Degree In Sight
Many student-parents say having a good support system-whether it's family, neighbors, friends, church or fellow students and faculty-can be a boon. Notre Dame University student-parent Crystal Blount, for example, teamed with her neighbors, many of whom are also in school or are working parents. They organized a car pool for school and activity pickups, and they pool their money for a joint babysitter for holiday school breaks, half-days and late-start days. Some other potential sources of support:
Extended family. University of Denver clinical child psychology graduate student Steven Branstetter-now on internship at Harvard-says he and his wife relied on her mother to watch their son, Aden, several days during the week when they were in Denver.
Faculty. Professors often encouraged Branstetter to bring his son to school. In fact, then 18-month-old Aden was asked to give a few "guest lectures," such as by helping the professor demonstrate object permanence in a developmental psychology course, says Branstetter.
Fellow student-parents. Texas A&M University counseling psychology student Darcy McMaughan Moudouni says having fellow student-parent Jeanette Madkins in her cohort offers comfort and guidance. "We are constantly bouncing ideas and schedules off of each other," she says.
Formal parenting resources. Some schools have organized student-parent groups, such as Michigan State University's Student Parents on a Mission, which offers parenting classes and opportunities for student-parents to connect with each other and to community and university parent resources. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, has similar offerings, such as grants for child care specifically for student-parents, parent workshops and university-organized activities for the children of graduate students.
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