Illustration by Reine Defranco/The Gazelle

Introduction of College Parents Program at NYUAD

On April 20, the Office of First Year Programming announced the introduction of the College Parents program, in which rising sophomores sign up in ...

May 7, 2016

Illustration by Reine Defranco/The Gazelle
On April 20, the Office of First Year Programming announced the introduction of the College Parents program, in which rising sophomores sign up in pairs to become advisors to a group of four to five students from the incoming freshmen class, to help them with their transition to university life during their first semester in college.
72 pairs of rising sophomores have signed up for the program and each pair will be matched with their group, as soon as the list of the Class of 2020 students is finalized. Pairs will get in touch with their groups in the beginning of the summer and will meet for the first time during Marhaba Week, with a scheduled meet to be held on August 27.
The main proponent of the program was Class of 2019 Representative Chris Wheeler, who initially got the idea from a friend studying in the United Kingdom.
“There are no expectations or certain demands put for parents as they have the freedom to put as much effort in the program as they want. However, they are encouraged to provide a real perspective of NYUAD, use their personal experiences to give information and tips that cannot be found online and show them some parts of Abu Dhabi,” said Wheeler.
“Parents will not be matched from students from their own country. This will prepare new students to interact with different nationalities and will not allow them to establish a higher level of connection with their parent who come from the same country,” he added.
A similar program called Brothers and Sisters ran in past years. However, Wheeler expects the newly-developed program to be more successful as he pointed out the difference between the dynamics of both programs.
“In the past, incoming freshmen had to sign up for Brothers and Sisters themselves, but now every new student will be assigned to parents automatically. Previously, it was a one-to-one mentoring process, so if a student was not compatible with his/her mentor, he/she [was] not able to reap its benefits. Now, the program focuses on wider engagement as students have two mentors instead of one,” said Wheeler.
Freshman Vuk Vukovic spoke about his expectations of the program.
“We did not have such a program, so I want to benefit new students. I think the program will be successful and hope that interaction with my partner will be fruitful,” said Vukovic.
Freshman Rida Maryam Zafar also wrote to The Gazelle about the importance of the College Parents program.
“I think it's a great idea to get involved in the community and remove the barrier between freshmen and upperclassmen. As an incoming freshman, I had quite a few questions about the university and didn't really know who I should be talking to and the idea of college parents allows for those questions to be answered, which is great,” she said.
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