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Student Parent Success Initiative

Project Description

SPSI logo

SPSI 1Most college students are now “nontraditional” and 27 percent of community college students have children. To make dramatic increases in the number of students with postsecondary credentials, which the president has identified as a crucial step in strengthening the U.S. economy, we must make supports such as child care available to student parents. Recent IWPR research shows that community colleges have only 1 child care slot for every ten students who need services.

IWPR’s recently launched project, the Student Parent Success Initiative, focused on supporting students with dependent children who are pursuing college education. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project gives IWPR the opportunity to initiate new research and foster communication and collaboration among advocates, policymakers, and practitioners invested in the success of student parents in postsecondary education.

The project’s primary goals are to:

  • Raise awareness and educate institutional leaders and policy makers on the need for and importance of student parent supports to achieve the goal of increasing postsecondary participation and graduation rates within the United States;
  • Improve public policies and resources that encourage and provide support for low-income parents to achieve postsecondary credentials; and,
  • Increase knowledge-sharing about how to replicate and expand successful support programs that assist low-income parents to achieve postsecondary credentials.

IWPR’s role is to serve as a nexus for information by:

  • Networking and informing policy makers and advocates by organizing convenings facilitating online networking, and engaging policymakers and thought leaders to inform public policies;
  • Conducting and commissioning research on resources and supports that help student parents succeed in postsecondary education; and,
  • Informing practice and inspiring investment by creating toolkits, trainings, and other materials for wide distribution.

Appearances and Events

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One of the goals of the Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI) is to raise awareness and educate institutional leaders and policy makers on the importance of student parent supports to achieve increasing postsecondary participation and graduation rates within the United States.  In addition to SPSI publications, the project participates in appearances and events to further disseminate information.  Please see below for a list of appearances and events. Select an event to view associated materials or presentations.

Appearances & Events

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Monthly Newsletter

SPSI logo

The Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI), a project of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, is designed to improve supports and services for student parents seeking postsecondary education. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, SPSI serves to initiate new research, raise awareness on the need for student parent supports, and foster communication and collaboration among advocates, policymakers, educators, and practitioners. Please check back often for new installments of the Student Parent Success Initiative's monthly Newsletter.

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Increasing Opportunities for Low-Income Women and Student Parents in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at Community Colleges

About this Report

This report analyzes trends in women’s representation in Science, Technology Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields of study at community colleges, as well as promising institutional and broader policy initiatives for improving recruitment, retention, and completion rates for women students in general and student parents in particular. This report is a product of IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative, a multifaceted project designed to share knowledge, raise awareness, and improve public policies to support positive outcomes for low-income student parents seeking higher education.

About the Author

Cynthia Costello, Ph.D., is a consultant and the author of IWPR’s report, Opportunities for Low-Income Women and Student Parents in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at Community Colleges. Dr. Costello has held senior leadership positions at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the Radcliffe Public Policy Institute/Harvard University, the Women’s Research and Education Institute, and Families USA. Her publications include a five-volume series, The American Woman, and a number of reports on women’s issues, economic security, education, employment, health care, and aging issues.

Podcast

A number of public policy efforts are focused on increasing the number of U.S. adults with postsecondary credentials, and especially degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Efforts to improve economic outcomes through STEM degree attainment, however, are likely to be much more successful if they address and work to ameliorate longstanding segregation by sex and race in STEM education.

Some of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. economy are in STEM fields with total employment predicted to increase at a considerably faster rate than the labor market as a whole. While overall employment is projected to increase by 10 percent between 2008 and 2018, some STEM sub-specialties are expected to expand by 20 or 30 percent.

This podcast features Cynthia B. Costello, Ph.D., sharing findings from a new IWPR report on the declining number of women entering the vital and fast growing fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Download
Duration: 06:48
File Size: 6.2 MB

 

Media Resources

Press Release

Media Contacts

Report Release Event

 

Report

Increasing Opportunities for Low-Income Women and Student Parents in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at Community Colleges (pdf)

Press Clips

CNN- Fewer Women Enrolling in STEM Classes at Community Colleges (March 22, 2012)

Chronicle of Higher Education-Community Colleges Should Urge Women to Pursue Science and Math Careers, Report Says (March 20, 2012)

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Podcast-Women in STEM Careers

Cynthia B. Costello, Ph.D.

IWPR podcast - Women in STEM careers - FINAL MIX.mp3 — MP3 audio, 7097 kB (7268283 bytes)

For Media Inquiries-STEM report

For media inquiries.pdf — PDF document, 54 kB (55511 bytes)

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