Wake Forest believes parents and family members can be our best partners in ensuring their students’ success. We recognize that parents and families are important sources of support and care.
We seek to engage parents and families in ways that are developmentally appropriate and allow students to make independent decisions as they enter adulthood. We believe in creating an environment where students are given the freedom and autonomy to solve their own problems, experience struggle, difficulty, and even failure. These experiences will help students develop problem-solving skills and the resilience they need to be independent, successful adults. We also know that there may be times when it is both necessary and important to communicate with a student’s loved one. This document seeks to explain circumstances regarding when and how Wake Forest administrators may communicate with parents and families.
Wake Forest believes students should:
- Be encouraged to make their own decisions about their Wake Forest experience – whether that is selection of classes, choice of a major, which co-curricular activities they are involved in, and/or how they manage their time, finances, and personal wellbeing.
- Learn how to advocate for themselves and create positive relationships with different departments and helping resources on campus (such as housing, financial services, parking, academic advising, etc.). We believe students should be the first point of contact in working with campus offices when they need assistance.
- Be afforded the privacy that is granted to them under FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). In accordance with FERPA, University employees are generally not permitted to share information about the student’s academic performance or other information regarding the student with parents or family members without the student’s permission. More information on FERPA can be found here.
- Participate in a collegiate environment where mistakes can be seen as opportunities for learning and growth.
- Have access to helping resources on campus that attend to their holistic wellbeing including their emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual health.
- Our Know Your Roles page offers examples of student responsibilities vs. family responsibilities that we hope provides some role clarity.
Communications from Wake Forest to parents and families
Typically, any email that is sent to students, faculty, and staff is listed on our Family News website so it is accessible to Wake Forest families; emails sent to students are not automatically sent to families. There are times when Wake Forest will communicate directly with parents or family members. The following sections provide information regarding those circumstances, including how Wake Forest might communicate with parents and family members. We encourage parents and families to subscribe to our Daily Deac blog, which provides a daily snapshot of campus life and can be a way of meaningfully connecting to your student’s campus experiences.