Student Parents

Mother with child photo

Did you know that approximately 20% of UM graduate and professional students are parents?
CEW has long been an advocate for students with children.

Student Parent Resources We Fought For & Won!

Current Barriers We Are Working to Overcome (jump to info below


 

Between 2002 and 2007, CEW led the Committee on Student Parent Issues and its successor, the Student Parent Policy Committee. These university-wide committees worked to address several key barriers to success experienced by UM students with children. Through these committees, CEW contributed to the following outcomes:

Creating the Students with Children website, which provides resources related to the financial, social, child care, housing, academic, health care, health insurance, and parenting needs of student parents.

Developing the UM Campus Child Care Homes Network of state-licensed, home-based childcare providers. This innovative program dramatically increased the number of quality, affordable childcare openings. By caring for infants and toddlers as well as preschoolers, and being flexible about scheduling outside of traditional 7 am-6 pm hours, these providers offer services that are limited or unavailable through the University’s child care centers.

Recommending more part-time enrollment options for UM graduate and professional students who must work to support their families.

Developing an estimate of the percentage of students with children (approximately 20%) based on two surveys of all UM graduate and professional students, as well as undergraduates whose FAFSA forms indicated they had a dependent. Other information collected by the surveys included types of child care used and preferred, hours worked by the student and any spouse/partner, residential location and other factors of interest to those who serve UM student parents.

Supporting creation of a policy for paid parental leave for graduate student parents. This proposal was written by the President’s Advisory Commission on Women’s Issues and adopted by the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

Expanding the number of UM bathrooms with diaper changing tables and “personal rooms” for lactation.  University architects’ guidelines now include the need to evaluate the incorporation of “personal rooms” during the programming phase of a project, based on the needs of the building’s users.

Urging schools and colleges to develop additional financial aid resources that can be used by student parents to pay for the living expenses of their dependents. Since almost all financial aid is designed to meet only the needs of the student, student parents struggle to pay for the needs of their families. Existing childcare subsidies/grants are a partial solution, but additional need-based aid is still needed.

Creating a "best practices" memo to help deans and department chairs at UM schools and colleges improve their climate and support structures for student parents.
 
Recommending more part-time enrollment options for UM graduate and professional students who must work to support their families.
 
Developing an estimate of the percentage of students with children (approximately 20%) based on two surveys of all UM graduate and professional students, as well as undergraduates whose FAFSA forms indicated they had a dependent. Other information collected by the surveys included types of child care used and preferred, hours worked by the student and any spouse/partner, residential location and other factors of interest to those who serve UM student parents.

Current Partnerships to Support Student Parents & Other Nontraditional Students 

CEW leads the Council for Nontraditional Students (COUNTS), a coalition of units on campus who...GET LANGUAGE FROM KIRSTEN to GO HERE, including contact email to join the group and minutes if she wants those posted.

 

    

Helping Students with Children Graduate:
Taking Your College Services to the Next Level

Under the Michigan Partners Project grant, CEW created this guide to help Michigan colleges build and improve their support programs for student parents. The report outlines unique challenges faced by these students and links readers to model programs in the areas of academic & social support, child care, financial support, housing and health care. It also identifies and links to sources of state, federal and non-profit assistance.  

 
This Powerpoint Slide Presentation on Helping Students with Children Graduate was presented at an American Council of Education women's conference by two student parent graduates and a CEW staffmember. Feel free to download and personalize it so you can educate others by simply substituting the personal story(ies) of whoever gives the presentation.  Material in the presentation closely mirrors information in the "Helping Students with Children Graduate" guide book. 
 
 
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