By Katelyn Earhart
The class image of a college student is a young adult who spends most of their time in coffee shops and is constantly stressed out about upcoming tests; yet studies show this typical college student is a diminishing population in many of todays’ institutes of higher education.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, as of 2012, about 30% of the student body in two-year universities are parents, with this trend on the rise.
By those estimations, here we have about 6,600 individuals who are balancing all the responsibilities that come along with higher education and the responsibility of raising another human.
Although many of these student-parents have the odds stacked against them, SAC has a variety of resources to help these students so they can finish a degree or complete a certificate to help better the lives of their families.
There are three places on campus that are here to offer support.
The empowerment center
The empowerment center is designed to help women and non-traditional students get into college as well as assist students so they can complete a degree. Although they don’t have a program specifically focused on student-parents, many of the individuals they help fall into this category.
Dr. Helen Vera, director of the empowerment center, said she is very open to ideas from student-parents of other services the center can provide.
According to Vera, some current services they provide are:
- Diaper Bank: A place where student-parents can receive 50 diapers and 72 wipes, per child, per month
- Lulac Scholarship: $1,000 scholarship for the student-parent and two free years of college for their child, 6-years-old or younger.
For more information, call the empowerment center at 210-486-0455.
The student advocacy center
Students may know the student advocacy center as the place to pick up a daily snack, but it is also home to a food pantry and the Magic Closet. You might not see the services they provide to student-parents, which include:
- Food Pantry: Formula is one of the items they keep stocked in the food pantry, along with an assortment of other health options for the rest of the family. Oftentimes, baby clothes are available.
- Support Group: A peer group is available from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the center.
For more information, call the advocacy center at 210-486-1111.
Early Childhood Development
The early childhood development program has childcare for the student-parents here at SAC.
According to receptionist Mary Moreno, their program is for infants through 5 years old as space is available.
The benefit of this program, as opposed to other childcare options, is both the nationally certified education the children receive and its incredibly low price for students.
Based on the student-parents’ income, they can receive childcare for $15 to $20 a week because of an institutional grant.
There are a list of responsibilities student-parents have to maintain to be a part of this program, but the financial relief of childcare this cheap can’t be matched.
For more information, call 210-486-0530.