Research Report Roadmap for Change to Support Pregnant and Parenting Students
Putting Student-Parent Families at the Center of Recommendations for Practice, Policy, Research, and Investment (Version 1.0)
Theresa Anderson, Autumn R. Green
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More than 5.4 million college students in the United States have children, representing nearly a quarter of undergraduate students and nearly a third of graduate students. For these students, pursuing their education goals often requires interacting with many different policy systems and supports. We have mapped 11 large policy systems that student parents concurrently navigate, including social safety net programs, early childhood education and care, and the public school system. In contrast, students who are not parenting and otherwise fit a “traditional” college profile primarily interact with one policy system, which we have termed “college access and success policies” and includes policies and practices that help students enter and persist in college.

Each of these large system areas contains numerous programs, many of which we have described in detail in a framework and fact sheet series on the Student-Parent Families at the Center webpage. And few, if any, of these systems or programs are designed with parenting students in mind. The complexity of the framework emphasizes the importance of coordinating policy and practice, which allows student parents sufficient bandwidth and support to achieve their education and life goals.

In collaboration with a cross-sectoral Leadership Council, we developed a roadmap of opportunities to improve practice, policy, research, and investment. We believe this expansive roadmap can provide a vision for stakeholders interested in supporting parents pursuing postsecondary pathways and their families.

Research Areas Education Families Social safety net Workforce Economic mobility and inequality Children and youth
Tags Assistance for women and children Beyond high school: education and training Child care Child care and early childhood education Child care and workers Community colleges Economic well-being Families with low incomes Federal tax issues and reform proposals Financial stability Food insecurity and hunger Higher education Housing vouchers and mobility Hunger and food assistance Inequality and mobility Inequities in educational achievement Infrastructure Job markets and labor force Kids in context K-12 education Labor force Mobility Parenting Paying for college Postsecondary education and training Poverty Race, gender, class, and ethnicity Racial equity in education Racial barriers to accessing the safety net Schooling Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Taxes and social policy Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Welfare and safety net programs Women and girls Work-family balance Work supports Workforce development Youth employment and training Father involvement Student parents Building America’s Workforce Building America’s Workforce
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center