About Us

students standing on UMN football field

Mission & Vision

The Parent and Family Program is here to support the parents and family members as they support students of the University of Minnesota. We support parents and family members by answering questions, helping navigate the university, assisting in finding the appropriate resources and helping talk through any challenges the parents and family members of our students are experiencing.   

We communicate with families primarily through our family portal, Gopher Family Connection. Here regular posts are shared to inform parents and family members and you are even able to join various communities of interest. Join today and stay informed!

Additionally, the Parent and Family Program hosts events (like Parent and Family Weekend) to connect family members with campus and with the day-to-day lives of their student. These activities will help you to become more familiar with the campus and become a part of the University of Minnesota tradition.


Our Philosophy of Support

We have many of the same goals that you, as parents and family members, have for students.  We want students to be successful, feel supported as students and individuals and to be part of the UofM community.  

We are partners with you.  It is important for us to help our students’ families to understand how the university works, how to access resources that your student needs and how to gain the information necessary in coaching your student.  As an institution, our staff, faculty and community connect with each student daily.  However, as a loved one, you’ll talk to them more than we will and, working together, we can make sure they get the information they need at the time they need it.  

Parent and family involvement is shown to be beneficial to students as they navigate their college careers.  We look forward to working with you to make the transition to college and the experience students have here positive.


History of the Parent Program

In 1993, then-vice president for the Office for Student Affairs, Marvalene Hughes, wanted to improve communications between the University of Minnesota and parents of undergraduates. She asked Student Affairs communications staff to develop a parent newsletter, to be mailed quarterly.

Families responded favorably to the newsletter, but in focus groups and on newsletter surveys, they requested more—they wanted parent events and a contact person on campus. Student Affairs and University Relations, in response to parent requests, committed additional time and resources to the program. The University Parent Program was developed and led the way for the creation of national standards, guidelines for best practices in working with students' families and laid the foundation for the Parent and Family Program today.  The expansion to include the reference to "family" in the title of the program is a result of the evolving nature of the support structures of our students.