Low-income, single mothers beginning or returning to higher education overwhelmingly choose to pursue their goals at community colleges. These schools often provide the best fit of available institutions because of their relative affordability, variety of offerings, ease of entry, and proximity to the student. Like other higher learning institutions, however, many community colleges struggle to address the challenges low-income, single mothers can face. Colleges often unwittingly place more obstacles in the path of these students.
Many colleges are taking action and trying a variety of approaches to improve their institutions and better serve low-income, single mother students. While some interventions have been rigorously studied, most have not. Many promising interventions, though so far lacking empirical support, have shown great success based on student and provider testimony. When taken as a whole, it is clear that community colleges can undertake effective interventions to help student parents complete their programs and meet their goals.