Aspen Postsecondary Success for Parents Initiative

Making Student Parents the Norm Requires Facing Systemic Racism


When I was attending the College of William & Mary as a teen mother, I was an anomaly. Not only because I was one of a very small group of Black students at the institution but also because I was raising my young daughter while putting myself through school. I saw more people who looked…

Weathering the Storm with Student Parents: Confronting Racism and COVID-19 in Minnesota


In the 20 years I have been with the University of Minnesota’s Student Parent HELP Center (SPHC), I have never experienced anything like the parallel traumas of a pandemic and the George Floyd murder. Being in Minneapolis, which has been at the epicenter of the national mourning of George Floyd and resulting social strife, has…

Keeping Families Safe in Times of Crisis: LIFT’s Response to COVID-19


At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, we asked our families how they were doing and what they needed. Feedback loops are ingrained into our program model through a process we call “Constituent Voice,” where parents provide timely feedback to help us continuously evolve our model. They told us that, on average, they…

NEW BRIEFS: Strategies and Innovations that Support Student Parents


Parents are a sizable but often overlooked student population in postsecondary systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed new demands on all parents with young children and shed new light on the multiple barriers that student parents face. The Aspen Postsecondary Success for Parents Initiative engaged a diverse group of leaders including parents, researchers, workforce development experts, college presidents, philanthropists, and…

RFP Submission Guidelines for the Aspen Parent Powered Solutions Fund


Engaging the ideas, perspectives, and expertise of students who are parents is critical to co-creating authentic solutions at the local, state, and national levels. When brainstorming ways to advance postsecondary completion for student parents, Ascend at the Aspen Institute turned to a special cohort of experts for insight into the unique needs of this population.   The Aspen…

Introducing the 2020-2021 Ascend PSP Parent Advisors


The Aspen Postsecondary Success for Parents (PSP) Initiative is a partnership with Imaginable Futures and the ECMC Foundation to raise awareness about and share recommendations to better support students who are parents. The PSP Initiative is informed by three groups of experts from across the United States: Parent Advisors, National Advisors, and the Postsecondary Leadership…