Parent and Family Resources

The resources and information below have been collected for easy access by the parents and families of Colgate students.

Parent & Family Resource Guide

This guide explains to parents and family members what to expect and how things work at Colgate. It also provides information about resources and where to turn for assistance to support your student’s success.

Download guide (PDF)

Important Dates

The key dates of each academic year, including breaks, recesses, and commencement, are presented in the University’s Academic Calendar.

Academic Calendar

Parent & Family Newsletter

Sent quarterly via email, the Parent & Family Newsletter covers timely topics and milestones tied to the academic year cycle. In it, you’ll find:

  • Articles and campus updates to help you support your student’s learning and development
  • Information on events such as Family Weekend
  • Upcoming deadlines

Webinars, Information Sessions, and Events

Find the Colgate Family Talk video series, recordings of on-campus events, and helpful informational videos on our Webinars, Information Sessions, and Events for Family Members page.

Commonly Sought Information

Colgate strives to be an open, safe, and welcoming learning environment for all students, faculty, staff, and others in our extended community. Learn more about our initiatives and support resources.


Emergency Email Communications

During a campus emergency, the University’s primary concern is life safety, so communications are directed first to those on campus: students, faculty, and staff.

In the event of an emergency, please understand that the Emergency Response Team must first secure life safety and physical safety. Colgate must direct communications to the campus community first, focusing its resources on managing the emergency and keeping the community safe. Colgate will email parents and family members with information as appropriate and when possible. Your patience and understanding will be appreciated.  

It is important to remember that in the event of an emergency, telephones (both landlines and cell phones) will be critical tools for emergency managers. Please refrain from calling Colgate for information; instead, look for information on and in emails.

Every effort will be made to keep parents and family members well informed in ways that help them to support their students’ continued well-being and growth at the University. In extended situations where the scope of an incident and those who are affected changes over time, Colgate will adjust the notification recipient lists accordingly.

Family Emergencies

If you have a family emergency and can’t reach your student, call Campus Safety at 1-315-228-7333.

Colgate has a legal responsibility to protect students’ privacy at the same time that we fulfill our educational commitment of supporting their transition to independent adulthood. Just as they are now responsible for managing their daily schedule, making their own dietary choices, and learning to live and study with people who have experiences, ideas, and backgrounds different from theirs, students are also responsible for deciding when and with whom they share personal information. Federal law protects that right.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), passed by the U.S. Congress in 1974 and sometimes called the Buckley Amendment, prevents colleges from sharing personally identifiable information or education records without students’ express consent.

Personally identifiable information includes, but is not limited to: Social Security Number, student identification number, residency status (citizen, permanent resident, non-resident alien, etc.), gender, race/ethnicity, religious preference, and passwords.

Education records include, but are not limited to: grades/GPA, academic transcripts, class schedule, test scores, academic standing (e.g., on academic warning), number of currently enrolled course credits, completed or outstanding graduation requirements, financial aid status or account information, and other matters such as petitions, leave requests, disciplinary information, health records, and residence hall. 

What does this mean? At the college level, parents (who under FERPA are considered a “third party”) have no inherent right to the above kinds of information. As the U.S. Department of Education states in its FERPA Guidance for Parents, “When a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an ‘eligible student,’ and all rights under FERPA transfer from the parent to the student.”

Therefore, staff and faculty members can not discuss a student’s academic standing or record with a parent without the consent and signature of the student. Observing the law also supports the notion that students should make contact with campus departments themselves when they need assistance or encounter an issue.

Of course, you can certainly ask your student to share their progress and concerns with you. And we encourage you to talk with your student — to ask helpful guiding questions and provide experienced support — throughout their college years.

U.S. Department of Education FERPA Guidance for Parents

Overview of Health, Safety, and Wellness


Local Hospital

Community Memorial logo, a circle with fields leading to a sun and trees and "Quality Healthcare Close to Home, A Crouse Health Partner"





Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton is located at 150 Broad St in Hamilton, adjacent to Colgate's Student Health Services. Services include:

  • Primary Care
  • Emergency Services
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Medical Imaging
  • Urgent Care
  • Wellness Center
  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Orthopedics/Physical Therapy
  • Radiology
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Respiratory Care
  • Primary Care
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology

Knowing what to do and who to reach out to can give our students a sense of empowerment and agency:

  • Review Colgate’s Safety Preparedness Guide.
  • Be sure they are registered for Colgate Alert Texts (In the portal).
  • Have the Colgate Guardian app on their phone; they can contact Campus Safety through it.
  • Have Campus Safety ‘s number (315-228-7333) in their cell phone. In on-campus emergencies, calling campus safety directly is the best option for police, fire, and medical assistance. From a classroom phone, dialing 911 will reach campus safety.
  • Remind them that all community members are partners in safety and security. 
    • Keep their residential buildings and spaces locked, whether occupied or unoccupied.
    • If they see something, say something. Immediately report potentially dangerous conditions, safety hazards/risks, and unusual or suspicious activity or behavior. 
  • What to do If they see /sense danger
    • Remove themselves from danger.
    • Do not approach the person.
    • Be prepared to give a full description of the individual, as well as his or her location.

Books For Families With College Students

This list of books was recommended by the parent program professionals of AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education.

College Ready 2023 is edited by Chelsea Petree, Ph.D., who is the director of Parent and Family Programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Each contributor to College Ready 2023 is a current or former college administrator who has worked extensively with parents and families of students. They are all members of AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education, the only professional association in the world dedicated to parent/family involvement in the college experience. These contributors are experts in the field overall and in the chapters they penned.

A Spanish Language Version is available.

Edited by Chelsea Petree, PhD.

Students in their second year of college are often let down as they don’t receive the same fanfare they did the year before, classes get harder, and what they thought were solid friendships start to shift. You may find your sophomore questioning things they have always been so certain of and maybe even asking you questions you don’t know how to answer. This might be something big, like wanting to change from a pre-med major to visual arts or something minor, like joining the rock-climbing club when they’ve always expressed a fear of heights.

The goal of College Sophomore Ready is to help you navigate your student’s sophomore year, including the challenges and the joys it will bring. Chapters are written by professionals in the areas of family engagement, mental health, study abroad, career services, and the second-year experience. The content will help you guide your student on their journey with information, resources, and conversation starters.

Helen E. Johnson and By Christine Schelhas-Miller
When children leave for college, many parents feel uncertain about their shifting roles. By emphasizing the importance of being a mentor to your college student, Don't Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money shows parents how to influence their college student while still supporting their independence.

By Brad Sachs
In today’s rapidly changing world and challenging economy, young adults increasingly find themselves at a crossroads between financial and emotional dependence and autonomy. Drawing on Dr. Sachs' extensive clinical experience and his illuminating discussion of the latest psychological research, Emptying the Nest will support parents in their efforts to cultivate their young adult’s success and self-reliance while simultaneously maintaining healthy family relationships.

By Corey Seamiller and Megan Grace
Generation Z is rapidly replacing Millennials on college campuses. Those born from 1995 through 2010 have different motivations, learning styles, characteristics, skill sets, and social concerns than previous generations. Unlike Millennials, Generation Z students grew up in a recession and are under no illusions about their prospects for employment after college. While skeptical about the cost and value of higher education, they are also entrepreneurial, innovative, and independent learners concerned with effecting social change. Understanding Generation Z's mindset and goals is paramount to supporting, developing, and educating them through higher education.

By Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington
Grown and Flown is a one-stop resource for parenting teenagers, leading up to ― and through ― high school and those first years of independence. It covers everything from the monumental (how to let your kids go) to the mundane (how to shop for a dorm room). Organized by topic ― such as academics, anxiety and mental health, college life ― it features a combination of stories, advice from professionals, and practical sidebars.

By Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara Schwartz
How to College guides first-year students and their families through the transition process, during the summer after high school graduation and throughout the school year, preparing students to succeed and thrive as they transition and adapt to college. The book draws on the authors’ experience teaching, writing curricula, and designing programs for thousands of first-year college students over decades.

By Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger
Letting Go leads parents through the period of transition that their student experiences between the junior year of high school and college graduation. The authors explain how to distinguish normal development stages from problems that may require parental or professional intervention. The new edition explains the differences between college life today and the college life parents experienced 20 or 30 years ago. It features a completely new resource guide.

By Richard H. Mullendore and Cathie Hatch 
This informational pamphlet focuses on "letting go" as a long-term process that should never be completed. The authors encourage parents to renegotiate their relationship with their student as an adult. This concise guide features 10 sections about the major events and feelings parents and students likely will experience during the first year of college and offers suggestions for resolving these issues.

By Kelly Radi
Out to Sea: A Parents' Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage will help you navigate the emotional and practical aspects of the freshman year. This easy-to-read, informative guidebook is swimming with helpful tips, organized checklists, and real-world advice from parents and experts alike. Out to Sea will keep your sanity afloat and ensure smoother sailing for you and your student as you embark on this grand voyage. 

By Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore

"Just let go!" That’s what parents have been told to do when their kids go to college. But parents and kids are in constant contact now more than ever. Today’s iConnected parents say they are closer to their kids than their parents were to them — and this generation of families prefers it that way. Are parents really letting go — and does that matter?

By UniversityParent
This book is packed with practical advice and insightful reflections. Chapters unfold organically, season by season, taking you from summer as you pack and plan, through the challenges and transitions of autumn, and on into spring. Our expert contributors answer your questions — even the ones you didn't know you had.

By Marjorie Savage
A reality check on the process of students leaving home; with practical tips for supporting your student in the process. Marjorie Savage is the leading national expert in family engagement programs in higher education and an AHEPPP Founder. 

Contact Us

Rebecca Downing
Senior Director, Communications and Parent Initiatives


Urgent Concerns