Barbara Gault Ph.D.

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About Barbara Gault

Barbara Gault, Ph.D., is the former Executive Vice President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Her work covers a wide range of issues, including college access and affordability, job quality, paid leave, poverty, political engagement, and the need for better early care and education options for working parents. She founded and lead IWPRs Student Parent Success Initiative, and has authored dozens of reports and publications, including Improving Child Care Access to Promote Postsecondary Success Among Low-Income Parents, Resilient and Reaching for More: Challenges and Benefits of Higher Education for Welfare Participants and Their Children, " and Working First But Working Poor: The Need for Education and Training Following Welfare Reform. She has testified in Congress on low-income women’s educational access, has spoken and delivered keynote presentations in venues throughout the country, and appears in a range of print, radio and television media outlets. Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Gault conducted research at the Office of Children’s Health Policy Research, and served as a staff and board member of organizations promoting human rights in Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs, and is a Scholar in Residence at American University.

Investing in Single Mothers’ Higher Education: Costs and Benefits to Individuals, Families, and Society

Postsecondary education is a reliable pathway to economic security and is increasingly important to securing family-sustaining employment. For single mother families, who make up a growing share of U.S. families, and who are especially likely to live in poverty, college attainment is a game changer for improving family well-being and meeting the demands of a changing economy.

Time Demands of Single Mother College Students and the Role of Child Care in their Postsecondary Success

Single mothers enrolled in postsecondary education face substantial time demands that make persistence and graduation difficult. Just 28 percent of single mothers graduate with a degree or certificate within 6 years of enrollment and another 55 percent leave school before earning a college credential.

By |2020-10-28T19:16:24-04:00May 10, 2018|IWPR|Comments Off on Time Demands of Single Mother College Students and the Role of Child Care in their Postsecondary Success

Understanding the New College Majority: The Demographic and Financial Characteristics of Independent Students and their Postsecondary Outcomes

Independent college students’ life circumstances, and in turn their college experiences, are often dramatically different than those of dependent students. Viewing higher education policies and programs through the lens of independent students, with their often-complex schedules and financial and family responsibilities, is important to increasing college access and success, since so many students are financially independent.

By |2020-10-17T18:26:38-04:00February 20, 2018|IWPR|Comments Off on Understanding the New College Majority: The Demographic and Financial Characteristics of Independent Students and their Postsecondary Outcomes

Child Care Assistance for College Students with Children: An Opportunity for Change in Washington State

Publicly funded child care assistance helps many low-income parents afford child care while earning a postsecondary credential that can lead to long-lasting economic security.

By |2020-10-29T13:04:32-04:00October 26, 2017|IWPR|Comments Off on Child Care Assistance for College Students with Children: An Opportunity for Change in Washington State

Single Mothers in College: Growing Enrollment, Financial Challenges, and the Benefits of Attainment

DOWNLOAD REPORT Single student mothers are growing in [...]

Single Mothers Overrepresented at For-Profit Colleges

Analysis of the 2011-12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study data by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that three in ten single mothers in college attend private, for-profit schools, a larger share than students of any other family type (

By |2020-10-30T17:14:47-04:00September 6, 2017|IWPR|Comments Off on Single Mothers Overrepresented at For-Profit Colleges

The Family-Friendly Campus Imperative: Supporting Success Among Community College Students with Children

This paper presents a portrait of the community college student parent population, their unique needs, and discusses the role that child care plays in their educational success.

By |2020-10-30T16:21:19-04:00March 20, 2017|IWPR|Comments Off on The Family-Friendly Campus Imperative: Supporting Success Among Community College Students with Children

Supports that Matter in Workforce Development Programs: A National Client Survey on Access to Services

This report presents findings from a national, online survey of more than 1,800 participants in job training programs. It captures their perspectives on the role of supportive services such as child care and transportation assistance in facilitating their success in job training, the availability of supportive services across different types of training programs, the unmet support needs of program participants, and the significance of job training for their lives.

Supportive Services in Workforce Development Programs: Administrator Perspectives on Availability and Unmet Needs

Workforce development programs offer much-needed skills training to un- and under-employed Americans. Many such individuals also face personal challenges that prevent them from completing their training.

By |2020-11-13T03:47:31-04:00December 13, 2016|IWPR|Comments Off on Supportive Services in Workforce Development Programs: Administrator Perspectives on Availability and Unmet Needs
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