Hope College will host approximately 30 representatives from a dozen institutions during a workshop on parent relations on Thursday, July 15.

The parent relations offices at Hope and Calvin College in Grand Rapids are co-sponsoring the event, titled "Going for the Gold Standard: How to Achieve an Exemplary Parent Relations Program."

The workshop facilitator will be Helen E. Johnson, who is president of HEJ Associates, the nation's leading consultant to colleges and universities in the area of parent relations. Johnson founded Cornell University's first Parents' Program, and created the Gold Standard Model for Parent Relations. She has worked with college parents and students for more than 25 years, and is author of the book "Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years."

Hope has organized activities geared toward parents for several years, particularly during New Student Orientation in August and Parents' Weekend in November. The college established a new Office of Parent Relations in the fall of 2003, and is in the process of expanding its outreach to parents.

New initiatives include a Web site geared toward parents, and a 19-member Parents' Council that will provide a forum for discussion between parents and the college and assist in developing and implementing programs and volunteer activities for Hope parents and families. The college's director of parent relations is Stephanie Greenwood.

In addition to Hope and Calvin, the institutions that will be participating in the workshop will include: Albion College, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Judson College, Lake Forest College, the University of Michigan, Wabash College, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University and Wheaton College.