For the seventh consecutive year, the Utah System of Higher Education hosted its annual statewide conference for secondary school administrators and counselors last Friday at the South Towne Exposition Center with 750+ attendees. This year’s theme was “Engage Parents to Empower Students” focusing on resources and strategies to help enable parents to become more involved in their child’s college preparation process.
This year’s conference featured breakout sessions highlighting key issues of parental involvement. Some of these sessions included:
- Creating a family culture for college readiness;
- The pursuit of higher education for undocumented students;
- Using social media and introducing USHE’s new StepUpUtah.com website;
- Utilizing school events to educate parents about saving for college;
- Building success for college and career readiness with secondary mathematics;
- What parents still need to know about college;
- Empowering parents and students through after school programs;
- FAFSA intervention strategies and updates;
- And many more.
The featured keynote speaker was Salt Lake Community College President Deneece Huftalin, who spoke on engaging parents in their child’s college preparedness process and how colleges can better include and engage parents in their child’s college career. President Huftalin also discussed how parental involvement in their child’s college education has changed throughout the years; previously colleges discouraged their involvement but today, more colleges welcome parental involvement, often declaring parents critical to their child’s success.