Rethinking PLA: The Urgency of Counting Prior Learning

As the country works toward economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are at least 10 million unemployed Americans, many of whom are looking to higher education as a pathway to their next career step. Now more than ever, adult learners are keenly aware of the return of investment they receive from…

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Building a Packet for Success

Class of 2019 grad with two children

Back to school shopping should be an exciting time for many children and parents. Yet, for families that have to decide between a pack of binders or a pack of diapers for the week, it can be an extremely stressful time. COVID-19 has changed the landscape of what back to school shopping looks like. Forget…

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Fall 2020: A Senior In The Making, A Mother Soon Breaking

woman holding awake infant frustratedly staring at laptop screen

I, like the rest of nearly four million student parents, am already juggling a million different tasks all at once. Student parents juggle ever so carefully because we have perfectly balanced everything out. However, in March, those carefully balanced tasks were all thrown out of balance and we were tasked with yet another hundred things…

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Reimagining Higher Ed for Equity and Student Parent Success

woman holding a sleeping infant working on a computer

“Was higher ed designed for minority students?”   A student asked this question during a Temple University “Sociology of Education” class I spoke to this fall about parenting college students.   My answer? “No.” The first college in the United States, Harvard University (then Harvard College), was founded in 1636, and its legacy and history are bound…

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Time to Innovate: How We Can Harness an Unprecedented Moment in Higher Education to Better Serve Student Parents

mother with daughter on lap working on computer at the kitchen table

Before the COVID-19 pandemic upturned how all of us work and learn, nearly four million student parents—more than a fifth of the entire U.S. undergraduate student population—faced near-impossible demands on their time and resources as they worked to juggle school and child care. Life before the pandemic was not working for most student parents.  To…

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Centering Student Parent Families in COVID-19 Response

Father working on a computer with daughter on his lap in the kitchen

For the nearly four million undergraduate students with dependent children—including 2.7 million mothers—earning a college degree can make a life-changing difference in their family’s lifetime economic security. According to an unpublished Institute for Women’s Policy Research analysis of the Beginning Postsecondary Student Longitudinal Study, however, just 37 percent of parenting students earn a degree or…

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The Way Forward in Higher Education

Six months ago, St. Petersburg College operated quite differently. Our ten campuses and learning sites were bustling with students hurrying from classroom to classroom while faculty prepared for vast numbers of in-person lectures and labs. COVID-19 and tragic occurrences of racial injustice have changed everything. Not only for us, but for people and institutions around…

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