David Croom

Associate Director, Postsecondary Success for Parents

David Croom is associate director for postsecondary success for parents with Ascend at the Aspen Institute, where he leads the Aspen Postsecondary Success for Parents (PSP) Initiative. Centered on a two-generation (2Gen) approach, which focuses on creating opportunities to address the needs of children and the adults in their lives simultaneously, the PSP Initiative urges postsecondary leaders to identify and meet the needs of student parents and their families, by connecting with policymakers to strengthen political will among states and regions, and bringing innovative family-support models to the forefront.

Prior to joining Ascend, David was HBCU Lead and Higher Education Designer at Education Design Lab where he led an institutional engagement with UNCF’s Career Pathways Initiative. For over four years, David was a strategy officer in Lumina Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office where he focused on the Foundation’s work to advance federal policy and pursue issues pertaining to postsecondary finance, both toward the goal of increased attainment of high-quality credentials. Before Lumina, he was a policy analyst focused on federal postsecondary education in ACT’s office of strategic initiatives and, during graduate school, spent a year working at nonprofit PolicyLink with their California Boys and Men of Color Initiative work as well as consulting the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and nonprofit California Competes. His first foray into federal policy was as congressional aide to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, tasked with the member’s education portfolio with a specific emphasis on regulation of for-profit higher education.

David currently serves on the board of Raise the Barr and Swipe Out Hunger. Native to South Florida but now a resident of Washington, DC, David holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with a minor in political science.

Stories featuring David Croom

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.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsApril 26, 2022
So our Ascend team was thrilled to host a virtual book talk with Nicole Lynn Lewis, author of Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Motherhood, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsMarch 10, 2022
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 …

4 Tips for Parents and Caregivers Who Want to Go to College Read More »

Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsFebruary 21, 2022
1 in 5 Student Parent Podcast
The 1 in 5 podcast vividly profiles students who are parents pursuing their education while raising a family and working. Today, more than one in five college students (22%) are parents. The experiences of students who are parents should not be unfamiliar or unheard, especially on college campuses. They’re in classrooms and clubs, working jobs and managing finances just like their peers.
BlogFebruary 9, 2021
Contact: Alexis Williams Ascend at the Aspen Institute alexis.williams@aspeninstitute.org  Ascend at the Aspen Institute and Lantigua Williams & Co. Debut a 15-episode Series on Student Parents Pursuing Postsecondary Credentials   Undergraduate student parents and supporters share the challenges, triumphs, and unique needs of the more than one in five college students who are parents,   Washington, DC (February 9, 2021) – Today, Ascend at the Aspen Institute launched 1 in 5, a captivating podcast that …

ANNOUNCING: “1 in 5,” Ascend’s New Student Parent Podcast Produced by Lantigua Williams & Co. Read More »

Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsFebruary 9, 2021
Contact: Alexis Williams Ascend at the Aspen Institute alexis.williams@aspeninstitute.org   Ascend at the Aspen Institute and The Jed Foundation Announce Partnership To Develop a Mental Health Framework Focused on Students who are Parents Based on results from a literature review released today, leaders will develop evidence-based resources and expert-informed recommendations to address the mental health …

Announcing: Ascend and JED’s Mental Health Partnership for Student Parents Read More »

BlogDecember 3, 2020
Contact: Alexis Williams Ascend at the Aspen Institute Alexis.Williams@aspeninstitute.org   Aspen Institute Announces First-Ever Parent Powered Solutions Fund Awardees  Parent Leaders Select Six Organizations Championing College Success for  Undergraduate Students Raising Children  Washington, DC – Today, Ascend at the Aspen Institute announced the recipients of the Aspen Parent Powered Solutions Fund – the first student parent-led fund dedicated to advancing the work of organizations and initiatives that support …

Aspen Institute Announces First-Ever Parent Powered Solutions Fund Grantees Read More »

Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsOctober 22, 2020
Investing in the postsecondary success of students who are parents is one of the most effective strategies for accelerating their economic and social mobility, addressing longstanding inequalities, and building state and local economies. Public sector agencies and their partners can build supportive pathways for student parents toward meaningful degrees and credentials that lead to careers with better pay and benefits.   …

RFP Submission Guidelines for the Aspen Policy Acceleration Partnership Grants  Read More »

BlogSeptember 16, 2020
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 Circle for Parents. The 2020 – …

Introducing the 2020-2021 Ascend PSP National Advisors Read More »

BlogAugust 19, 2020
Supporting student parent mental health is an integral component of increasing postsecondary completion. Ascend and the Jed Foundation (JED) are partnering to advance the academic persistence and completion of students who are parents by addressing mental health. This partnership will develop a comprehensive mental health framework for postsecondary institutions to improve their mental health supports …

Virtual Strategy Session: Securing Mental Health for Parents Read More »

BlogAugust 17, 2020
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 …

NEW BRIEFS: Strategies and Innovations that Support Student Parents Read More »

BlogJuly 13, 2020
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 …

RFP Submission Guidelines for the Aspen Parent Powered Solutions Fund Read More »

BlogJuly 13, 2020
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 …

Introducing the 2020-2021 Ascend PSP Parent Advisors Read More »

Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsJuly 13, 2020
Aspen Autumn
Dear Ascend Community: Ascend is committed to the work of anti-racism. Seeing and experiencing week after week what Black people and families go through, and the threat of violence they are subjected to on a daily basis, is completely unacceptable and must end. We stand against this ongoing oppression and the white supremacy that breeds …

Statement and Call to Action: Condemn Police Violence and Structural Racism Read More »

BlogJune 3, 2020
As the hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security, Ascend is intensifying its efforts in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic to highlight 2Gen solutions that Ascend Fellows and the Ascend Network have developed over the past decade to help families reach their potential. Ascend is examining how new solutions, …

WEBINAR: Supporting Student Parent Families in a Time of Crisis Read More »

BlogMay 13, 2020

Convenings Featuring David Croom

Date: November 16, 2020
Postsecondary education and employment pathways are core components of the two-generation (2Gen) approach. This commitment to educational success and economic security is of the utmost importance to single mothers pursuing a postsecondary degree or...
ConveningNovember 16, 2020
Date: February 23, 2022
Location: Virtual (Zoom)
Ascend at the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Forum on Women and Girls are hosting a virtual book talk Wednesday, February 23, 2022 from 4-5PM ET with Nicole Lynn Lewis, founder and CEO of Generation Hope about her critically-acclaimed book Pregnant...
ConveningFebruary 23, 2022