Resources for Parents

parents photoWelcome parents!

As the parents of a Sac State Hornet, you may have many questions about the opportunities, requirements and challenges facing your student. We hope that the information provided here will answer some of these questions and introduce you to the many academic resources and services that are available to your student while at Sacramento State.

Academic Advising for Parents

Many parents want to assist their student in understanding her/his student record and help with academic decision making. Occasionally, parents will contact the university to discuss their student’s record. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits university staff and faculty from discussing student records with parents. With that in mind, academic advisors have put together Academic Advising for Parents. This presentation includes advice on course planning, time management, major choice, and suggests ways to engage your student in discussions about their college experience.

Common Topics of Interest for Parents

Struggling with Coursework

The transition from high school or community college to a four year college is substantial and it is not unusual for some first-year students to experience problems as they adjust to demanding course work, different teaching styles, greater faculty expectations, and an array of tempting and time-consuming co-curricular activities. Moreover, such concerns are not limited to the first year; students regardless of class level, also face on-going challenges, including anxiety over selecting a major, the realization that a long-planned and much anticipated program of study may not be right for them, and disappointment about earned grades.

If your son or daughter expresses anxiety about one or more of his/her courses or uncertainty about academic plans, encourage him/her to visit to the Academic Advising Center. There, an advisor will discuss options for your student and offer assistance in finding support programs and tools for success. Counseling and Psychological Services.


Final course grades can be accessed by students through their Student Center. Please note that final course grades for all students are not sent to parents. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not permit faculty and staff (including advisors) to share information about course enrollments or final grades without written consent of your student. Please ask your student about his/her grades.

Click here more information regarding grades.

Choosing a Major

The Academic Advising Center and the Career Center are located in one office at Sacramento State. The purpose of this partnership is for student’s convenience when seeking GE advising and preparing for their future academic and professional goals. We encourage all students to utilize the Career Center for assistance in selecting a major.

Career counseling helps students make informed decisions; decisions that reflect their criteria for choosing a satisfying major and profession.

The Career Center offers walk-in and individual career counseling services for students and alumni. Career counseling includes a wide range of services, including self-exploration; researching academic and career options; decision making and developing action-steps; experiential learning opportunities, and job search strategies and resources. If your student needs assistance choosing/changing a major or career path, relating majors to the world of work, or are trying to make decisions related to graduate school, career counseling may be helpful. Career counseling services at Sacramento State are available to assist students and alumni in any of the following areas:

  • Choosing or changing a major or career path
  • Identifying career options for majors
  • Decision-making, goal setting and/or developing action steps
  • Internships and other experiential learning opportunities
  • Job search strategies
  • Resume and cover letter writing; resume critiques
  • Practice for interview sessions
  • Assessment of skills, values, and interests
  • Overcoming obstacles to achieving your education and career goals
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Part-time jobs
  • Speaking with professionals in your field of interest
  • First College Year Experience Survey
  • Each academic year Sacramento State’s Office of Institutional Research conducts research on first year students’ first year experience as well as performance tracking.
  • First College Year Experience Survey

Distributed annually to first-year freshmen, this survey asks entering students to assess their college experiences and relay how well the University has met their educational expectations. This report provides valuable feedback to the University at-large.

Click here to view the survey results.

Sacramento State has a strong commitment assisting new students in making a smooth transition to college life and achieving their goals for academic and career success. Following are the data for Learning Communities and Freshmen Seminar and all First-time Freshmen since 1996, and the current assessment report.

Click here to view the most current first year assessment.

Concerns about Advising

The Academic Advising Center is committed to providing all undergraduate students the support they need to make a successful academic transition to Sacramento State. A key component of this support is the academic advising team and the guidance provided to students as they learn about graduation requirements, choose courses, and prepare for major declaration.

The relationship between students and their academic advisors should be built on trust and mutual respect. We believe it is important for parents to give their sons and daughters space to negotiate this dynamic relationship on their own terms. Grades and course schedules are part of a student’s educational record contacting your student’s academic advisor without a completed and signed FERPA Waiver places the advisor in a legal position to preserve student confidentiality. If you have any concerns about the quality of your son or daughter’s advising experience we encourage you to contact the Academic Advising Center.

Class Registration

The Academic Advising Center recognizes that some students experience difficulties when registering for classes. To help curb any issues your students may face during registration, we suggest the student come see an advisor at least one week prior to their pre-assigned registration date. An advisor can assist your student in developing multiple strategies for registering. While the Academic Advising staff cannot register students in classes, the Advising team is here to answer questions for your student during this time. If your student is having problems registering for classes, we encourage your student to contact the Registration Hotline at 916.278.8088. Link to Registrar's Office registration information.

Taking a Semester Off

Students who are not enrolled for one semester at Sacramento State are considered to be on a leave of absence. Students who return after being absent for one semester do not need to file for re-admission or pay the application fee. Undergraduate students will keep their catalog rights, and graduate students will maintain classified status. (Note: graduate students who have completed coursework and have received a Report Pending (RP) grade in their culminating experience are required to enroll. Further information is available at the Office of Graduate Studies.

Students who do not enroll for two consecutive semesters without filing for a Leave of Absence are not considered to be continuing students. Students must re-apply for admission and pay the application fee. All application deadlines must be followed for consideration for re-admission.

For more information on leaves of absence from Sacramento State and all policies please see the Office of the Registrar’s website.


For information regarding graduation we encourage all students to meet with their major advisor. Click here fo information regarding graduation.


What is FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act)?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment), is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and the obligations of the institution, primarily in the areas of release of the records and the access provided to these records. Any educational institution that receives funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education is bound by FERPA requirements. Institutions that fail to comply with FERPA may have funding withheld.

Access to Student Education Records

According to FERPA, personally identifiable information in an education record may not be released without prior written consent from the student. Some examples of information that MAY NOT BE RELEASED without prior written consent of the student are:

  • citizenship
  • disciplinary status
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • grade point average (GPA)
  • marital status
  • SSN/Sac State I.D.
  • grades/exam scores
  • test scores (e.g., SAT, GRE, etc.)

The university will not release personally identifiable information from a student's education record without the student's prior written consent. Even parents are not permitted access to their son or daughter's education records unless the student has provided written authorization permitting the parents' access. Exceptions are noted in the university's policy (located in the Office of the General Counsel and in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) concerning the privacy of student education records and includes: access by "campus officials" who the institution has determined to have a "legitimate educational interest;" access by campus officials at other schools where the student seeks to enroll; access for the purpose of awarding financial aid and subpoenas.

For more information on FERPA please click here.

Right to Review and Correct Record

Students and former students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days from making such a request. The right to inspection and review includes: the right to access, with an explanation and interpretation of the record; the right to a copy of the education record when failure to provide a copy of the record would effectively prevent the student from inspecting and reviewing the record. The institution may refuse to provide a copy of a student's education record provided such refusal does not limit access.

Limitations exist on students' rights to inspect and review their education records. For example, the institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review the following:

Financial information submitted by parents.

Education records containing information about more than one student (however, the institution must permit access to that part of the records which pertains only to the inquiring student).

Confidential letters and recommendations placed in the student's file before 01/01/75.

Confidential letters and statements of recommendation, placed in the records after 01/01/75, to which the student has waived his or her right to review and that are related to the student's admission, application for employment or job placement, or receipt of honors.

Students may request that their education records be amended if they believe such information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights. Students must submit a written request to the office that maintains those records in order to amend them. Students should identify the part of the records they want corrected and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights.

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