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Graduation Resources for Parents

The following information contains resources for you and your student when they graduate from Pratt. For information about the Commencement ceremony and any awards/shows around that, please review the Commencement website at

Health Insurance After Graduation

Health insurance is a vital issue to consider when students are graduating and one that should be addressed as early as possible to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Pratt Students will fall into two main categories—those who remain covered under their parents’ insurance, and those who were covered under Pratt’s student insurance.

Students who have been covered under their parents’ insurance may remain on this policy until age 26, and under some circumstances, dependents may be covered until age 29 under their parents’ policy. For more information, parents should contact the workplace benefits administrator of their health plan. More information on this policy can be found at

Students who have been covered through Pratt’s student health insurer, Aetna Student Health, will be covered for approximately a month after they graduate.

Since students are not able to access on-campus Health and Counseling Services once they graduate, they will need to seek care from providers in the community. For students who have been on Aetna Student Health, a list of Aetna providers is available at Doc Find through the Aetna Student Health website, Students may contact the Health Office for further assistance finding a referral to local medical providers.

Students who need to obtain their own insurance, whether they have aged-off their parents’ policy or have not obtained insurance through work after graduation, should look at the Health Insurance Marketplace at . These benefits are made available under the Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”), and many graduates qualify for subsidized policies. It should also be noted that international students may obtain insurance through the Health Care Marketplace.

Students and parents are encouraged to call the Health Office at Pratt at 718.399.4542 or if you have further questions or concerns.

Helping Your Student After Graduation

While this is unlikely to be surprising to parents, graduating from college often leaves young adults with mixed emotions. At Pratt, we have seen a sudden increase in the utilization of counseling services leading up to graduation, and a steep rise in referrals to mental health providers in the community. Graduation is an event that students have been working toward and looking forward to with tremendous anticipation, but when it comes, students sometimes become unexpectedly disappointed and occupied with anxiety and fears. What should have been a celebratory time is now filled with worries about jobs and finances, and persistent insecurities and unreasonable expectations about their chosen career path. Additionally, many students are coping with the loss of identity as a student, mourning the end of an era in their lives, and fearing the loss of the structure of organized education.

How you help your child during this transition?

  • Be patient and offer support
  • Hold back at first from offering advice and just listen
  • Give them permission to enjoy this pause between college and work
  • Encourage them to seek counseling
  • Remind them about Pratt’s Center for Career and Professional Development

Understanding Your Student’s Professional Development

The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) provides career management education. We inspire, support, and educate students and alumni to develop their full personal and professional potential to participate in the creative economy. Career staff work with students and alumni to know their strengths, choose career paths that utilize their strengths that align with their values, and develop strategies for connection, engagement and commitment.

The CCPD augments Pratt’s state-of-the-art curriculum offerings with personal and professional development planning, career advising, industry mentoring, goal setting through mindfulness and mind mapping, professional development resources, workshops, and entrepreneurship education.


Career Advising

We offer a wide range of touchpoints for career development opportunities both online and in-person. Students and alumni can schedule one-on-one appointments with our career staff to help plan their next career move, polish their résumé, and prepare for their job search using Pratt Pro. Appointments include:

  • Cover Letter, Portfolio and Résumé development
  • CPT/OPT Advising for International Students
  • Early and Advanced Career Strategies
  • Grant Applications, including Fulbright
  • Internship Advising
  • Life Coaching
  • Interview Prep/Mock Interviews
  • Portfolio Reviews

Job Search

Pratt Pro is the go-to resource for students and alumni seeking employment, be it an internship, full or part time staff position, freelance work or volunteer positions. Employers from all industries and around the world seeking Pratt talent post thousands of opportunities each year. Our Industry Relations team performs outreach to employers around the world to help students/alumni connect with the best career opportunities. We organize studio visits and firm trips to expose students to diverse workplaces and the latest industry trends, while giving them access to receptive employers and professional networks.


The CCPD delivers over 100 events every year that present students/alumni opportunities to engage in professional development throughout their careers, giving participants direct access to people, conversations and opportunities; helping to build and perfect career skills; and discovering new ways of envisioning their career.


We publish articles and how-to guides to supplement and synthesize useful information to help students/alumni in their career development. Our weekly newsletter informs the Pratt community of relevant career and professional development events, resources, and opportunities.


Parents can also provide a wealth of encouragement, resources, and a support network to their graduating students. Here are some tips on how you can help your graduate succeed after Pratt:

Supporting resilience

First, celebrate the success of graduation!  It is a huge and wonderful accomplishment. Most likely, students will need a small mental break to relax and reflect on their education.

Every graduate will face challenges, and having the competence and ability to adjust to meet these challenges requires resilience.

  1. Help graduates remain focused on things that are in their control.  Focus on the following efforts, which will have the most impact:
    • Develop an online presence to expose their work
    • Articulate skills they have and match them to jobs and opportunities they want
    • Develop a creative/personal statement
    • Develop a portfolio
    • Create and refine a résumé
    • Network through attending industry-related recruiting events/meet-up groups related to their interests, conferences with specific speakers/panelists, and joining professional organizations’ area chapters (e.g., AIA, APA, IDSA, CAA)
  2. Talk with graduates about their values (creative and personal). Understanding their professional goals in relation to their values can help them make better decisions about what they really want to commit to, and potentially result in more satisfying professional experiences in the long run.
  3. Help your graduate envision failures and mistakes as opportunities and challenges to overcome setbacks.

Graduates’ internet presence and strategy

Encourage graduating students to create a Linkedin and a account on the Behance network. These platforms enable students to have a more strategic entry into the professional world, and incorporate tools to network and efficiently search for jobs.

Advice you can give to a Pratt graduate going through a job search

  • Other great resources include Pratt faculty, alumni, and the network of individuals that graduates have grown to trust over their Pratt experience (internship supervisors, mentors, etc.)
  • Encourage graduates to conduct interview preparation.  Prep before an interview can help graduates connect their values and creative processes to the position and to the company’s needs.
  • Creative recruiting agencies can be a great tool for those seeking positions. This is a way your graduate can source job opportunities that may not yet be posted online. Just keep in mind your recent graduate should never have to pay a fee for these services up front.

Pratt’s Center for Career and Professional Development offers lifetime support to Pratt graduates. We offer tools, techniques, and strategic support and guidance to your graduate so they can flourish and thrive in the world of work. We can be reached at or 718.636.3506, Monday–Friday, from 9 AM–5 PM EST.