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College Talk Podcast

August 11, 2021

Topics in this Article:
Perspectives Student Experience

Getting Back to Class and Campus Life

To celebrate the return to campus and launch discussions to help students (and parents) thrive in college, American Campus Communities is excited to launch a new podcast series,
College TalkHear from university administrators, subject experts, parents, and students on a variety of topical issues that can impact success – from the seemingly small issues like what to bring to move-in, to the harder ones like mental health, and everything in between.  

On our first episode, “Back in Class”, Anthony Raad, training specialist at American Campus Communities sits down with Katy Berny, Junior at Kennesaw State University, Dr. Julie Leos, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Education at the University of South Florida and Julie Weisen, parent of 3 college students to talk student needs, expectations and excitement in heading into college life following a year of quarantine, campus closures and online learning. 

Katy-Headshot-small.jpg                                    leos-julie-headshot-small.jpg                         J-Wiesen-Headshot-(1).jpg

Katy Burny,                                                             Dr. Julie Leos,                               Julie Weisen, Parent           
Kennesaw State University Student​                    University of South Florida     


Here are some key takeaways from our talk with Katy, Dr. Leos and Julie -- three college perspectives -- to keep in mind!

_DSC2972-SMALL.jpgFlexibility is key as students begin to navigate the academic year! 

“I really think we should expect the unexpected. We don’t know what is going to happen but I feel like my generation can be really flexible for learning now that we have done it both ways. (However), I am happy to be back in-person because I personally think I thrive in the classroom and being on campus allows me to network better as well.”  -Katy Berny, Junior at Kennesaw State University

Stay connected with your student in a way that works for them!   

“Let your child be the one to make most of the (conversation) initiation with you. Meaning don’t be the parent that is constantly texting, calling, and seeing how they are. Give them their time and then when they want to reach out to you, let them reach out to you because they are the ones with the new life and busy schedule.” - Julie Weisen, parent of 3 college students

Don’t forget to make use of university campus resources and ask questions.

“Universities are trying to get their social media up to par so that families and students are able to gain access to the information that goes out pretty quickly. Also, find connection points (within the universities) like the Parent and Family Programs Office that help parents break down some of the problems students may be having. ​​And I think it'd be remiss as if I left out the housing professionals that are on the campus. They're kind of a jack of all trades, we got to know who's coming in, when they're coming in, what's happening with admissions, and what's happening with different areas of the institution.” - Dr. Julie Leos, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Education at the University of South Florida

The return to the in-person campus experience will come with its own challenges and adjustments for everyone. As a student navigating the process, Katy advises her fellow students and even parents to make use of three key channels: 
  • Advisors: “I always just go and check in once a semester to make sure nothing's changed in the curriculum that I'm on the right path. And it's, again, a great way to build networking because they know a lot of people.”

  • Graduation Coaches: “We have graduation coaches through the advisor program and I love my graduation coach. I would be nowhere without her, she's really helped me mentally throughout navigating these times.” 

  • Social Media: “That’s the future of everything. It’s a great way to connect with people my age and to build a sense of community online.” 

Give College Talk a listen for our take on navigating a new academic year! And keep an eye out for more episodes coming soon! 


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