Tips for Advising
Student parents face many unique challenges so it’s helpful to understand what those challenges are and when to or how to refer a student parent to the Student Parent Help Center for services and/or resources. One of the biggest challenges is finding and paying for child care. Not all student parents can find child care or afford to pay for the cost of child care along with their monthly bills while attending school. It is crucial to let them know about our child care grants and refer them to our center for the screening process. The Student Parent Help Center offers two different child care grants, both of which can be used to pay for the cost of child care or daycare. The center also offers a one-time emergency assistance grant to registered student parents who are facing critical financial needs.
There is a stigma behind “teen moms” or “young parents.” In most cases, these individuals will not seek help or services. They do not want to be looked down upon and by the time they do seek help, it’s too late. Therefore, knowing when to step in is crucial for advisors. Some student parents may also struggle to find the balance of being a student and a parent. Helping them create a flexible schedule that allows them to both work and parent is important. Keep in mind that not only are these individuals focusing on their academic work and trying to graduate on time but that they’re also focusing on being a parent whether it’s their first time or not.
Just like any other students on campus, student parents face many challenges as well so if academically, a student parent is not doing so well, it’s worth checking in to see if there are any underlying concerns.
When to refer a student parent to our center:
- Financial need - We offer two child care grants, emergency fund, holiday gift program
- Emotional distress - We have a support group for undergraduate parents and counselors who are available for meetings to help connect students to resources and provide emotional support
- Advocacy needs - We can help students navigate parts of their academic lives impacted by parenthood. Examples include helping students talk to professors about missing school for a child’s illness, etc. Student parents are protected under Title IX.
- Lactation resources - We have lactation rooms available in Appleby Hall, and information about lactation resources around campus
How to refer a student
Any undergraduate student parent can utilize the services, resources and programs at the Student Parent Help Center. Graduate students are also now being served, but with more limited programming.
To enroll in services, students should contact the SPHC directly at 612-626-6015 and schedule an intake. Advisors can consult with staff at the SPHC regarding specific students or ideas on how to support and advise student parents.