Newswise — SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University understands that the transition for new students to college life can be fraught with anxiety – both for students and their parents and other family members. That’s why Gonzaga started its Parents and Family Relations Program five years ago to provide resources and personal attention to everyone involved.

Amy Swank, director of Gonzaga’s Office for Parents and Family Relations, is accustomed to reaching out to families well before they make the transition in the fall with advice, face-to-face meetings and old-fashioned care and concern. This year, Swank has developed a new online booklet to facilitate the transition.

Amy Swank’s Top Six Tips for Parents: • Take comfort in the foundation you have provided for your student.• Discuss your student’s academic goals and expectations ahead of time. • Coach your students to be their own advocate and to try to solve their own problems as much as possible, especially with their professors by visiting with them early and often.• Keep your student informed about changes at home. This will help them feel secure and maintain a sense of trust. • Tell your student ahead of time about family plans, especially during holidays so he or she can plan accordingly.• Send care packages. Sharing popcorn or chocolate chip cookies is a wonderful way for a student to meet residence hall floor-mates. Everyday necessities like shampoo and school supplies are reminders that say, “I’m thinking of you.”

Gonzaga also offers a separate orientation specifically for parents, a family calendar, and other resources to ensure a smooth process for both the student and the family.

Amy Swank would be happy to talk with media about the transition to college. She can be reached at (509) 313-4154, or via email [email protected].