Achieving the Dream Colleges Selected to Participate in National College Success for Single Mothers Project

Project Will Further ATD’s Community College Women Succeed Initiative

(SILVER SPRING, MD) Eight community colleges will be participating in a new national three-year project—College Success for Single Mothers—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. Achieving the Dream, along with the Program Evaluation and Research Group at Endicott College, is a partner to National College Transition Network’s (NCTN) College Success for Single Mothers, which is funded by ECMC Foundation. Seven of the eight colleges selected are part of the Achieving the Dream Network.
“Single mothers are an increasing number of students in our community colleges. The more we know about their unique needs, the more we can support them and their success in college and their careers,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “This project will enable us to identify, promote, and replicate strategies that propel  single mothers to success.”
Achieving the Dream’s work with adult women students began in February 2019, with the launch of Community College Women Succeed, an initiative to identify and promote effective strategies that increase success for adult women students community college. Barriers to retention and completion prevent millions of students from reaching their potential every year. Without adequate support like public benefits, financial aid, or childcare, many mothers never graduate.
The colleges selected for the College Success for Single Mothers project went through a competitive application process and demonstrated alignment between the goals of the project and the broader mission of the college as well as an institutional capacity to create and sustain positive change. They represent a variety of geographic locations, student demographics, and enrollment sizes.
Selected colleges

  • Broward College, FL (ATD Leader College)
  • Columbus State Community College, OH (ATD Leader College of Distinction)
  • Delaware County Community College, PA (ATD Leader College)
  • Frederick Community College, MD
  • Kingsborough Community College, NY (ATD Leader College of Distinction)
  • Lee College, TX (ATD Leader College of Distinction)
  • Western Technical College, WI (ATD Leader College)
  • University of Hawai’i, Windward Community College, HI (ATD Leader College)

Brittany Wheatley, who recently graduated from and has since been hired by Broward College, commented on how supports for single moms like her had a significant impact on her success:
“GetREAL and Careersource ha[ve] been a very big determining factor in me pursuing my education in nursing. From paying for classes when I fell short, providing me with a paid internship on campus, and suggesting many great community resources to assist me, the staff has made my education journey less stressful as a single parent. The check-ins with my success coach, Ms. Jenny Rainey, will be missed as she was my listening ear and advocated for me on many occasions.”
The colleges will convene a cross-functional task force of decision makers, practitioners, and stakeholders to identify the needs of single mother students on campus and develop a plan to expand key practices and services to enhance their college success. NCTN and partners will develop case studies documenting the colleges’ action plans, outcomes, and lessons learned through the project to share with policymakers, funders and investors, and other colleges interested in better addressing the needs of single mother students and parents on campus.


Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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