National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Honors in Practice 14 (2018)


Copyright 2018 National Collegiate Honors Council


Countless articles in the news, combined with colorful anecdotes from faculty and staff, share common complaints about helicopters, lawnmowers, bulldozers, and snowplows—not transportation options on campus but rather parents of college students who stay actively involved in their students’ lives. Honors faculty and administrators are tempted to dismiss this involvement as unnecessary and burdensome. We even have the backing of federal law via the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which dictates what we can and cannot share about a student’s educational record with parents. At the University of Florida, though, rather than keeping our distance from parents and family members, we have opted to embrace the strengths of parental involvement by including them in our honors program. Working as true partners while always mindful of FERPA regulations, we have enhanced our efforts to open lines of communication with the goal of helping our students be successful. Given the parent and family involvement in higher education, examination of current institutional and honors initiatives can provide direction for honors administrators as they negotiate interactions with their students’ families.