Resources for Parents and… | University of Northwestern, St. Paul

Resources for Parents and Guardians

Parents are an integral part of student success. Help them get off to a good start with these helpful resources.

Student and parent at home

We believe that parents and guardians play an important role in a student's education. Here you will find information to help you guide your student through PSEO and Early College at Northwestern.

Visiting the campus

If your student is considering attending Northwestern after high school, you may contact admissions to arrange a time to visit. You can set up a personalized visit or attend one of our campus visit events for prospective undergraduate students. Our admissions staff is also happy to answer your questions about PSEO and Early College. Please contact an admissions counselor for a personal appointment by phone at (651) 631-5126.

Student services

Once your student is admitted, the student services staff can work with your student to answer questions and encourage his or her success. An academic advisor can help your student make a college plan that also keeps his or her high school graduation requirements in mind .

Additionally, the academic advisor may be consulted if your student is experiencing challenges. The deadlines for course adds, drops, and withdrawals are very important to keep in mind if your student is considering changing courses. We encourage your student to consult with his or her instructor and an academic advisor before making any course change decisions. An academic advisor can be reached at (651) 631-5300 or by email at

Ensuring student success

Our courses consist of online video lectures, discussion boards, electronic assignment submission, and exams, as well as textbook readings. Your student will have a professor to answer questions just like any other class. Our courses are offered in either an Independent Study or Online Learning Group format. Your student must show responsibility, time management, and the ability to complete college level work for both types of course formats.

Independent study

An independent study course means that while your student is studying, he or she is independent of other students, of weekly due dates, and of regular interaction with his or her professor. Your student may work on the course at his or her own pace as long as he or she is able to complete the course by the end of the semester.

Online learning group

An online learning group course requires that your student interact with other students and his or her instructor and have an added time requirement. The student group starts the course together, works through the course materials and assignments together, and finishes together. This type of course has much greater accountability since courses have weekly due dates which are to be followed throughout the semester.

Computer requirements

Participation in Northwestern's online courses requires the use of a personal computer with internet access. You can view and download the computer requirements.

Student records

Your student and your student's education records are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA's primary purpose is to establish a uniform framework for access, review, and correction of academic records at all schools nationwide. In primary and secondary educational institutions, FERPA grants these rights to the parent, but these rights are transferred exclusively to the student once the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the highschool level (i.e. a post-secondary educational institution no matter the age of the student.) Students who wish their records to be released to a parent or third party must authorize the college in writing. Students may find this form on theROCK under the tab labeled Academics > FERPA channel > Student Information Release Form.

We recommend you review the FERPA Frequently Asked Questions to gain more understanding about this Act.

Homeschooled students

Northwestern understands the needs of homeschooled learners and will help guide you through the process. Nearly one third of our PSEO and Early College students are homeschooled and approximately 10% of Northwestern's traditional undergraduate students have been homeschooled in the past.

PSEO through multiple institutions

The Minnesota PSEO program allows students to take courses through multiple institutions, but please keep in mind that students must apply to each PSEO program individually and will need to work out these details with their high school.

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