Q&A with Charles Beale, Parents Fund E-News, UD
University of Delaware
PA E-News

Fall/Winter 2010

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Parents E-Newsletter Fall/Winter 2010

Q&A with Charles Beale

Winter break offers a great time to catch up with your student about college life. Charles Beale, Director of the Center for Counseling and Student Development and Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Services, answers some parent questions and provides tips on talking with students.

What is the best way to get my student to talk about college?
Ask open ended questions such as What do you like the most about UD? or What surprised you about college? Make it a conversation, not an interrogation; remember the purpose is to connect with your student. Sometimes it’s better to have one parent talk with him or her at a time, perhaps while the two of you are doing something else, like watching a ball game, driving, or fixing dinner. Here are some good conversation starters:

  • What are the other students like in your residence hall?
  • What do you like to do outside of class?
  • What is the biggest difference for you between high school and college?
  • How are you making new friends? Or, what can you tell me about some of your new friends?
  • What would you tell a high school senior about UD?
  • What extra-curricular activities do you find most interesting?

How can I help my student decide on a major?
This question comes up frequently.  It can be frustrating for a student not to have a major or career direction yet.  The Center for Counseling and Student Development can assist by offering some career or personality inventories that will help define how the student’s interests, values, and skills relate to various major and/or career options.  We offer one-on-one counseling and career workshops. Encourage your student to make an appointment with us.  In addition, we work very closely with the Career Services Center to help students refine their career goals and move toward internship opportunities to find their right path.

What if my student needs help dealing with a personal problem?
Our mission at the Counseling Center is to help students be successful in their academic and personal aspirations. In addition to one-on-one counseling, we offer group counseling and workshops that address a variety of issues such as eating disorders, anxiety management, or adjusting to college. Once again, please encourage your son or daughter to call us to make an appointment.  We are also available for emergencies.

Can parents talk to counselors? 
Absolutely! We talk to a large number of parents every year who want to consult with a psychologist about issues or concerns with their son or daughter or to provide input about their student.

What do these services cost? 
There is no charge for the services provided. UD has hundreds of faculty and staff who strive to make a difference in the lives of students.  The Division of Student Life  supports our work through the Student Health fee, with help from the Parents Fund.