Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Ways schools can make education more accessible to student parents on SheKnows.com

Leilani and I at my college graduation

My latest piece over on SheKnows.com suggest 5 ways schools can make getting an education for teen parents a less stressful task. Becoming a mother at 15 years old and being a student parent for 9 years was very difficult. Not so much because of my "lack of determination" but because of the lack of support student parents receive from high school to college. Read part of my piece below and click through to read the rest. 

Here's how to make education accessible to teen parents
Teenage parents and college-aged parents find it difficult to enter and continue their education when schools are not as helpful as they can be. 
When I became pregnant and gave birth to my daughter at the age of 15, there were very few supportive entities in place for me to go to when I needed help with my responsibilities as a student parent. Despite several challenges, I was able to complete my high school education and graduate on time with the rest of my class.
While in high school, I always heard that college was more easygoing than high school. As a student parent, I was overjoyed to hear this, however, it seemed that colleges were just as bad at handling and meeting the needs of student parents as high schools were.
Now that I have successfully completed both my high school and college education, I can identify a few ways that both high schools and colleges can make education accessible to student parents. 
1. Inform us of and respect our Title IX rightsAll student parents that attend any educational institution that receives funds from the federal government are protected under Title IX rights. Some Title IX rights include having access and accommodations for all pregnant and parenting students and excusing all medically-necessary absences. Also, schools cannot force or coerce pregnant and parenting students to drop out of school or attend "specialty" schools if the student does not wish to leave their school. All federally-funded educational institutions should have a Title IX coordinator for student parents to speak to. 
If your finals are during the time you are expected to go into labor, your professor and the entire institution must allow you to reschedule the finals for a time that works best for you.
Click through to read the rest of
5 Ways schools can make education more accessible to student parents on SheKnows.com

What do you think?
What are some ways schools can make education a reality for student parents?

Let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or below in the comments. 

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