More than one in five undergraduates in the United States today are parents, and more than half of them are single mothers. This is largely an invisible group that falls through the cracks of our higher education system. But in order to give everyone who wants a college degree the chance to obtain one -- furthering gender equality and social justice -- resources must be made available to help parenting students succeed.
At WCW, Research Scientist Autumn Green worked to ensure parenting students receive the support they need. Green created the Campus Family Housing Database, a comprehensive list of colleges and universities in the United States offering students the opportunity to live in college-affiliated housing with children. She also created a series of guides for parenting students that provide information on childcare, scholarships, and other resources. Prior to joining WCW, and with past funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, the U.S. Department of Education, the Russell Sage Foundation, and others, Dr. Green worked for nearly twenty years toward advancing an ultimate goal to push our system of higher education to acknowledge that parenting students are a growing segment of the population and that they deserve the same access as any other college student.
When data is presented in a compelling way, it can reveal a bigger picture of which we were previously unaware. When it comes to parenting students and their unique challenges, data is power, and it has the potential to spark action and propel social change.
These are some of the projects that advanced our higher education access for parenting students research initiative:
- Data-to-Action Campaign for Pregnant and Parenting Student Success
- The Two-Generation Classroom
- Find Your Way: Resource Guide for Prospective College Students with Kids
- Consulting and Technical Assistance Services to Support College Access, Inclusion, and Success for Parenting Students