Mount Wachusett Community College is excited to announce that the CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) federal grant has been renewed for an additional four years.
First awarded in 2009, MWCC has continued to be rewarded renewal of the CCAMPIS Grant every four years. Since the inception of the CCAMPIS grant program, MWCC has served 205 student-parents, 125 have since graduated, and either transferred to a four-year school or gone into the workforce. CCAMPIS students account for 110 Associates Degrees and 54 Certificates earned. Twenty-seven students are persisting here at the Mount, while 7 have transferred to a four-year school without graduating from MWCC. At least five CCAMPIS students are completing or have completed a master’s degree. The average GPA of CCAMPIS served students is 3.33.
Student-parents are one of the fastest-growing populations on college campuses across the nation. One in five college students are raising a family, and this number is slightly higher at community colleges where it is one in four. Childcare is just one of the obstacles student parents have when attending school. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts now has the highest cost of childcare in the U.S. at approx. $20,913 per year (ChildcareAware.org). Many student-parents patch together childcare with partners, relatives, or less dependable care that often falls apart during the semester. This causes many students to miss class, not be able to concentrate on their homework and risk academic failure because their childcare support network fails.
The Department of Education’s CCAMPIS grant supports low-income student-parents in their postsecondary education through campus-based or off-campus childcare services. This also includes wrap-around services to help the student-parent be successful in school and be a stronger parent. Studies show that when given the necessary wrap-around supports while taking college classes, student parents will graduate faster, and frequently with a higher GPA than their fellow non-parent students.
The CCAMPIS Program at Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) provides childcare subsidies to qualified students who enroll part-time or full-time at any one of the four college campuses (Gardner, Leominster, Fitchburg and Devens). The CCAMPIS subsidy is determined by the student’s EFC (expected family contribution) and can be in the amount of 60%, 40% or 20% of their childcare costs not covered by any childcare vouchers; not to exceed $325 for one child, and $550 for two or more children per month.
CCAMPIS students must check in with the CCAMPIS advisor at least once a month in addition to attending two or more workshops per semester presented by the CCAMPIS program, including a Financial Literacy workshop. They must also volunteer at least once at their chosen childcare per academic year.
In support of our student-parents, MWCC has recently opened a new Family Resource Center on the Gardner campus. The center is currently open to student-parents and will welcome their children in the spring of 2022. This designated space is for student-parents to gather and study, with or without their children. The center has a play area for children, with age-appropriate educational toys and games, children and parents’ lending library, as well as a study and work area for student-parents, and several comfortable seating areas. All furnishings and educational toys were made possible by the Pathways Early Education Grant. In addition to Chromebooks available for students’ use, the students also have the ability to check out a children’s iPad equipped with educational resources and games to help entertain their child while spending time in the center.
To learn more about student-parent support offered at Mount Wachusett Community College, visit https://mwcc.edu/current-students/student-parent-support/.