Karen Coburn

Senior Consultant in Residence, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Students

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Biography

Coburn is one of the country’s leading experts on the college experience. She is co-author of the acclaimed book, Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years, which, in its fourth printing, has sold more than 330,000 copies. Coburn is often quoted in the national and international media for her tips on helping students and parents make a smooth transition from high school to college- from what to bring, to what to expect, to how to stay in touch. She can also address issues related to students’ physical and mental health and well-being on campus.

WashU in the News

Stories

Constant contact between college students and parents could hinder development

CoburnWhether your child is going away to college this fall across town or across the country, there are more ways to keep in touch than ever before. With today’s ubiquitous cell phones and access to Twitter, Facebook and texting, it may seem as though your child has never left the house. For students, there is the ever-present possibility of an available parent at the end of a cordless tether, which has the potential to hinder the letting go process, claims an expert on the college transition at Washington University in St. Louis.

Back-to-school

Your kid just got beat up by the fifth-grade bully. Or perhaps you aren’t sure the lunches are healthy enough for your child to be eating. Maybe you’ve even noticed a change in your child’s behavior after returning to school. Washington University has several experts that can comment on any one of these concerns, as well as many others that arise when children are going … back to school, whether it’s kindergarten, high school or college.

Students should use common sense when posting to Facebook.com, says expert

CoburnThink you know your daughter’s potential college roommate for her freshman year? Think again. Not to imply that your daughter will be rooming with an alien being, but as Facebook.com continues to gain popularity, it’s become easier for students to post information that may or may not always be true, which can pose problems for professors, friends and future employers. Students need to remember that a Facebook.com posting becomes public information. And the persona they create online may be hard to maintain once they arrive on campus, says a leading expert on the college experience.

Letting Go: Karen Coburn makes college transition easier for students and parents

Karen Coburn is co-author of the acclaimed book, “Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years,” which, in its fourth printing, has sold nearly 300,000 copies. Coburn is often quoted in the national and international media for her tips on helping students and parents make a smooth transition from high school to college — from what to bring, to what to expect, to how to stay in touch.