We've Just Launched an Accelerator Fund for Community Colleges See Announcement
projects

Single Moms Success

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

Overview

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

Institutions

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

Our Partners

Delgado Community College

Delgado Community College is Louisiana’s oldest and largest community college. Across its six sites in the New Orleans region, it serves 14,000 students in credit-bearing programs and thousands more in its innovative workforce and professional development programs. Delgado’s Single Moms Success pilot will focus on holistic support and industry-aligned learn-and-earn opportunities for single mother learners to make progress simultaneously in their education, careers, and financial support of their families.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College serves nearly 200,000 students annually across its more than 40 locations throughout Indiana, making it one of the largest community college systems in the country. Ivy Tech’s Single Moms Success pilot will aim to build a single moms cohort that includes dedicated wrap-around support services, workforce-aligned programming, and access to community partners. 

Monroe Community College

Located in Rochester, NY, Monroe Community College is part of the State University of New York System and serves 15,000 students across its urban and suburban campuses. Monroe has become recognized as a leader across higher ed in its data gathering about its single mother and parent learner populations. Monroe’s Single Moms Success pilot will incorporate holistic support services, flexible academic programs, and family-friendly campus culture initiatives.

Central New Mexico Community College

Central New Mexico Community College is the largest community college in New Mexico, serving over 22,000 students across nine locations in the Albuquerque region. A pioneer in workforce innovation and in 2Gen approaches, the school works closely with industry partners to develop flexible programs that prepare learners for fulfilling careers. CNM’s Single Moms Success pilot will offer dedicated wraparound support, comprehensive academic and career advising, and scholarships for single mother learners.

Community Colleges to Watch

Momentum is building across campuses nationwide to design learning experiences and systems that better support single mother learners and other parent learners. The institutions listed below presented strong applications to participate in the Lab’s design challenge. We look forward to following their progress as they continue to champion solutions for single mother learners in their communities.

Littleton, CO
arapahoe.edu

Austin, TX
austincc.edu

New York, NY
bmcc.cuny.edu

Bossier City, LA
bpcc.edu


Galesburg, IL
sandburg.edu

Sanford, NC
cccc.edu

Centralia, WA
centralia.edu

Colombus, OH
cscc.edu

Cleveland, OH
tri-c.edu

Bangor, ME
emcc.edu

Frederick, MD
frederick.edu

Aberdeen, WA
ghc.edu

Chester, VA
jtcc.edu

Kankakee, IL
kcc.edu

Omaha, NE
mccneb.edu

Phoenix, AZ
phoenixcollege.edu

San Antonio, TX
alamo.edu/sac

San Diego, CA
sdcity.edu

Dayton, OH
sinclair.edu

Memphis, TN
southwest.tn.edu

Washington, DC
udc.edu/cc

Organizations

The Lab is proud to partner with the following organizations to develop and advance new education-to-career models in support of single mother learners. We thank them for their thought partnership and contributions to the field.

Press

Support Single Mothers in College to Make Education More Equitable for All

May 3, 2019
Stanford Social Innovation Review

Read the Article

A Hand Up for Single Mothers

June 3, 2019
Community College Daily

Read the Full Article

Reimagining Single Moms Success: A Window into the Design Challenge

The Single Moms Success Design Challenge aims to help community colleges address the obstacles faced by single mother learners in the pursuit of degree and credential attainment by pursuing the question: How might community colleges dramatically improve completion rates for single mothers by intentionally addressing the unique needs of this population? See how the Lab engaged four leading community colleges in a design experience to reimagine single moms success at our National Convening in June 2019.

Twitter Hashtag: #SingleMomsSuccess

Project Email: singlemomssuccess@eddesignlab.org

Join our Innovator Network + never miss and update on our Single Moms Success work.