Single Moms Success

How might community colleges dramatically improve completion rates for single mothers by intentionally addressing the unique needs of this population?


Each year 2.1 million single mothers enroll in postsecondary education, representing over 11% of the entire postsecondary population, according to research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Despite their significant presence in the postsecondary sector, single mothers are rarely the focus of campus programming and little is known about the best ways to move the needle for these learners. 

The Single Moms Success Design Challenge is a two-year, student-centered design and prototype process led by the Education Design Lab. Through this challenge, four regionally accredited, public community colleges from across the country will design, launch and test scalable interventions aimed at dramatically improving attainment rates for single mothers who seek to obtain a degree or high-quality credential from a community college. The challenge goal is to improve attainment rates of degrees or high-quality credentials for single mother learners by 30% at each institution by 2024. The cohort will improve education outcomes for a total of 6,000 – 8,000 single mother learners.

Primary Audience

Single mother learners

Project Length

March 1, 2019 - December 1, 2024

Numbers of Learners Impacted

At scale, expected 6,000-8,000


Central New Mexico Community College (New Mexico)Delgado Community College (Louisiana)Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana)Monroe Community College (New York)