Resources for Parents

We view parents as important members of the Kettering community and our partners in your student’s development.  Your support has a significant impact on your student’s success.  In fact, studies show that parental and family engagement increases a student’s chances of collegiate success and improves overall satisfaction for all of you.  That’s why we want to partner with you to help your sons and daughters develop into independent adults who take charge of their own lives and make decisions with greater and greater confidence. 

Parent & Student Success

Kettering University’s academic and co-curricular programs are designed to facilitate our students’ knowledge, growth, and development so that they realize their personal and professional potential and become model scholars, leaders, and citizens.  We encourage parents to collaborate with us in this important work as their students emerge from the dependency of childhood to the independence and self-sufficiency of adulthood.  Parents play a critical role in this development; indeed, neither students nor the University can succeed without parental support and involvement.  Contribute to your student’s success by learning about the undergraduate experience, supporting student learning, and empowering your student to take personal responsibility for his or her academic and social choices.  Here’s how you can contribute to your student’s success:

Learn about the student experience and all the resources available Kettering University:

    • Students face unique challenges and opportunities, including academic and non-academic expectations that differ from what you may have experienced.  Learn about student support services and understand how students can access services; encourage your student to identify and obtain support from appropriate resources.  Our Undergraduate Catalog, Student Handbook (, and website ( contain information about all programs, services, resources, and requirements at Kettering University.

Support the University's goals for student learning and development outcomes:

    • Challenge students to identify, define, and solve problems independently.
    • Encourage students to set and achieve personal goals and make responsible decisions related to academics, career planning, social interactions, and community engagement.
    • Understand and support the University's commitment to academic excellence and integrity, ethical behavior, diversity, and civility. 
    • Empower students to examine personal values; encourage students to learn about and respect the values and beliefs of others. 
    • Support students as they face uncertainties and learn to perform in complex environments and challenging situations.
    • Allow students to accept consequences of their actions and accept responsibility for personal choices.
    • Urge students to examine disappointments and unexpected experiences in order to assess what caused them, what can be done about them, and how to avoid them in the future.

 Learn when to step in to help your student and when to empower him or her to take personal responsibility 

  • Mentor and guide your student, rather than direct them or take direct actions on their behalf.
  • Know and understand limitations regarding your access to student records, as mandated by federal requirements contained in FERPA and HIPAA.
  • Promote self-advocacy by allowing students to make decisions independently.
  • Be alert to signs that your student is under significant stress, taking unhealthy risks, or ill.  Discuss concerns openly with your student and assist in developing plans to address problems, including accessing Kettering University resources.
  • If student's physical or mental health is endangered, contact appropriate campus or community authorities.  In cases of perceived imminent danger, call Campus Safety at 810-762-9501.  In less serious situations, call the Dean of Students’ office at 810-762-9872.  Students, faculty, and staff have access to 24/7 crisis counseling through our Student Assistance Program, 855-774-4700.  There is no charge for this service. 

Stay informed

  • Sign up to receive informative new communications for parents by sending an email to
  • Watch our parents’ website for new features, including news stories, a Q&A section, upcoming deadlines, etc. 
  • Write or call us with questions or concerns (, 810-762-9871.)

Develop an affinity for Kettering University 

Support the University and its efforts to educate your student.

  • Participate in campus events; support and encourage students as they learn, perform, lead, or serve through campus and community activities.
  • Engage with other parents in understanding the student experience.
  • Contribute talent, time, and treasure to the University.  Get involved!


For more information about how you can support your student, contact:

Deborah Stewart

Director, Student Life Programs

Kettering University

(810) 762-9679


Our Expectations

At Kettering, these principles guide us in our relationships with students and parents:

  • We encourage students and their parents to maintain an ongoing, open dialogue and to speak frankly about academic progress and personal responsibility, including the use of alcohol and personal safety issues.   Oftentimes, these conversations prove more valuable to our students than the University’s policies and its extensive resources.
  • We trust students to manage their own affairs, including decisions about academic, financial, and personal matters.
  • We expect students to act responsibly and in accordance with the Kettering University Student Code of Conduct.  We hold them accountable for their behavior.  When students make mistakes—and they do—we help them learn and grow from their experiences.
  • We expect students to take full advantage of all available resources, programs, and services.  Faculty and staff stand ready to assist students as they grow into independence, self-sufficiency, and self-determination.
  • We afford students privacy in their academic and personal lives.  When we become aware of difficult situations, the University allows each student to decide whether or when to involve parents.  Federal laws limit educational and medical information we may share with parents once their student enrolls at Kettering (regardless of their age).  Note that federal laws (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974/FERPA and the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act of 1996/HIPAA) severely limit educational and medical information we may share with parents.  FERPA does permit the University to notify parents under certain specified circumstances, such as when a student under the age of 21 violates public laws or university policies relating to the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances.  In rare instances, parental involvement or notification may be appropriate: when a student’s enrollment status changes (on leave, withdrawn, suspended, etc.); when a health or safety emergency exists; or when a student otherwise engages in behavior calling into question the appropriateness of the student’s continued residency in university housing or enrollment in the University.

 In these situations, we encourage students to communicate directly with their parents. Where student consent is not sought or available, however, the University may contact parents, to the extent permitted by law.


Parents & Their Access to Student Records

Kettering University establishes relationships with its students based on their status as emerging adults and commits itself to fostering their development and self-direction. The University expects its students to assume primary responsibility for their education and well-being.  Kettering University also recognizes its obligation to the parents of its students to act in the students' best interest and communicates with parents to the extent allowed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  This act ensures that nearly all communication between a student and Kettering University is considered confidential and that such information about a student's experience can be shared with the parents of an individual student only under very specific circumstances, as defined by the federal law. All rights accorded a student under this law take effect at the time of enrollment in a post-secondary educational program, regardless of the student’s age.

Frequently Asked Questions about FERPA

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, helps protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure of information from the records. The Act applies to all institutions who receive federal funding, including Kettering University.

Who is protected under FERPA?

Students who are currently enrolled in higher education institutions or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency.  Parents of students termed "dependent" for income tax purposes may have access to the student's educational records.  Deceased students have rights under FERPA as long as they were formerly enrolled.  Students who have applied but have not attended an institution do not have these rights.

What access do parents have to their children's educational records, according to FERPA?

The following four statements summarize FERPA's position regarding parental access to their children's records:

  • When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution, regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student.
  • Parents may obtain directory information only at the discretion of the institution.
  • Parents may obtain non-directory information only at the discretion of the institution and after it has been determined that their child is legally their dependent.
  • Parents may also obtain non-directory information by obtaining a signed consent from their child.  The Student Consent for Release of Information form is available at


What are educational records?

According to FERPA, an educational record, with limited exception, is a record which is maintained by the institution, directly related to a student, and from which a student can be identified.  Based on this definition, records from virtually all academic, financial, and administrative offices fall under the FERPA umbrella.  For example, grades, financial statements, and financial aid information may not be shared with parents without a student’s written consent.

What is directory information?

Institutions may disclose information on a student without violating FERPA through what is known as "directory information."  This generally includes a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized sports & activities, weight and heights of athletes, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and other similar information. Each institution is required annually to identify what constitutes directory information within its policy. This notice must also provide procedures for students to restrict the institution from releasing his/her directory information.

Who is entitled to student information?

  • The student and any outside party, including parents, who has the student's written consent.
  • School officials who have "legitimate educational interests," as defined in FERPA.
  • Parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.
  • A judicial order or subpoena which allows the institution to release records without the student's consent; however, a "reasonable effort" must be made to notify the student before complying with the order.

When is the student's consent not required to disclose information?

There are 13 exceptions:

  1. To school officials (as defined in the policy).
  2. To schools in which a student seeks to enroll.
  3. To federal, state, and local authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs.
  4. In connection with financial aid.
  5. To state and local authorities pursuant to a state law adopted before November 1974 requiring the disclosure.
  6. To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions.
  7. To accrediting organizations.
  8. To parents of a dependent student.
  9. To comply with judicial order or subpoena.
  10. Health or safety emergency.
  11. Directory information.
  12. To the student.
  13. Results of disciplinary hearing to an alleged victim of a crime of violence.


Students may obtain consent of information release forms from the Kettering University Registrar’s Office.  The forms may be found in the Registrar’s Office and online at

For further information, contact:


Sheila Rupp, Registrar – 810-762-7476