For Parents

The first year of college requires every student to adjust to a new environment. The adjustment to art school can have its own concerns. This page is here to help parents of new freshmen at Tyler get a sense of what you can do to help your children succeed in school.

There have been a number of articles that discuss the challenges of first year college students. One recent examples is Christine Whelan's piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education from April, 2011. Another is Trip Gabriel's piece in December 20, 2010, New York Times about the increased need for counseling services at colleges and Universities. The Foundations Office will post more information for parents here, and welcomes your questions and thoughts.


Missing class is a serious problem for students. Even excused absences can put them behind in a course. You can help by encouraging your son or daughter to:

  • Contact the faculty immediately if they miss class, asking for details about what was missed and how it can be made up (this may require getting information from a ‘buddy’ in that section)
  • Take care of themselves by getting enough sleep and eating well.
  • Mind the deadlines for withdrawals (it's a good idea to keep the Temple Academic Calendar at yor fingertips)
  • Faculty are encouraged to use BlackBoard to communicate with students and I work with them to post video versions of demonstrations or summaries of lectures to accommodate students who need that kind of support. Students should utilize these resources.

Disability Services and Student Help

Many students of our most talented students at Tyler have learning issues, some of them clinical in nature. If your child has ADD or any other issues, please be sure they are registered with the Office of Disability Services and that they discuss their issues with their instructors. That is the only way a reasonable accommodation can be made. Many students tell me they ‘don’t want to make excuses’ but then find themselves in trouble.

Here are links to a few Temple Resources that you might want to share with your child:

  • The Writing Center provides help for students with issues in writing
  • Tuttleman Counseling Services - offers appointment and walk-in help. This can be a great support for students who need advice with time management concerns, or just who need someone to talk to.


Conversations about how to grade art sometimes get bogged down in issues about subjectivity. At Tyler, they faculty has made a serious effort to be clear about how student work is evaluated for grades. Please visit the Assessment area of the Tyler website for details from each department on evaluation.

The Foundation Department provides grading rubrics for all Foundation classes to its instructors so that there is a clear and fair set of criteria for evaluation. These can be viewed at online on our assessment page.

Students who are concerned about their grades should keep an open conversation going with their instructors. That’s the best way for them to know about how they’re doing.


Questions and concerns about student housing should be directed to Temple University Housing and Residence Life.


Temple University recognizes your child’s right to privacy by observing the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Without the student’s consent, we may not share certain information, even with a student’s parents. Details about FERPA are at the Dean of Students' webpage. Please be sure you have talked with your son or daughter about sharing information and that you understand the policy.


Temple University takes the safety of its students very seriously. You should visit Campus Safety Services with any questions or concerns.


Students in the BFA program at Tyler experiment with a variety of art making media…and that costs money. Course fees for each class provide materials that will allow them to learn the essential skills, but often students’ ambitions for a project exceed the quantities of materials covered by fees. Basic supply lists for each class are posted on this site, and each class will have specialized supplies. Though your children won’t be buying as many textbooks as their Temple peers, they will still need to budget money for supplies.

Temple has invested a lot of money in technology, building labs in Tyler and throughout the campus, including an amazing TECH Center. Incoming freshman are not required to have a computer, though many will want one so they can work at their convenience. The Foundation department does not recommend specific computers or software for its students as they are not required for classes (our Foundation Computer class takes place in a lab; homework for the course can be done at the TECH Center). As we all know, computer technology moves very fast. Spending $1,600-$3,000 on a state-of-the-art computer today doesn’t guarantee that the machine and its software will not be obsolete by the time an incoming freshman is ready to declare a major in two years.

If you really want to get a computer for school, for the freshman year it should be able to:

  • Go online by a wireless connection easily
  • Have word-processing program that will help write papers

There are many discounts that students can take of advantage of for software and hardware.

Workload, Studios and Storage 

Students in the BFA program at Tyler are in the studio for fifteen to seventeen hours a week, and are expected to do that many hours of work for studio courses outside of class time. In addition, they will have an Art Heritage requirement to fulfill and GenEd or other academic classes. This requires skillful time management.

Studios are open for Foundation students’ use before class (open at 8am most days) and after class (until midnight most evenings) and on the weekend. They are notopen 24 hours a day for safety reasons. This requires that students plan when they need access to the studio or woodshop, when they’ll go the TECH Center to work on a paper, and when they’ll find a quiet moment to read.

Please encourage your child to set up a reasonable schedule for him or her self and to stick to it.

Storage is at a premium in our department, and there is very limited space for students to store projects as they work on them and no secure storage for supplies. Students should make arrangements to transport necessary supplies from their dorms to class.