A 2014 study (PDF) by the Institute for Women's Policy Research showed that almost five million undergraduate students—26 percent of all students—are raising children. This, Women Employed senior policy associate Sarah Labadie says, makes a recent budget proposal which would end the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program especially harmful for adult learners.
As the number of adults in college or university continues to increase, the number of students who have children is likely to rise as well. Meanwhile, programs for adult students like child care services are being scaled back or outright eliminated at the institutional level, hurting adult students’ opportunities to succeed. With child care often priced outside the range that low-income students could afford, those who stand to benefit the most from the additional opportunities a degree or credential could provide must choose between parental responsibilities and academic demands.
Labadie shares a sentiment that is increasingly shared beyond party lines: higher education is no longer a “nice to have,” but rather is essential to earn the kind of career that can improve living standards. That recognition should be matched with policies that encourage adult degree or credential attainment.
To read Labadie’s full Insider Higher Ed article on the importance of child care services for adult student success, click here.
CAEL’s Adult Learner 360 provides essential insight into an institution’s support of its adult student population. Made up of two surveys, one for institutions and one for adult students, Adult Learner 360 compares institutional perceptions against adult students', helping colleges and universities implement programming that helps adults succeed.
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