The college experience can be just as meaningful for the parent as it is for the student. That’s why Chapman offers opportunities for parents and family members to join the Chapman Family support, mentorship and volunteer opportunities.
“When our daughter came to Chapman, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised to find so many opportunities to become involved at the university,” said Sharon Deacon, parent to a Chapman alumna who continues to hold a board position. “Volunteering here has afforded us the chance to continue our passion of helping others, and we discovered there are so many options to choose from – there really is something for everyone.”
Why is Family Engagement Important?
Students with family support can often have higher academic success and a smoother transition into college.
According to the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, “no matter their income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school.”
How Can Parents Get Involved at Chapman?
Every parent or family member can curate their Chapman experience based on how they would like to get involved.
“The Office of Parent Engagement is the primary point of contact for Chapman Parents,” said Nicole Bigley, director of engagement and volunteerism. “Our department has three goals: to connect parents to campus, to resources on campus and to each other. Chapman’s Parent Engagement department works to foster your own connection to the university through areas that may interest you.”
Parents and family members currently participate in the following:
- Mentoring students for career opportunities
- Guest lectures
- Volunteering for campus events
- Serving on boards and councils, such as the Executive Parents Ambassador Council
- Connecting with other parents and families through meetups
How to Get Involved Remotely
You don’t have to live near Chapman to participate as a parent.
“What I found especially wonderful is that Chapman knows their students come from across the country, and the world, so they have made volunteering accessible not just on campus but where families are,” said Deacon. “Remote opportunities in your own neighborhood, and even projects you can do in your own home, mean anyone can get involved if they’d like.
There are a few ways parents can get involved if they aren’t local:
- If you are hiring or know of other people who are hiring, you can work with the Career Development Office to have jobs posted to Chapman students and alumni.
- Parent meetups are opportunities to meet other parents and families in your area. Chapman held meetups in Houston, Austin, Scottsdale, Sacramento and the Bay Area in the past and is open to working with anyone from other regions to help organize these events.
- Welcome Receptions are opportunities for incoming students and parents/families to meet over the summer before Orientation begins. Current parents who would like to volunteer at these (offered both in person and virtually) can attend the reception to offer their perspective and advice as a current parent.
For Deacon, the best part of her parent volunteer experience has been the relationships she’s made. “Ultimately my favorite part of volunteering is all the new friends I have made. I feel that while my daughter is having her amazing Chapman experience, my husband and I are having our own fabulous Panther Parent experience as well!”
For more information on volunteering, start by filling out a volunteer form or contacting the Office of Parent Engagement.