Student Parent Success Initiative2020-08-16T17:49:34-04:00

Student Parent Success Initiative

Meeting the demands of an evolving economy requires a skilled workforce that is adequately prepared to fill in-demand jobs. Earning a postsecondary credential is, therefore, more important than ever for families to achieve economic security and mobility. For the roughly four million college students who are parents of children under 18—70 percent of whom are mothers—earning a degree or certificate is a pathway to a better life for themselves and their families. These student parents, however, are often overlooked on college campuses and in the broader system of higher education, and lack access to the supports, such as affordable, high-quality child care, that they need to successfully graduate.

IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative conducts research and policy analysis, provides technical expertise and assistance, and communicates its research and builds partnerships to lift up the voices of students with children and increase equity in higher education for student parents and other underserved student populations.

Prioritizing Student Parents in COVID-19 Response and Relief

This briefing paper outlines how state and federal
policymakers can center the immediate and longerterm needs of student parents in policy responses to the pandemic, so that they are able to safeguard their families’ economic well-being and continue along their pathway to college attainment.

Investing in Single Mothers’ Higher Education by State

Greater investments in helping single mothers graduate college would benefit their families, their communities, and society as a whole.

Parents in College By the Numbers

Investments in the postsecondary success of parents with young children can increase attainment of credentials leading to good jobs, bring children the benefits of high-quality learning environments, promote later college-going among children, and improve family economic security across generations.

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The Student Parent Equity Imperative: Guidance for the Biden-Harris Administration

Download Report As the Biden-Harris administration seeks to hasten the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, reforming the U.S. higher education system to ensure equitable access and attainment for all adults is more important than ever. The pandemic has disproportionately increased the [...]

By |April 13, 2021|

CHILD CARE ACCESS FOR STUDENT PARENTS IN OREGON: Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Educational and Economic Success

Access to affordable, safe, and reliable child care is essential to the ability of college students with children to pursue higher education. In Oregon, systemic challenges within the state’s child care and early learning system can make it difficult for student parents to find and pay for the care they need. This report describes findings from a study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research to describe the landscape of child care..

Busy with Purpose: Lessons for Education and Policy Leaders from Returning Student Parents

Postsecondary attainment is widely recognized as key to accessing living-wage careers—in addition to fulfilling workforce demands and elevating the United States’ standing on the world stage. While much of the work to increase attainment rates has recognized the role of reengaging adults who have some college credit, but no degree or certificate, less attention has been paid to the salience of parenthood in adults’ postsecondary experiences.

By |March 16, 2021|

Centering the Student Voice: Community Colleges and Sexual and Reproductive Health Access in Texas and Mississippi

Community college students’ lives outside of the classroom—including their sexual and reproductive health— can directly impact their ability to succeed in school, yet most community colleges do not provide sexual and reproductive health services (Bernstein and Reichlin Cruse 2020). Growing efforts to implement holistic approaches to student success also often ignore the role that sexual and reproductive health outcomes can play students’ academic careers.

By |January 12, 2021|

Understanding the Student Parent Experience: The Need for Improved Data Collection on Parent Status in Higher Education

Data on students’ parent status would help campuses, higher education systems, and policymakers assess needs, target supports and services, understand student outcomes, and measure what works to promote student parent enrollment, persistence, and completion.

By |October 6, 2020|

Head Start College Partnership to Promote Student Parent Family Success: A Roadmap for Collaboration

Collaboration between colleges and Head Start programs holds promise for promoting the educational and economic well-being of college students with young children.

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