Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Women Employed and Kellogg Foundation Partner to Help Single Mothers Succeed in College

New brief outlines policy changes that will help more moms graduate

CHICAGO —Research shows that a college degree is one of the most successful routes out of poverty and into the middle class. But for low-income adult women already juggling work and family responsibilities, the time and financial commitments needed to attain a college degree can seem an insurmountable burden. A new brief from Women Employed, in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation, lays out clear policy changes that can help make college a more realistic goal for these women.

Single Mothers and College Success: Creating Paths out of Poverty highlights six key barriers that keep many single adult mothers from succeeding in college, including lack of financial aid, childcare, and other school and community support services that can help vulnerable students to stay in school. For each barrier, the brief then offers specific, realistic policy changes at both the state and federal level that would help more students to earn their degree.

“One of Women Employed’s primary goals is to help more low-wage, working women gain the education they need to advance to good jobs that can provide for their families,” says Meegan Dugan Bassett, Senior Policy Associate at Women Employed. “We were excited to collaborate with the Kellogg Foundation to highlight some of the problems that single mothers face when seeking a higher education, and promote solutions that will help them overcome those challenges.”

Women Employed is working with the Kellogg Foundation to distribute the brief to state and federal policymakers, as well as to community colleges both in Illinois and around the country. To access the brief, visit womenemployed.org/publications.

About the Clear Connections Project
Launched in 2007, Women Employed’s Clear Connections Project (CCP) focuses on increasing access to and quality of student supports to enable more low-income working students to complete college certificates and degrees. CCP works with community colleges, foundations, and policymakers to spotlight promising practices and promote policy reforms.

About Women Employed
Women Employed is a 38-year-old non-profit organization that promotes fair workplace practices, helps increase access to training and education, and provides women with innovative tools and information to move into careers paying family-supporting wages. For more information, visit www.womenemployed.org, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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