Jump Start/Dual Enrollment is an opportunity for high school students to learn the skills they need to be successful in college after high school. For this to happen we need parents to partner with us in encouraging their student to navigate college processes by themselves.
We encourage parents to help students branch out on their own as they engage in college material, advocate for themselves, and do all other things they need to do to be a successful college student. Jump Start is a great time for a student to struggle and make mistakes without the high cost of paying full college tuition.
Unfortunately, with the increasing use of virtual technologies to deliver college classroom instruction to high school students, we are witnessing a variety of new types of parent to instructor interactions that are disrupting accepted norms. In these new environments, it is even more important that parents understand that the student is enrolled in a college course and that instructors for the most part expect to work directly with students, as opposed to engaging with the type of parent interventions that is the norm at the high school level.
More importantly, at the college level, academic freedom means that individual instructors are permitted to teach the content they consider relevant to their disciplines using the pedagogies they believe are most effective. Instructors are not required to discuss that content nor method of teaching with parents nor change the content to suit parent expectations.
What this means in practice is that both the content and instructor’s expectations for classes will be at the college level, with elements of classes chosen for their relevance to the discipline and the topic under analysis. All materials are chosen carefully and students are provided with ample background to appreciate and understand them in an academic setting. But college instructors do not shy away from controversy and expect that as mature college students, all class participants will have the appropriate critical faculties necessary for engaging with the material in an objective manner. Courses may contain content which include themes and sometimes language suitable only for mature adults. Students may be exposed to nudity, sexual themes, violence, and swearing, as well as to political, social, religious, and cultural beliefs which may conflict with those accepted in the home.
Because every class, even in virtual/online environments, has many students in it, for reasons of learning and privacy, we hope parents will understand that, just as with a physical classroom at a high school, where parents would not want other parents invading their student’s privacy by listening outside the door, in the same way, parents at home should not listen in on classroom discussions conducted via virtual technologies (Zoom, Big Blue Button, Google Meet, etc.), nor should they be permitted direct access to a student’s Learning Management System (LMS) such as Canvas to review course content where they might be able to see other students’ personal information. Doing so is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law.
Similarly, as with physical classrooms, where a parent would not want another parent interrupting or disrupting their student’s education by entering the room without authorization, under no circumstances will parents be permitted to interrupt or disrupt a class session conducted via any of these virtual/online technologies. Doing so is considered use of another individual’s identification and/or password, is a violation of other students’ privacy rights, and is also a violation of the college’s code of conduct: “Disruptive behavior is any behavior that interferes with the instructional, administrative, or service functions of the college. Disruptive behavior for this purpose is defined by the faculty member or designee and includes behavior that occurs in web-based interactions.”
Violations will result in the immediate shut down of access to the technology and possible expulsion of the student from the class.