Community colleges, which can lead students to job opportunities and well-paying careers, are one of the main entry points to higher education for student-parents. This study from the Community College Review examines student-parents’ college and career trajectories, as well as the challenges they may face in reaching their goals.

The study asks three questions:

  1. How do student parents of color navigate community college?
  2. How do student parents of color make educational and career decisions?
  3. What, if any, institutional resources do student parents of color utilize to learn about career planning and workforce transition resources at their campus?
The study’s findings, which highlight student parents’ difficulty maneuvering life as a college student and parent and the importance of students’ familial and institutional support networks as they seek college and career information, may encourage community colleges to (re)consider their current practices relating to the student parent population. This includes identifying and tracking student parents, implementing guided pathways with their unique needs in mind, communicating services offered to student parents, and creating a more welcoming environment for students and their families.

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