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Citadel Success Institute: The beginning of the journey


Citadel Success Institute students (Class of 2019) are led around campus by their cadet instructors. photo by Stacy Carter

Today some members of the Class of 2020 at The Citadel begin their journey at The Citadel Success Institute. It is an a time of mixed emotions for many parents. Although my son did not attend CSI before knob year, I can share a few insights I’ve learned from talking with families who did have a cadet attend.

The Citadel experience is different from other colleges in many ways. The biggest difference is that the cadets learn to take control and ownership of their success and failures. For parents this means learning to let go of control and movement to an advisory role.

Specifically for parents of CSI students that means when your son or daughter learns something about they way their cadet mentors do something, that will take priority over anything you hear from other parents or cadets. While many things at The Citadel are uniform by design there are small ways the cadets will learn to put their own unique mark on their time at the school. It can be how they do their cleaning and polishing to how they organize their time and what activities they decide to take part in.

Some parents handle the transition better than others. Gone are the days of checking homework and looking at their grades each week. You will not be able to see grades until mid-terms then again at the end of the semester, if your student has shared their password with you. (That is an individual family discussion. My opinion, if you are paying the bills your student should give you access.) You’ll have to rely on your student to let you know how you are doing in their academics, and everything else for that matter once they are at The Citadel. Most likely you will not know or meet their professors for a while if at all.

Parents of CSI parents as your student tells you what they have learned, and what they prefer to do to prepare for knob year, follow their lead.


Citadel Success Institute students (Class of 2019) cross the parade field. photo by Stacy Carter

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