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 policymakers to develop a series of publications: Strategies and Innovations that Support Student Parents.
The seven briefs identify the barriers that make it difficult for parents to complete their studies to the best of their abilities and highlight solutions that guide parents to achieve their postsecondary goals. They are meant to spark innovation of current policies and programs. Postsecondary leaders who understand their students’ diverse roles and needs, and the systemic gaps, are positioned to pursue additional strategies that support their institutional as well as national achievement goals.
The Strategies and Innovations briefs focus on the following topics:
1. Confirm Parenting Status and Assess Barriers to Completion
We have an abundance of talent that is ready to reimagine early childhood and well-being in America for our youngest children and families, but we do not have an abundance of leadership experiences that nurture, propel, and position them as the dynamic leaders our country urgently needs. Leadership that reflects the full diversity and genius …
In episode 101 of the Office Hours with EAB podcast, David Croom shares compelling success stories and recommendations on creative ways for institutions to partner with local businesses and community leaders to offer more support and wraparound services to help student-parents succeed.
David Croom and our Postsecondary Success for Parents partners were featured in NPR discussing the opportunities for colleges and universities to make higher ed more accessible for parenting students. “Parents experience this concept called time poverty,” says David Croom, the assistant director for postsecondary achievement and innovation at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. “They have about …
Student parents are a key population - one that represents over 20 percent of the postsecondary student population and the state of California. How can the state’s systems prepare for this key population?
It took me many years as a professional in the world of higher education before I had a personal epiphany: for me and my family, our academic success as student parents was not only a two-generation (2Gen) strategy that uplifted me and my children, it was a four-generation strategy that set up our family’s success for generations to come.
As we reimagine public systems and services to work better for families, we have an opportunity to do so in a way that honors the full diversity of family structures, as families themselves define them, and builds upon families’ inherent resilience. This requires an intentional and explicit commitment to applying a gender lens inclusive of …
A new report released today by Ascend at the Aspen Institute (Ascend) takes stock of the two-generation (2Gen) field. It analyzes what has been accomplished, the lessons learned, and the opportunities ahead with unprecedented federal expenditures in social policy. The report comes at a time when Americans are more fully recognizing that a system that tolerates social, racial, gender, and economic inequities is on unstable ground — and we are reckoning anew with the history of racism, sexism, and economic exploitation that built them into the foundation of our nation.
Ascend at the Aspen Institute and The Jed Foundation Release a New Mental Health Framework with Recommendations for Supporting the Mental Health of Students Who Are Parents Washington, DC – A new study released today by Ascend at the Aspen Institute (Ascend) and The Jed Foundation (JED) finds that more than two in five (43 percent) …
After Yoslin had her first son, she knew she had to go to college and earn her degree to break her family’s cycle of poverty. During that time, she applied to become a Generation Hope scholar and has been part of their program for four years.
Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Lesley Del Rio and her son Leo enjoy all the great activities that the state offers. She graduated from Florence Crittenton High School in 2013 and is working toward her B.A. degree in business administration through an online platform called AdvanceEDU and Southern New Hampshire University.