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Washington State University
Washington State University Office of the Provost

Transformational Change Initiative

College Student Parent Handbook

First Years Away from Home: Letting Go and Staying Connected With Your WSU Student aims to keep families informed and connected as students transition to undergraduate life.

Support for those first challenging years

The road to college is an exciting time that touches everyone in an applicant’s family. Parents play a critical role in the lives of their young adult children as they transition to college, but there is not much in the way of evidence-based advice for parents at this stage. Researchers in the Department of Human Development at Washington State University, along with partners from the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, developed a handbook with evidence-based tools to help parents support their child’s transition to college. Titled “First Years Away form Home: Letting Go and Staying Connected with your WSU Student,” the handbook is designed to help their students with values-based decision making through unique activities and conversation topics. The efficacy of the parent handbook is currently being tested with the support of a National Institutes of Health grant, which limits its availability to the general public. Eventually, the parent handbook will be sent to parents and guardians of all incoming WSU students and will be made available to families at other colleges and universities, too.

For more information about the parent handbook, see our overview page and please contact