Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC), in collaboration with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), hosted a ‘Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Virtual Student Parent Conference’ on Friday, April 22. This full-day event incorporated voices of leadership and student-parents sharing the stories of their educational journeys.
Student-parents are now one of the fastest-growing college populations, yet balancing family and school can be a challenge for many. CCAMPIS leaders at MWCC and NOVA created the conference to share insights and enable student-parents to gain skills on navigating their own educational journey while connecting and supporting peers.
The CCAMPIS program is funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand services that alleviate financial burdens for college students who are also parents of young children. By assisting student-parents with childcare subsidies and wrap-around supports, the grant program allows them to focus on their studies, completing their educational goals and graduating. These grants also help with after-school services and childcare needs of the students served by the college.
“Through the CCAMPIS grant, we are able to support our hard-working student-parents,” said Ann Reynolds, MWCC CCAMPIS director “Providing resources for our student-parents supports them and future generations of students to come.”
“I want to thank our partners at NOVA and our own CCAMPIS director, Ann Reynolds, for putting this day together and for the work you do every day,” noted MWCC President James Vander Hooven during his introductory address. “It is wonderful to know that our institutions are models for this work across the country.”
“Community colleges across the nation are seeing higher numbers of pregnant and parenting students attend their institutions,” said Diana Yacob, project director of the CCAMPIS Childcare Access Grant at NOVA. “Studies show that when we offer support to student-parents and acknowledge their tenacity and accomplishments in their educational pursuits, they are more likely to succeed.”
Speakers included Jessica Lee, Senior Staff Attorney for the Center for Work-Life Law, Melanie Rivera, CEO of Breaker28, Nicole Lynn Lewis, founder and CEO of Generation Hope and author of “Pregnant Girl”, and Crystal L. Bailey, director of the Etiquette Institute of Washington.
MWCC parenting students Nichole Camelo, Nicole Leeper, Jacqueline Bussiere, and graduate Kateri Stuart joined NOVA students Mindy Lu, Akim Evans, and Nathalie Baguma Samba for a panel discussion about their own academic journeys and the benefits of their participation in the CCAMPIS program.
For more information about the CCAMPIS program at Mount Wachusett Community College, please visit the Student Parent page or for questions regarding the CCAMPIS programming, please contact Ann Reynolds, CCAMPIS Childcare Access Grant Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.