Emily Schroeder

Document Type


Publication Date



Adults who occupy both the role of student and parent represent a unique population within the American higher education system, as they must balance their dual responsibilities in the classroom and at home. Unfortunately, little research on “student parents” exists regarding the additional challenges they face as they balance their responsibilities and the degree of success they find in their academic careers.Thus, in partnership with the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance (CECA) and Capital Community College, we endeavored to answer the question of what differences exist between the experiences of parent and non-parent students in regards to their attendance, persistence, and experience in community college, as well as how student parents navigate their long-term educational goals versus the immediate responsibilities of parenthood. I used a mixed methods approach, using qualitative interviews of two parents as well as data from the 2012-17 Beginning Postsecondary Student Survey from the National Center for Educational Statistics to answer these questions. As Connecticut is one of two states that severely restricts access to childcare subsidies to only parents on TANF, this study will help the CECA, who seeks to use the results to help pass legislation in the upcoming Connecticut Sessions.


Community Partner: CT Early Childhood Alliance