.9140 ext. 26097 or email@example.com.
Information for Students Moving into Residence
- Students will be contacted by email confirming their specific
- Move-in for first-year students is building specific and
will be either:
- Saturday August 30, 2008 or
- Sunday August 31, 2008
- Monday, September 1st 2008
When moving to campus on the designated move-in day clearly
LABEL all bags/boxes with your son/daughter’s name, student
number, building and room number. If your son or daughter’s
belongings are not labeled, you will be asked to get out of the
move-in line and mark all of the boxes before you can unload your
So, your son or daughter is heading off to Mac this fall –
how exciting! Although exciting, this can also be a stressful
time of mixed emotions; one particular stressor may be your student’s
housing situation. Perhaps they’re on the waiting list for
residence, but you are unsure what to do about that. Here at the
Off-Campus Resource Centre (OCRC), we suggest that you and your
son/daughter discuss the situation and decide together what the
best strategy will be to suit all of you.
Student Accounts and Cashiers: "Helping you Account for
your Student Account"
It’s that time of year again! We are welcoming back all
of the students and gearing up for a great year. Here are some
tips that will help your student through the registration and
payment process. For more information, please take a look at our
newly updated PARENTS PAGE on our website at http://www.mcmaster.ca/bms/student/SAC_parents.htm.
TOP 5 INTERACTIVE SITES TO HELP STUDENTS STAY FINANCIALLY IN
• ONLINE Communication: via McMaster e-mail only - make
sure you activate your MACID
• ONLINE Registration: The Payment Agreement is the 2nd
part of the registration and is MANDATORY. Make sure to press
the "confirm" button upon completion
• ONLINE Account Statement: The Account Statement is available
24/7 via MUGSI and we encourage students to check this regularly
• ONLINE Tax Certificates: The T2202A will be made available
in February on MUGSI to print off
• ONLINE Payments: Why stand in line to pay? Simply log
onto your bank's website and pay the account balance directly
from your bank account. Just use the student ID number as the
requested account number
Please refer to our “Guide to Completing the Payment Agreement”
on our website at: http://www.mcmaster.ca/bms/student/pdf/SAC_pa_guide.pdf
for helpful tips and reminders.
Budgeting for the Academic Year
As each new school year begins, it is important
for students to evaluate their financial situation
and prepare a financial plan that will cover their
costs during the academic year.
Budgeting is about understanding the difference
between income and expenses. To budget
effectively, a person must realize the difference
between the amount of resources available to them
(earned or saved) and the total cost of their
essential expenses. Suggest that your student
visit McMaster University’s Office of
Student Financial Aid & Scholarship’s
website to try their
online interactive budget builder and play the
online budgeting game… Budget BONANZA.
Both contain tips and advice to help students
build a budget and make wise choices to get them
through their academic year.
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Some students will enter University knowing exactly what career they want to pursue. Some of those students will stay the course; many as they get more exposed to the many other options or get a clearer picture of what that career entails, may embark in a different direction. Many students, if not most are not sure of what they want to do upon entering University. Maybe their career hasn't even been invented yet! What is a parent to do?
For students, Career Services is there to help them assess themselves - their interests, strengths, passions. and to explore career options and formulate plans. Career Advisors and Counsellors are there to help at whatever stage of choosing a career that your son/daughter is at. Encourage them to make use of all the resources Career Services has to offer including print and online resources like CareerLINKS, our mentoring program.
For parents the National Association of Colleges and Employers has recently compiled A Career Planning Course for Parents that contains suggestions for assisting your student with career exploration from first year on to graduation.
The Importance of On-Campus Jobs and Work Experience
One of the most important things a student can do while in university
is to find a job. It’s important
to make sure we remember that there’s a real world waiting
out there for us. And it’s certainly a good idea to take
what we learn in the classroom and put that into the real-world
I’m a student in Philosophy and History and it’s
true that I probably won’t grow up to be a Philosopher or
a Historian. I love my program and so much of what I learn in
the classroom is infinitely valuable…but it’s kind
of like having all the ingredients and no recipe. Students need
something besides lectures, labs, and textbooks to help us organize
our interests, our priorities, and our post-secondary plans. A
part-time job is one thing that can help do that.
MSU Health Insurance Plan
The McMaster Students Union (MSU) administers the health insurance/dental
plan for undergraduate students. Please ensure that your son/daughter
know that there is an “Opt-Out” deadline if they do
not wish to participate in the Plan by visiting the MSU website
Safety & Security
Attending a new school is an exciting and sometimes ‘nerve-wracking’
experience for both students and parents. Whether moving away
from home or commuting to and from, the student experience at
McMaster University will prepare the individual for the great
adventures of life that lie ahead.
McMaster Security Services provides many services and encourages
the development of individuals within the university. We take
great pride in making McMaster “a safe place to work, live
and learn”. Our officers, who are all sworn Special Constables,
patrol the campus by car, bike and foot 24 hours a day, 365 days
a year. Our phones are always answered by a live person who can
provide all types of assistances.
One of the greatest services that we can impart is knowledge.
Our Crime Prevention Office is a great place to get information
about personal and property protection and other popular topics
of interest such as identity theft. Our focus here at McMaster
is prevention and we are constantly developing new proactive programs.
Student Conduct on campus and on line
The McMaster University Community is dedicated to providing
a safe and secure environment in which all community members conduct
themselves in a manner that promotes the educational goals of
the University. Specifically for students, the Student Code of
Conduct (SCC), the Residence Code of Conduct (RCC) and Athletic
Code of Conduct (ACC) outline these behavioural expectations and
The three guiding principles of our Codes are:
- Safety and security
- Respect for others and their belongings
- Observance of the Laws of the Land
The Codes, policies and procedures are meant to guide student
behaviour and choices so that the campus is safe, welcoming and
conducive to academic and social development. The student judicial
process at McMaster strives to promote personal growth and an
understanding of the responsibilities associated with living in
a campus community.
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For links to past issues and some of the other publications at McMaster visit http://studentaffairs.mcmaster.ca/parents/news.htm.
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