We begin by sharing some general philosophy and policy regarding levels and lines of communication. We encourage you to maintain open and honest communication with your son or daughter. It is important that your student feels like a part of the family even though he or she no longer lives at home. Phone calls, text messages, email and letters mean a lot to first-year students and are important modes of communication. Our hope is that your son or daughter will share his or her varied experiences with you, and that the college's major role will be one of support and advice.
If your son or daughter still lives at home, the challenge will be to provide your student with enough freedom to experience college life while fulfilling family responsibilities. Keep the lines of communication open so that this transition can be worked out as comfortably as possible.
To support the maturing process (and comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), we treat your Augustana student as an adult. Within limits, we protect your student's right to privacy and confidentiality, which means in part that we will initiate contact with parents for a very limited number of reasons. A general rule is that we initiate contact with parents only when an event occurs which is life-threatening or may significantly jeopardize a student's ability to continue at Augustana. We find that our students respond positively to our efforts when we can demonstrate that their needs are our number one concern.
An exception occurs if a student is found in violation of the college's alcohol policy for a third time or for a second infraction involving drugs. If this happens, we notify parents of the violation by mail and hope they will discuss their student's choices concerning alcohol or drugs at that time. Although such letters home are non-specific, we are glad to provide more information once parents have spoken with their son or daughter.
Students register for classes online and have access to their term grades and transcript online. Paper copies of grades will not be sent to students or parents. However, with your child's permission, we can verify grades and academic status. When students face disciplinary action, we do not contact parents (though we encourage the student to do so) unless their enrollment at Augustana is in jeopardy. Likewise, for illnesses or injuries, we encourage students to contact parents, but we will contact you only if the situation appears extremely serious or if we judge the student unable to continue at Augustana without parental involvement.
Also, without your student's permission or legal documentation, the Business Office and the Office of Financial Assistance can share information with the custodial parent only. Other offices on campus may also be limited in what they can share with a non-custodial parent without permission.
Though we limit the circumstances in which we will initiate contact with parents, we want to provide you with as much information as you and your student wish to have. We are happy to receive your phone calls or take appointments to discuss campus life with you. If you would like us to share with you specific information about your son or daughter, we will ask your student for permission and then provide as complete a picture as we can. Again, our goal is to give students the opportunity to make their own decisions as they become more mature adults.