#CCWomenSucceed Is Just Getting Started

In 2018, Achieving the Dream developed the Community College Women Succeed (CCWS) initiative in partnership with the Biden Foundation. As 2020 comes to a close, we are looking back on some key CCWS accomplishments from the last two years, and eagerly looking ahead to exciting developments in the coming months.

We have been hard at work elevating the student parent voice nationally. In 2018 and 2019 we published a video series of testimonials from women parents in community college. Each story is unique and speaks to the importance of supporting student parents on college campuses. The #CCWomenSucceed videos are our most successful video campaign to date.

 

This summer we partnered with the National College Success for Single Mothers Project, a three-year project to identify the needs of single mother students on campus and to develop a plan to expand key practices and services to enhance their college and career success. Seven of the eight participating institutions are ATD Network colleges.

This fall we expanded and chartered the Community College Women Succeed Advisory Group, made of leaders in the higher education field who work to elevate innovative practices and policies that support student parents and increase racial and economic equity for community college students and their families.

“We’re seeing so much growing awareness around the circumstances student parents are facing,” said Meredith Archer Hatch, ATD's senior associate director for workforce and academic alignment. “CC Women Succeed has been taking on organizational partners across the country, and I think the COVID-19 pandemic has brought more visibility and urgency to the issue. Institutions are working to prioritize the needs of student parents because it can have such a big impact on students, families, and communities."

In November, we hosted the Student Parent Success Summit in partnership with the CCWS Advisory Group. The Summit attracted more than 400 registered participants from 105 different institutions across 35 states, as well as 21 partner organizations. The Summit featured keynote speaker David Croom, assistant director for postsecondary achievement at Aspen Ascend, and a keynote panel of student parents who spoke about their personal experiences in higher education. You can watch the complete keynote here.

Achieving the Dream is excited to continue expanding this initiative as we pursue more innovations and connections that support student parents. The DREAM 2021 virtual convening in February will feature a CC Women Succeed session, continuing the robust conversation we engaged in at the Student Parent Summit in November.

In the coming months, Achieving the Dream will work with organizational partners to develop and scale even more tools for promoting student parent success. There’s a lot to tackle, from the need for better data collection to pushes for policies such as childcare subsidies that support parents who are pursuing a degree, and we are ready to take on the work.

It’s more important than ever to make sure student parents have the resources and support they need to find success in higher education, and Achieving the Dream is primed to act as a leader and partner to facilitate transformational change in institutions across the country.

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