Welcome to Arkansas State University!


We are delighted that your student has decided to join us to begin the next phase of their life as a college student at Arkansas State University. We understand that parents want the best for their students and have questions and concerns as well. Therefore, this page is dedicated specifically to our parents for quick access to links and information. Undoubtedly, the first semester is an exciting time filled with new experiences inside and outside the college classroom. This is also a transition period for new students that may involve a few bumps along the way. A-State has a number of support services from the Student Learning Commons on the first floor of our library to academic advisors who will help students navigate their new surroundings. I encourage you to join our first-year parent association and receive weekly information about the happenings of the first year.

Welcome to the Red Wolf family!

Parent Q&A

  • What does my student's first semester look like?

    Students generally take a full-load which is 15 hours each semester. However, the number of credits/hours may vary depending on students’ academic background and major. The first semester is largely comprised of General Education courses and introductory courses within one’s major. In addition to these selections, all incoming first year students take a First Year Experience course (FYE) in their first semester of enrollment. This course is often referred to as “Making Connections” or other titles depending upon students’ choice of major.

    Making Connections is a three-credit, discipline-specific course that introduces students to higher-level learning strategies as well as campus expectations, policies, resources and culture. The course also acquaints students with their college major. Students who have not chosen a major are placed in sections specifically focused on major and career selection.

    There are several co-curricular activities that are part of the First Year Experience program such as a Fall Festival and Academic Expo. Regardless of the number of AP or college-credits earned while in high school or the summer directly following high school, students are considered first-year students and must enroll in a Making Connections course.

  • What is a linked course?

    Most Making Connections courses are linked to another course through common enrollment. This means all students in a specific section of Making Connections will also be enrolled in an additional course with the same students. This allows incoming students to have at least two courses with the same peer group within their major, which provides a foundation for quick peer bonding. We know that students who feel connected to their academic setting early on are more likely to persist and graduate. 

  • What is the Common Reader?

    A common reader is a selected novel that all incoming students participate in reading. The purpose of a common reader is to promote a shared intellectual experience to engage students socially and academically in and outside the classroom in their first semester. This year’s reader is This I Believe II:  The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman.

  • How Does FERPA impact my student’s records?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal privacy law that governs access regarding one’s educational records, such as report cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact and family information, and class schedules. Parents’ rights transfer to the student when the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a postsecondary school at any age. Therefore, it is important for the parent and student to discuss how they wish to manage information access.

    A-State has two ways in which students can authorize access to their records. One way is through the online Proxy Access, which gives online access to electronic files such as transcripts. The second is through the completion of a consent form, which gives a designated party the right to discuss students’ information in person. Please see the links provided for more information on access.

  • Who should my student reach out to if they are struggling?

    First year students can visit with their Making Connections instructor or academic advisor if they are in need of assistance or guidance. The A-State Counseling Center is also available for students who are feeling overwhelmed and are in need of additional support.