It’s crucial to take the time to understand the college landscape. Three great resources for insight on course offerings, dorm environment, and the intangibles of the college experience from a more conservative perspective are CampusReform.Org and CollegeGuide.org and the website of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. (Isi.org)
Evaluate the students as much as the courses. Peers can easily reinforce or break down what you have taught your child. A wise college selection process includes considering how easy it will be to find like-minded friends. Our daughter, for instance, spent a lot of time exploring campus ministries before making her final selection of a college with several strong Christian student organizations. She even made it a priority to participate in some of their meetings as part of her campus visits. Such investigation is important for more than just the friendships your child will make. A 2009 Harris poll shows that among recently married couples, the top three “offline” ways they met were through work, friends, or college.
Finally, stay connected to your child. Help your son or daughter locate a strong church that has a vibrant college program. Attend services with them each time you visit. It’s also vital to pray for them like you never have before, and let them know that you are. Make it a point to talk at least once a week so you can share their excitement and challenges in real time, and detect early if there are signs of trouble.
And don’t forget to write. Yes, old-fashioned hand-written letters that are filed with encouragement, reaffirmations of the truths you taught them when they were young, and clear declarations of your unending love. When you take the initiative to speak form your heart on a consistent basis, they will be better prepared to fend off attacks and cling to what they know to be true.