For nearly 40 years the Children's Enrichment Center has been providing affordable quality care for Grand Valleys students. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the CEC has served as a resource for student parents, supporting them along their educational journey while they balance family, school, and work.
Parenting students account for a rising number of non-traditional students entering the academic setting. Almost 4 million students identify as a student parent in the United States. Of the almost 4 million students that are parenting, at least half identify as a single parent (CITE), like some of our GVSU students. So significant are the numbers of student parents that they have caught the attention of national organizations such as the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) and the National Coalition for Campus Child Care Centers (NCCC). What these organizations tell us is that the face of college campuses is changing, and non-traditional students are a part of this story.
The 2011 myGVSU climate survey yielded results indicating that almost 500 students who responded to the survey identified as a student parent. Additionally, 33.5% of these parents identify they had difficulty in affording child care. And 52% of these student parents identify that they experience financial hardship. These parents also report that child care is one of the top three ways they experience financial hardship. (CITE Executive Summary) Finances are just one barrier for student parents; the ability to connect to the campus community may be another.
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