Parents, guardians & supporters

Becoming a university student—especially for the first time—can be a significant life change, and having a support system can make a huge difference. Here, we offer you a few tips and resources to guide you in your supporting role.

Being a student supporter

Supporters want the best for their students and want them to succeed—and we want that too. Although assisting students with navigating university processes for the first time can be helpful (e.g., with registration), it is also important that students are empowered to find their own way. One approach we recommend is that you give students space to learn independently while also making yourself available for questions if they need support.

Creating community

Forming new relationships and finding a sense of belonging can help students succeed at university. As a supporter, you can encourage students to connect with others and build a community at UVic. Here are a few ideas you could suggest:

If you are concerned that the student in your life is having a difficult time finding a community at UVic, please encourage them to speak with an academic adviser. Our advisers are happy to help students find opportunities for making connections that will allow them to create a community here.

Protecting student privacy

As academic advisers, we want students to know that they can come to us for help and that their privacy will be protected. To that end, here are a few notes about student privacy for supporters to keep in mind:

  • British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act limits the information that we can disclose to anyone other than the student in question
  • if a student wishes to include someone else in their academic advising session (e.g., a parent, a sibling, a partner, a spouse), the student must sign a consent form. The student must present this form when they book an appointment (see the Consent to Participate in an Advising Consultation form)
  • if a student is unable to communicate with Academic Advising regarding their own record, they may designate a proxy to act on their behalf (see the Academic Advising Proxy form)

Should I complete the first-year registration process for the student in my life?

Although assisting students with the registration system can be helpful at first, it is also critical that they learn how to use it independently. We recommend the following goal: help your student become comfortable navigating the registration system on their own. This skill will be invaluable if they need to make a change and for when they are ready to register for courses in the future.

Please see our how to register for courses page for helpful tips and guidelines.

I'm trying to help a new student select courses. Are there any courses that help teach new students university skills?

New students could consider taking a workshop or course that helps develop skills for academic success. One example is ED-D101: Learning Strategies for University Success (1.5 units). Another option could be to take an academic coaching workshop offered through the Centre for Accessible Learning. These opportunities will help students learn about academic expectations and reflect on university-life balance.

Will an academic adviser register a student in courses on their behalf?

Advisers are not able to register students in courses or drop courses for them—students need to complete these steps themselves. We can point students towards the resources they need to carry out these steps successfully, including the detailed course registration page.