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Independence and Communication

We in DRS appreciate the importance of fostering independence in our students. We begin by placing the responsibility for communication on the student. In that spirit, once the student begins his or her career at Bethel, we do not initiate communication with parents about a student's academic performance or use of DRS services.

We encourage you to keep open lines of communication before your student arrives at Bethel. Let your son or daughter know what you expect from him or her and what information you expect them to share with you. We will also let students know that we consider it their responsibility to communicate with you.

Parent-Student Communication

There are 3 important reasons that we place the responsibility for communication on the student. The first reason is quite simple: the law requires us to do so. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, requires colleges and universities to maintain the privacy of students' educational records.

The second and third reasons are less simple but we think more important. If we are to be effective in facilitating learning, it is of paramount importance that we build a trusting relationship. The student needs to know that we can be trusted to maintain confidentiality, to always hold his or her interests before any others.

Lastly, we know from both our research and experience that if a student is to learn to behave responsibly he or she must be given responsibility. We give students this responsibility and encourage them to use us as facilitators or as guides as they begin the journey to a college degree.