Recently on one of the Citadel parent Facebook groups I was referred to as Dorie-pedia because I help Citadel parents find information. I have never really had a nickname. (at least none that people called me to my face!) My given name is usually a nickname.
It really is a compliment that parents think I can help provide answers, but the truth is, I just know my way around search windows. Some of the parent questions I can answer from first hand experience, but a lot of my answers come directly from The Citadel website.
I learned early on that at this military school most policies are documented and easily found on the web site. All the training modules are posted on the Office of the Commandants page if you really want to get an understanding of what is taught at this Leadership school.
Now that I have my own blog I can see the various search terms used to find the blog. I know the future cadets and their parents are using Google quite a bit and ending up on this site.
A few tips for learning information about the school:
Use the search window on the main site. Enter basic terms. For instance, if you wonder what a cadet corporal does, enter “duties of a corporal”, or “roles and responsibilities of a corporal.”
Use a few different terms until you find the answer to your question.
Call the appropriate office on campus and ask the staff there if you have a question about a term you’ve heard or if it is a general policy question. They will point you to the right place to get the answers. It is always best to get information directly from a primary source. An assistant commandant told me they prefer to answer the scheduling and policy type questions directly to avoid rumors.
Become familiar with the information on the Office of the Commandant page. Most of your questions will be answered on a link here.
Bookmark the link to the Guidon online. It is a great resource.
Use the volunteers of the Citadel Family Association. Their contact information for the company and battalion reps as well as various area reps can be found on the CFA web site. Parents who volunteer have already been through a year or two and volunteer to help the new parents.
Facebook groups for parents can be helpful. As I mentioned in an earlier post, The Citadel: Social Media and the Rumor Mill, use the groups as a resource for information and avoid posting anything about your cadet specifically.
Many alumni cannot understand why parents know so much about the 4th Class system now. Parents and students today have far more information available to them today thanks to the internet. Alumni will tell you when they attended their parents would drop them off on Matriculation Day and maybe get one five-minute phone call from their cadet once a week or so. That call was made from a pay phone.
Times have changed. To stay relevant and competitive in the higher education marketplace some policies at The Citadel had to change. Allowing cell phones for knobs is a change that, in part, came about for campus safety after the shootings at Virginia Tech. The use of computers is a necessity for anyone in the job marketplace. With the increased use of computers comes the increase n communication capabilities such as email and Skype. Future employers will expect graduates to know how to use computers and other technology. Parents need to know how to use technology for their own work and duties as a parent.
The Citadel has held the #1 ranking for public colleges in the South. A testament to how well the school has managed to maintain the rigors of the 4th Class System while staying relevant in the current higher education marketplace.
Helpful links to navigate the web site: