A new online portal at University of Tennessee at Martin allows helicopter parents to check their students’ grades, attendance and more.

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To many in higher education, “helicopter parents” can be an annoyance, constantly asking institutions for updates on their adult children’s finances, grades and attendance.

Some university researchers have even asked parents to cut it out, warning them that helicopter parenting can cause anxiety, depression and even ruin a student’s chance at getting a job.

But the University of Tennessee at Martin is hoping that a new online tool can transform those helicopter parents from a burden to a benefit for both students and the university.

“We all need to improve retention rates, but don’t have the resources to go hire more counselors and coaches,” Brandy Cartmell, director of academic records and registrar at UTMartin, said. “We need to utilize the resources we do have at our disposal, and we realized that parents are an untapped resource.”

(Next page: A look inside the new tool)


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