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
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.

Single Mothers' Higher Ed
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.

Promising Practices
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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Child Care Access Means Parents in School Reauthorization Act

Read the Letter September 13, 2021 The Honorable Tammy Duckworth United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Re: Child Care Access Means Parents in School Reauthorization Act Dear Senator Duckworth: As organizations committed to promoting the success of college students with dependent [...]

By |September 20, 2021|

“Nevertheless, I Persisted and Graduated”: A Single Mom’s Journey

This guest blog post is authored by Zoe Erickson in collaboration with IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. Zoe graduated with her Bachelor's degree in June 2020 from Portland State University and is expected to obtain her Master of Public Policy at Portland State University by June 2022. Zoe is also a recipient of services of the Resource Center for Students with Children program at Portland State University.

By |August 24, 2021|

Leveraging Head Start for Student Parent Families

Student parents face significant challenges that can limit their ability to enter, persist in, and graduate from college. Innovative partnerships between Head Start and the higher education system is a promising strategy to bring together essential supports to meet the needs of student parents and set them up for long-term success. This briefing paper explores what this partnership might look like, and how federal and state policy could encourage greater support for student parents and their families through Head Start.

By |August 16, 2021|

“The Pandemic Was Not Going to Stop Me”: A Student Parent Reflects on Struggles, and Success, during COVID

This guest blog post is authored by Jessica Vera, a 2020 alumni of Misericordia University and participant of the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program. The article was written in collaboration with IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. This past year has drastically impacted my [...]

By |July 30, 2021|

Re-Engaging Student Parents to Achieve Attainment and Equity Goals

In recent years, the goal of 60 percent of adults holding a postsecondary degree has been set as a key benchmark for the United States to build a skilled workforce and remain economically competitive. Engaging adults with some college credit but no degree is critical to reaching this goal.

Breaking Barriers, Increasing Visibility for Students with Children

This guest blog post is authored by Ashlee Hernandez, a 2021 alumni of Cal Poly’s Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs graduate program and former student parent. The article was written in connection with IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. Every semester, I pleaded with my [...]

By |June 17, 2021|
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