Parents of First Year Students

Message from the Associate Dean Academic

[Marianna Kontopoulou]

Welcome to the Queen’s Engineering family!

University is a time of major transition in your child’s life and also in yours. Gone are the days when your child is dependent on you for every need and subjected to the usual house rules. Suddenly, their boundaries are expanded considerably, with nearly every critical aspect of their life left to their own judgment. As parents, we desperately want them to make good choices, and while encouraging their new found independence we also want to help them optimize their chances for success.

At Queen’s we recognize that many students turn to their parents on a daily basis for advice and support. Therefore, we have prepared this Parent Guide to help you understand what your child will encounter when they are in their first foray away from home, and to provide you with information on how best to advise them when they meet the typical hurdles associated with university life.

I’d like to assure you that at Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science we expect every one of our students to graduate successfully, and we consider it our job to help each and every one of them achieve their academic potential. Our record in this regard is exemplary—we are number one amongst Canadian engineering programs when it comes to the percentage of incoming students who successfully graduate (91 per cent). Why have we been so successful? In part, it is because we recognize that first year is a very difficult transition year, and we have a number of special measures and programs in place to help our students. For example:

  • Our First Year Advisors are available for questions and to help first-year students with any problems. Students can book an appointment with a First Year Advisor online here.

  • Extended Program which is designed to allow students who have difficulty in the fall term of first year to repeat fall courses before proceeding with their winter term subjects.

  • Queen’s has a Learning Strategies Development program to help students develop the effective studying habits and time management skills that are so critical in the university environment.

In upper years, each engineering discipline has a faculty undergraduate chair and a staff undergraduate advisor who monitor each student’s progress and are there to answer questions and provide advice. Furthermore, opportunities such as dual degrees, internships, and exchange programs also have special Faculty advisors who meet with interested students to help build custom-made degree programs.

Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science is extremely proud of our students and strongly committed to their success, both in and out of the classroom. Together with you, we strive to provide a strong support system that will help them make the transition from a teen to a young adult and prepare them for a vibrant, exciting and promising career.


Marianna Kontopoulou, PhD, PEng
Associate Dean (Academic)
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science