Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Daniel Douglas

Second Advisor

Jack Dougherty

Third Advisor

Laura Holt


Adults who occupy both the role of student and parent represent over twenty percent of the American undergraduate population. Unfortunately, little research exists about the experience’s student-parents have balancing their dual responsibilities and the challenges they face while enrolled in post-secondary education. Thus in partnership with the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance and Capital Community College, we endeavored to answer the questions of what differences exist between the experiences of community college parent and non-parent students in regard to their attendance, persistence, and outcomes in community college, as well as how student-parents navigate their long-term educational goals versus the immediate responsibilities of parenthood. I utilized a mixed-methods approach, using the 2012-17 Beginning Post-Secondary Student survey from the National Center for Educational Statistics as well as qualitative interviews of two community college parents to analyze student-parent experiences. A sizable achievement gap exists between the attendance, persistence, and success rates of parents and non-parents enrolled in community college. Additionally, parents report both an emotional and logistical challenge in balancing their dual roles in the classroom and at home that challenged their academic success. As student-parents make up a sizable portion of the higher education system, their long-term success is crucial for the changing demands of the modern high-skill economy.


Senior project completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies.

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