Albertsons Library has opened a new space, the Family Study Room, for student-parents and their children under the age of 12. The space features computers, toys, books and more.
One student-parent wrote, “This is the first effort I have seen supporting the adult learner. It has always felt like resources are geared towards traditional freshmen. It is hard to feel included when our families are not.”
Another wrote, “I was overjoyed to see something like this established on campus. Thank you for your research and work into addressing a real problem. This has an impact way beyond four walls.”
Student-parents face unique challenges. A report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that as of 2012, 4.8 million independent college students — 26% of students in higher education — had their own dependent children. In addition, students trying to balance a college workload with parenthood are more likely to be low-income, first- generation college students, or from groups traditionally underrepresented on college campuses.
Research by Boise State Associate Professor and Librarian Kelsey Keyes found that the number of student-parents at the university is higher than the national average. By creating a dedicated space for them, Albertsons Library is keeping more student-parents in school, Keyes said.