Project Title

HOW TO SUPPORT STUDENTS WHO PARENT THROUGH EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE/RESEARCH

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Allison Garefino

Additional Faculty

Dr, Darlene Rodriguez-Shaefer, Social Work and Human Services, drodri30@kennesaw.edu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Does providing supports for students who are parents (student-parents) help them finish their degree in a shorter time frame, while improving their overall academic experience, helping them to overcome barriers that are not usually faced by traditional students?

Student-parents have few supports from family. Most are parents before enrolling, more than half are first-generation college students, and almost one-third take 15 breaks from college. Almost 90% use public assistance, and the number and types of assistance increase upon enrollment. A study conducted at KSU in 2018, revealed 67% were married and 47% did not work, 33% worked part-time and 20% worked full-time. Many low-income parents may have some college but were unable to secure even a two-year degree.

The Student-Parent Ambassador Program is a top-down/bottom-up approach impacting both ends of the community building pipeline. Consisting of a boot camp and support group, it provides evidence-based interventions tailored to student-parent's needs, connecting them with resources available at the university and successful student-parent ambassadors. The program utilizes a network of student-parent ambassadors collaborating with the Diversity Scholar, the WellStar Department of Social Work and Human Services Graduate Research Assistant and the Children & Family Programs to conduct a bootcamp orientation and subsequent drop-in activities. We collect demographic and other data of student-parents and conduct informal focus groups to ascertain student-parent needs. We expect to cultivate high-level student-parent champions who sustain the program by perpetuating systems of support and social capital. These champions will ultimately transform KSU into a family-friendly campus.

Keywords: student-parents, family-friendly-campus, evidence-based program, needs-based, sustainability

Project Type

Event

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HOW TO SUPPORT STUDENTS WHO PARENT THROUGH EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE/RESEARCH

Does providing supports for students who are parents (student-parents) help them finish their degree in a shorter time frame, while improving their overall academic experience, helping them to overcome barriers that are not usually faced by traditional students?

Student-parents have few supports from family. Most are parents before enrolling, more than half are first-generation college students, and almost one-third take 15 breaks from college. Almost 90% use public assistance, and the number and types of assistance increase upon enrollment. A study conducted at KSU in 2018, revealed 67% were married and 47% did not work, 33% worked part-time and 20% worked full-time. Many low-income parents may have some college but were unable to secure even a two-year degree.

The Student-Parent Ambassador Program is a top-down/bottom-up approach impacting both ends of the community building pipeline. Consisting of a boot camp and support group, it provides evidence-based interventions tailored to student-parent's needs, connecting them with resources available at the university and successful student-parent ambassadors. The program utilizes a network of student-parent ambassadors collaborating with the Diversity Scholar, the WellStar Department of Social Work and Human Services Graduate Research Assistant and the Children & Family Programs to conduct a bootcamp orientation and subsequent drop-in activities. We collect demographic and other data of student-parents and conduct informal focus groups to ascertain student-parent needs. We expect to cultivate high-level student-parent champions who sustain the program by perpetuating systems of support and social capital. These champions will ultimately transform KSU into a family-friendly campus.

Keywords: student-parents, family-friendly-campus, evidence-based program, needs-based, sustainability