The Single Parent Program at Champlain College allows single parents to pursue undergraduate studies
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Life can be difficult to balance as a single parent, but Champlain College has a program to help single parents earn an undergraduate degree.
For 35 years now, the Champlain Single Parent Program has helped more than 600 students step out into the community with degrees and jobs, and now a $1 million donation will help even more parents in the years to come.
Caitlin Brower, a student at Champlain College, says, “There’s no better time than now to do it. Caitlin is in her fourth year of majoring in social work at Champlain College, and she is also a single parent. She lost her job during the pandemic and wanted to go to school.
She is able to be in Champlain thanks to the Single Parent Program, one of ten of its kind in the country, which allows her to not worry about the massive burden of school loans.
“It allows me to go to school full time instead of bit by bit, so in the long run it allows me to graduate faster and start my new career faster,” said Browser.
The scholarship program works in conjunction with the Pell Grants and VSAC to allow students to earn an undergraduate degree while paying only their living expenses.
The program also connects students with help with food insecurity, childcare, housing, and a case manager who helps facilitate student travel.
Sarah Boston Andriano, Advancement and Community Engagement at Champlain College, says, “These are awesome, awesome students who work incredibly hard and it’s a lot of work. What they do is difficult and we are really proud that they are our students and that they come to Champlain.
After three-and-a-half decades of sending 680 single-parent college students into the workforce, they have now received a $1 million grant from the Courtney and Victoria Buffum Foundation to support single mothers taking the program.
In recent years, they have had nearly 100% career success rates out of school, and it’s not just parents who benefit.
Emily Merrill, Single Parent Program Coordinator, says: “I also see parents who are very motivated in setting a positive example for their children by teaching them that they can achieve their college goals and creating that narrative in their families. that the university is feasible.”
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