Information for Parents

Questions, Answers, and Resources for Parents of GES Students


  • Students (and their parents) typically have misconceptions about what kind of training our degree programs entail, and what kinds of jobs each degree program can lead to upon graduation. Our What should I major in? page provides essential information and clarification about our programs of study.
  • My student plans to transfer to Appalachian - what do I need to know?
  • My student is doing early college/dual enrollment through their high school - what do I need to know?
  • Registration for classes - Your student is expected to attend their scheduled advising appointment each semester, and it is their responsibility to register for their classes on time
    • If your student is unable to get into the classes they need to graduate on time (particularly if your student is a junior or senior) this is almost always because your student either didn't attend their advising meeting to get their PIN, and/or waited until the last minute to register and those classes are now full. There is nothing the faculty advisor can do for your student in that case - we have no power to open up seats in other people's classes. 
    • If classes fill up prior to your student being eligible to sign up for a required class in the GES department and it is their senior year, the department chair can usually make an accommodation, but only for required classes that cannot be taken in a later semester, and only in situations where the class became full before the student was able to register. If this happens, it is your student's responsibility to contact their advisor and the department chair for assistance.
    • All field methods and writing in the discipline "prep" classes (GES 275X prefixes) require a permit to register. These classes are important prerequistes for many upper level required courses. Your student must meet with their advisor to be put on the permit list; this list ranked in order of need (credit hours, degree requirements, etc.).
    • All other field courses require permission of instructor to register. It is your student's responsbility to contact the instructor to get a permit to register, and ensure that all deadlines for tuition/fees/confirmation/field fitness testing/etc. are met.
  • FERPA Information for Parents- this page contains a lot of information, but here is how it is specifically relevant to the parents of GES majors:
    • Faculty are not allowed to discuss student progress or grades with parents, unless the student has allowed it in the Parent Portal on Appalnet. However, faculty do not know whether or not a student has allowed parental access because the software permissions do not show faculty this information, so we cannot legally speak with you until we have received confirmation from the Advising Office in the College of Arts and Sciences that your student has granted it (we are not allowed to take your word for it). We are not trying to be obstructionist; we are following federal law. Once we have confirmed permission has been granted, we are happy to speak with you.
    • In order to give your student the training they need to be employable in their chosen field, we like to remind parents that it is the student who must advocate for their own education and academic needs, not their parents.

Logistics (Gear, Computers, Scheduling Travel and Family Events, etc.)

  • What kind of computer will my student need?
  • What kind of gear will my student need? (coming soon)
  • Who do I contact regarding GES field courses involving international travel?
  • Final Exam schedules and travel: Please schedule all family vacations and travel for after your student has completed their final exams. In GES, many of our finals have samples to assess and other in-person, hands-on requirements, so exams cannot easily be taken at a separate time. Final exams are scheduled by the university, not individual instructors. Click here to access final exam schedules.
  • If your student is planning to take GES 2751 (Geology Field Methods I), there will be weekend field trainings. These field trainings are an essential part of the class and cannot be skipped for family events (or any other types of events). Your student will be given the dates of these trips prior to the start of the semester (typically 1-3 months prior). Make sure your student checks their appstate email throughout summer/winter breaks, or the course's ASULearn site, where this information will be posted. If there is a major conflict with a planned family event (wedding, etc.), your student may need to take the class in a different semester. Due to the nature of the course, we cannot give makeup field trainings for individual students. If you have questions about GES 2751, please contact Dr. Sarah Carmichael.

Job prospects

Financial Questions

Still got questions? We've got answers.