Family Fusion Newsletter

Family Fusion

Health and Wellness

A great way to learn about healthy habits for your student is through our online magazine Student Health 101. You can view the current issue at This month the magazine targets dealing with fears of the future, staying focused, impressing an interviewer, and other great topics.

Now what? The semester is over and you have received final grades. Your student studied hard, but the outcome was not what either of you expected. This realization often creates stress for students and parents when considering what went wrong. Try to keep perspective.

Now your student is home with Summer Break in front of him or her, but what is going on? He/she is not happy. You (parents) are not happy. This realization often creates stress for students and parents when considering what went wrong. Try to keep perspective. Be careful not to fall into what Matthew McKay* calls limited thinking patterns. These thinking patterns can leave you stuck in a negative place. Some common traps include:

Filtering: You focus on the negative details while ignoring all the positive aspects of a situation. In this case, parents might focus on the one bad grade while ignoring that there were other courses in which the student excelled.

Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There’s no middle ground, no room for mistakes.  For example, if it’s not an A, it’s not good enough.

Overgeneralization: You reach a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. For example, a student or parent might worry that this is the wrong major or wrong school     because the student didn’t do as well as expected in this one class.

Performance is the hallmark of college in today’s society but try not to lose focus by engaging in limited thinking patterns. While a bad grade is distressing for students and parents, how it is handled greatly impacts the student’s future success. Help your student to move forward! Focus on how to prevent this from happening next semester by identifying what went wrong and how to address it. Use the academic support offered at school to help.

*McKay, M., Davis, M., & Fanning, P. (1997).Thoughts and Feelings. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications

Get Ahead with Summer Classes

Taking courses over summer is a great way to gain some credits toward graduation and, if taken at Alvernia, boost the GPA.  Courses begin and end at various times during the summer, so it is not too late to register.

Alvernia Summer Courses run in several time slots.  Registration for our first summer session is now closed, but there are still two more:
Mod 6     7/3/14 – 8/21/14– Days, times vary; blended, 100% online, or face to face
Mod B     6/16/14 – 7/3/14 – Monday through Friday, 8 am to 12 noon

Keep in mind that your financial aid package might not cover summer, so it is always a good idea to check with Student Financial Planning before registering for a course.

To register for a summer course at Alvernia:, a student should

  1. Talk to his/her advisor about how it fits in the student’s  educational plan
  2. Make sure her/his advisor authorizes summer classes in our self-service system
  3. Register for the course in self-service.

Taking summer courses at other universities sometimes is a good idea if the student wants to transfer in credits and is not concerned about bringing up the GPA.  Credits will transfer if a C or better is earned,  but  the grade will not.

To register for a summer course at another institution, the student should

  1. Talk to his/her advisor about how it fits in the student’s  educational plan
  2. Fill out a Transfer Credit Approval Form (found on the myAlvernia portal forms and docs page, in the Educational Planning Center (EPC) or in the Registrar’s office) and attach a course description
  3. Get signatures from the advisor and the chair of the department that houses the similar course at Alvernia
  4. Submit the form to the Registrar’s office. It is important to do this so that you are certain the course will transfer in!
  5. Then register for the course at the alternate institution. Later, request a transcript be sent back to Alvernia once the course is completed.

A third option is to take an online course through the OCICU, the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities. Courses taken through OCICU will count toward the GPA.  Information about course offerings can be found on the Distance Education website here:

To register for a summer course via the OCICU:

  1. Browse the course offerings listed on the Distance Education page
  2. Discuss this option with the advisor
  3. Fill out the appropriate paperwork, which can also be found on the Distance Ed page listed above.

What to Do if your Student...

…missed Housing Selection but still wants (or needs) to live on campus. 
  1. Contact the office of Residence life to inquire about space availability. Students may do so in person or by phone at 610.796.8320.
  2. Complete the online housing application.
  3. Pay the $250 housing deposit to student billing.

…wants to dispute a grade.

The Student Grievance Committee attends to grievances of an academic nature. The Committee is composed of faculty members and two students. The Committee is involved in a student grievance only if the proper steps have been followed as outlined herein:

  1. Student discusses situation/grade with instructor within 20 calendar days of occurrence/disagreement.
  2.  If no accord is reached, the student has seven calendar days to meet with the department chair.
  3. Again, if no accord is reached at this level, the student has seven calendar days to consult with the division dean.
  4. At this point, if there has been no resolution, the division dean apprises the student of the right to appeal to the Student Grievance Committee.
  5. Student has seven calendar days to contact the Chair of the Grievance Committee. The Committee hears a case only after there has been an attempt to rectify the situation through discussion with the student, Instructor, Department Chair and/or the Division Dean. If no solution is reached at this point, the student files a grievance. 

For more detailed information regarding the Student Grievance Committee please see the Alvernia Student Handbook p. 76.

…has not applied for financial aid.

The deadline for PA residents to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was May 1, 2014.  Contact Student Financial Planning at 610.796.8356 right away and also complete the form on this web site:

…is on Academic Probation or is not making sufficient progression.

Students placed on academic probation may not take more than 14 credits the following semester.  For more detailed information please see the Alvernia Academic Catalog, p. 67.

In addition, to remain eligible for financial aid full-time undergraduate students must pass 24 credits per year, in addition to maintaining a minimum grade point average.  If a student does not make the required GPA or does not earn the 24 credits, the student can appeal to Student Financial Planning (SFP).  The student will receive a letter from SFP advising the student of the appeal process.  It is important to remember that the appeal must be received, no later than June 30, 2014.

…has been Academically Dismissed.

Academically dismissed students may petition the Academic Standards Committee in writing for reinstatement to degree candidacy. For more information, the student should refer to the dismissal letter and the Alvernia Academic Catalog p. 67.

...has one or more holds and cannot register for fall 2014.

Contact the Registrar’s Office to verify the type of hold.

  • For financial holds – please contact the Student Billing office at 610.796.8214.
  • For health center holds – please contact the Health & Wellness Center at 610.568.1467.
  • For student life holds – please contact the Office of Community Standards at 610.796.5508.

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