FAQs for Parents

As parents and guardians you may not have all the answers to every single question.

However, as long as you continue to encourage and reinforce the importance of connecting students to the resources DCCCD colleges provide, you are taking a step in the right direction!

How can I help my son or daughter succeed in college?

  • Be their strongest cheerleader.
  • Let your student know how proud you are that he or she is in college.
  • This is a time of personal, as well as academic, growth.
  • College is a transition into adult life and adult responsibilities.
  • Listen to their questions and concerns.
  • Ask how things are going.
  • Encourage your student to talk with instructors and advisors when difficulties arise.
  • Let your son or daughter know that you are there for them.

Learn about getting help for:


My son/daughter does not know how many classes he/she will need to graduate. How can we find out?

Students have access to course information through eConnect, which allows them to see what type of courses are required for their major or program of study and to identify what courses are needed to graduate with a specific certificate or degree.

Of course, they are also encouraged to go to their advisor and discuss remaining classes, course schedules and timelines for completion.

My son/daughter does not know what he/she wants to study or major in school. Does the college only offer a few options for students to choose from?

It is natural for a person to not know what to focus or major in when they first enter college. Encourage your student to connect with his or her academic advisor, who will recommend resources including the career center, specific courses that introduce tools for students to learn more about their interests and career choices and on-campus workshops that help guide students toward their chosen paths.

The colleges of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) collectively have more than 100 majors which include one- and two-year certificates and degrees. We serve a diverse student group who have different academic and career goals, and we offer various programs to meet their unique needs.

Browse our credit programs or view a complete list of degrees, certificates and classes available for college credit. The college’s academic advisors are trained to discuss degree options with students. Ask your student to visit an advisor to discuss his or her plans.

How do I know my son or daughter is taking the right classes?

Your student’s academic advisor will assist him or her in selecting a degree plan and courses for each semester. Advising is a free service offered at each of the colleges. Encourage your student to take advantage of the services offered by advisors.

What is the difference between a counselor and an academic advisor?

In high school, your student most likely had a counselor that assisted with class selection and other academic issues.

In college, academic advisors play a similar role. Your student will meet with an academic advisor to select a degree plan and enroll in classes each semester.

Academic advisors also assist students with other academic concerns such as transferring to a university or concerns about grades. Because college students are considered adults, the academic advisor will not tell your student what to do or make decisions for him or her. Instead, advisors provide information and guidance, allowing students to make their own decisions.

Each of the colleges of DCCCD has an advising center. Each college also has mental health counselors available to students. Advising and counseling services are free of charge to all students of the colleges of DCCCD.

Can I talk to my student’s academic advisor, instructor or other school official?

You are always welcome to contact any DCCCD staff or faculty member with questions or concerns. However, DCCCD staff and faculty can only provide limited information to parents due to FERPA privacy requirements.

Even if a student is under the age of 18, as a college student, his or her information cannot be released without the student’s written consent. We understand that this may be a change from the high school environment. The colleges of DCCCD are public higher education institutions and therefore bound by the Texas Public Information Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Students can consent to allow their parents or guardians access to their educational information by signing a FERPA consent form. The consent forms are available at each DCCCD college and are only valid for that college.

As your student transitions into the adult world, keeping lines of communication open is important. When you have questions or concerns, please talk to your student about how to best handle those concerns.

For additional information, please see the DCCCD Privacy and Security Commitment.

Am I allowed to access my son/daughter’s academic records?

Students may allow parents or guardians to access different items in their records but remember that it is their college academic record. We encourage you to have a conversation with your college student about your role in supporting his or her academic success.

If your student consents to grant you access to his or her overall grades, then an important form (a FERPA waiver) must be submitted by the student. If you are wondering about course grades during the middle of the semester, ask your student for permission to view his or her grades in eCampus.

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How can I help if he or she is having difficulty with a class?

When your student is facing challenges, guide him or her toward resources and encourage the student to solve issues independently. Listen to your student’s concerns and encourage them to contact their instructor or other staff member for assistance.

We encourage students to connect with an academic advisor or a Dallas Promise Success Coach. These staff members can assess the student’s concern and discuss strategies.

You can also suggest they seek out tutoring services which are free and available at all DCCCD colleges.

How can I help if he or she is having difficulty with a professor?

Encourage your student to contact the professor to discuss his or her concern. This is an opportunity for your student to gain experience resolving issues independently. He or she will have the instructor’s contact information in the class syllabus.

It is important that your student learns how to work through the issue on his or her own to gain conflict resolution skills that will be useful throughout life.

College seems so different from high school. There are no scheduled lunch times or study hall periods. Is the amount and type of homework also different?

The college experience is very different from high school. Colleges do not have the same set hours or class periods that most high schools have. College schedules are far more flexible. Students are able to select their own schedules to suit their individual needs.

For example, a student who works in the evenings may choose not to take early morning classes. An academic advisor can help your student build a schedule that meets his or her needs. Students are on their own to schedule meals and study time.

Many college classes are lecture classes, during which the student will take notes and have reading assignments but complete few written assignments. This will vary with subjects and instructors. College classes have more variation in instructional delivery methods and assignments than high school classes. College students are expected to be more responsible and spend more time studying than they did in high school. This is part of accepting adult responsibilities.

If your student is experiencing difficulties, he or she might benefit from on-campus tutoring or by speaking with the instructor or an academic advisor. Your student's college's mental health counselors can also assist students with adjusting to college.

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Is there a health clinic on campus?

Each of our colleges has a health center available for minor first aid, some non-prescription medications and general health information.

When students have a special concern or chronic illness, they are encouraged to visit the health center before classes start to discuss their individual situation with the campus nurse.

In an emergency, 911 will be called for assistance.

Do you have security or police on campus? How do I know my student is safe on campus?

DCCCD Police strive to make our college campuses as safe as possible. Officers are on duty at each of our colleges 24/7.

Students can call campus police from any DCCCD phone by dialing 911. When calling from a cell phone, the number for police is 972-860-4290. Calls are handled through the centralized dispatch system for all colleges and locations of the DCCCD. When contacting police, always identify yourself and the location (college, building, floor and room) that is of concern to you. Calling campus police instead of city police generally results in a faster response. Campus police will contact city police or other services if needed.

Learn more about DCCCD police.

Are there any alert systems that will alert my son/daughter to campus closings due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances?

In an effort to share consistent communication we encourage students to sign up for the DCCCD Emergency Alert System through eConnect. Students are able to receive text and email alerts in the event of DCCCD emergencies or college closing announcements.

Students may also add their parent or guardian to the alert system, so that you both are well informed. Information will be updated on the college website main page.

Does DCCCD offer student housing?

No, we do not have housing for students.

If your family is experiencing difficulty with housing stability, please contact the DCCCD Navigators at 972-669-6599. Navigators can provide referrals for housing and other social service needs.

What student clubs and activities are available? Do you have sports teams?

Each of the colleges offers a variety of clubs and activities, including:

  • student government,
  • honors societies
  • and special interest organizations.

Each college also has sports teams that your student can join. Activity and sports offerings vary between colleges. Please visit your college’s Student Life Office for additional information. Studies have shown that students who participate in campus activities have higher grades and are more likely to finish college.

It is also a great way to make new friends, so encourage your student to join at least one team, club or organization on campus.

I want to know how my son/daughter is doing in class. How do I contact a professor?

Faculty may not share academic progress with someone other than the college student due to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)’s privacy rules.

If you want to know how your son or daughter is doing in classes, we encourage you to speak directly with him or her. Your student is a key part of the communication process. In your talk:

  • Ask your student to get their course syllabus. The syllabus includes a list of all assignments, course requirements, grading scales and test dates. Discuss how your student has done on completed assignments and how her or she is preparing for future assignments.
  • Ask your student to maintain regular contact with the professor. Discuss what steps your student has taken to communicate with the professor, including whether the student has emailed or gone to the professor’s office hours to discuss the class. Help your son or daughter think of the right questions to ask his or her professor.
  • Ask your student to walk you through eCampus, which is where all assignment grades are viewable for each course. You both will gain an understanding of eCampus, which may help answer any questions either of you have about your student’s academic performance or grades.

My student has a disability or learning difference. What services are available for him or her?

Each college has a Disability Services Office that offers accommodations for students with disabilities, accessibility needs or special requirements. Services are coordinated to fit individual needs and may include sign language interpreting, computer-aided real-time translation (CART) services and use of assistive technology, among many other services.

Students requesting services are responsible for providing current educational or psychological/medical documentation from a qualified professional verifying disability and need for services. New students are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Office at least one month before classes begin.

Students with disabilities attending college have a right to appeal decisions concerning physical and academic accommodations by submitting a written petition to the designated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator.

For more information, contact the Disability Services Office at your college.

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All of this talk about education has piqued my interest. I am interested in pursuing a certification or degree. How much does college cost?

Awesome, we would love to support your personal and professional goals.

Every college/university – in Texas and nationwide – has different costs depending on degrees and services offered. We strongly encourage you to connect with a college and meet with an academic advisor, who can answer your individual questions. At DCCCD we pride ourselves in providing a high quality and affordable education.

Learn more about tuition and financial aid. Stop by the nearest college of DCCCD and see what we have to offer.