14:09 PM

Parents U sessions provide college readiness info for families

In the last year, many Texas universities have suspended their usual SAT and ACT requirements for admissions, becoming “test optional” through fall 2021.

But Brenda Guerrero in University of Houston-Clear Lake’s College of Business Center for Executive Education says that’s no reason for parents to become complacent about the process of preparing their kids for college.

“This year, we are offering a free Parent U conference over three Saturdays starting in late September and into October, and we will be discussing topics that parents and students need to know to move forward successfully with college readiness,” she said. “Even though the SAT is not required at the moment, there is a lot of information that everyone involved needs to understand about college readiness to continue to ensure kids stay prepared.”

The sessions take place virtually, Sept. 25, 9 a.m. - noon; Oct. 2, 8 a.m. - noon; and Oct. 9, 9-10 a.m.

The Sept. 25 session is entitled, “Boot Camp for Parents,” and includes a discussion with a panel of UH-Clear Lake student guest speakers. “They’ll talk about how they got information about the universities they were interested in, and the components of the SAT,” said Jennifer Ledwith, College of Business CEE SAT instructor.

“We’ll also discuss topics like, how to make the best choice if you get into your dream school versus getting accepted to another college that offers a full scholarship, as well as how taking the SATs can impact whether you get a scholarship,” she said.

Students will also learn how to identify the admissions representatives for the colleges of their choice. “They’re not sure how to find the right person to talk to at the college they want to attend,” she said. “And for parents, there’s a separate discussion about how to use the tuition and fees calculator, so they’ll be very clear on the actual costs that they’re looking at with each college.”

She said the objective is for parents and students to walk away with tangible, useful information as they move forward with their decisions.

Ledwith explained the Oct. 2 session was to give students the opportunity to take a mock SAT so they can see what it’s like. “They’ll submit their scores to us, and then in the last session on Oct. 9, we will explain to students and their parents what the scores actually mean in terms of college readiness and competitiveness for scholarships,” she said.

Guerrero said that Parents U was for any parent of students from eighth grade through high school. “Educators talk with parents about college readiness, but some parents might need more information about that,” she said. “We are here to break it all down in a way people can understand and explain what it all means.”

For more information or to register for Parents U, go online.