Family Orientation

Welcome to our Orientation for Families Website!

The information provided on this page is meant to help you aid your student as he or she begins and continues their college career. We know that your role as a mentor and guide for your student is as important now as it has ever been.  Family support and involvement have been shown to increase the chances that a college student will be successful in achieving their academic goals and will graduate with a degree.

Each section below addresses information we believe will help you help your student as they move through their college experience.  If you have any questions about this material, do not hesitate to contact Student Success at

If you attended SOAR with your student and would like to review the presentation slides from the session on “How to Help Your Student,” click here: A recorded version of this presentation is also available below.

What will Classes be Like this Year?

Although UCA returned to traditional instruction in Fall 2021, some classes may now meet both on-campus and online (hybrid), while others may be offered fully online.  We have already found that students appreciate the flexibility of online learning, at least in some instances, and are looking to expand our approaches. Going forward, students will find more options for online, hybrid, and face-to-face (f2f) classes each time they register. Additionally, while most classes will return to the classroom, should circumstances require it, all classes will convert to fully online for as long as needed.  Please see our Academic Success page for more information on instructional models and tips for your student’s success.

What Technology Does My Student Need to Succeed?

UCA recommends that all students have a desktop or laptop in order to complete assignments and access courses in the online UCA Learning Management System, Blackboard. All faculty are expected to utilize Blackboard for grade reporting and distribution of course information. Internet access, computer labs, and printing are available on campus, but most students find it best to have a computer and printer of their own. Additionally, given the ongoing pandemic, personal technology and access to the internet will be needed throughout the year to enable students to attend and participate in online class sessions.  

A few things students should have access to on their computer:

  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Speakers (or headphone jack to hear audio)
  • Windows 10 or Mac OS Operating System (although older systems may work)
  • Wireless Internet Adapter that allows connection to the campus internet

Note: some classes require students to take exams online through security software that may not work on a mobile device. Students will need a PC or Mac for these courses. Students will need to inform their instructor that they are using a Chromebook before the exam. This is a setting that the instructor has to allow for each exam.

A complete list of recommended computer specs can be found here: UCA Student Computer Hardware/Software Recommendations.

How Can I be Involved at UCA?

As part of our UCA family, please be sure to connect with our Family Network The UCA Family Network provides an online newsletter and a Facebook page to keep you in the know.  Check out their website for more information, helpful resources, and membership options.

What Courses and Activities will my Student Complete at UCA? What Resources Does My Student Have at UCA, and How Can I Help?

A UCA Degree prepares your student for a lifetime of learning and, yes, for their future careers.  For more information on all of the components of a UCA education and the resources UCA provides your student, please watch this video.

Want more information on UCA Degree Programs?  See the Undergraduate Bulletin and UCA’s eight-semester Academic Maps for each degree program.  For more information on resources available to our students, please see the UCA Student Support Guide.

Where Can I Find More Information on Supporting My Student?

We hope that you and your student will take full advantage of the services and resources the University of Central Arkansas provides.  Here are several resources for more information on how you can best help your student succeed in meeting their academic goals:UCA Family Guide 2020-2021

  • The UCA Family Guide is now online!  Spanish version is now available: UCA Guia para familias.
  • Higher Ed Parent offers blogs, recommends books, and provides information through social media.
  • ParentLingo workshop videos provide you information on helping your student adjust to the demands of college.  Create your account now, and work through the videos at your convenience.
  • A helpful guide from the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience can be purchased online here.

Other policies and resources you should know about include:

  • Attendance Policy and Academic Standards.  The University does not have one standard attendance policy.  Students are advised of individual class attendance policies and procedures in the syllabi provided by their faculty.
  • If your student is uncertain about their major or interests, the MyMajors assessment can help.
  • The Office of the Dean of Students assists students with individual concerns and medical issues in navigating campus policies and withdrawal from the University, if necessary.
  • FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA®) is the form to apply for financial aid for college.  Students must submit this form each year to maintain financial aid eligibility.
  • FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) All rights to inspect or review a student’s educational record are transferred from the parent to the student on the first day of classes at UCA.  UCA staff members are not permitted to share any information with anyone outside of the university system without authorization from the student.  Release forms can be found online at:
  • Financial Aid Status: Your student can verify the status of his or her aid award by doing the following:
    • Log on to myUCA
    • Click the Self-Service tab
    • Click the Financial Aid tab
    • Click on Financial Aid Status
    • Click on Student Requirements
    • Choose the 2022/2023 aid year from the dropdown box
    • Needed requirements to complete the award application will be displayed
  • Safe@UCA app provides weather and emergency alerts for the campus, and many other safety features.

Finally, a welcome to our students (and their families) from UCA faculty!

Thank you for being part of your student’s Success Team!