Priorities:Bowie State University Faculty Projects

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Project Name: Supporting students who are also parents

Project by Faculty Innovation Fellows Candidate Erica Hernandez

Why is this project important to you, your department, & your Fellows?

For students who have children, graduating from college provides economic mobility for the graduate and their children.


An estimated 1 in 5 college students in the USA are also parents. These students face additional challenges to complete their educational program due to the added responsibilities of parenting while in college. Currently, no data is collected at my institution to determine students’ parenting status. Without knowing how many student-parents we serve, it is difficult to design and implement programs to support this group. In this project, I will learn design thinking principles to aid in creating student-centered supports based on feedback from surveys and interviews with student-parents.

Stakeholders served

  • Students who are also parents
  • Institutional research staff
  • Student affairs staff

Key Milestones

  • December 2021: Learn design thinking approach to student-parents
  • March 2022: Apply for IRB approval for student-parent interviews/surveys
  • June 2022: Hire summer research assistants to conduct interviews
  • September 2022: Present findings from student-parent interviews to stakeholders
  • December 2022: Start implementing student-parents supports
  • March 2023: Preliminary results from student-parent supports

An Innovation Portfolio

Results of student-parent surveys and interviews, list of support services proposed, handouts/activities for student-parent supports