November 13, 2007
CLARK COLLEGE RECEIVES ADDITIONAL GRANT FUNDING
TO SUPPORT STUDENTS WHO ARE PARENTS
Grant funding is renewed for a fourth year for the CCAMPIS
"Child Care Access Means Parents In School" program
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The Child and Family Studies department at Clark College has received nearly $60,000 in renewed CCAMPIS grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. CCAMPIS stands for "Child Care Access Means Parents In School."
Director of Services for Children and Families Laurie Cornelius said, “The new grant means that our funding has been renewed for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year. It’s wonderful news for our student parents.”
According to Cornelius, the department received $56,202 in the first year of the grant. “Because officials viewed the program as successful, funds were increased to $59,295 for the second and third years and, now, the fourth.”
Cornelius added, “The cost of child care services often is almost twice the cost of tuition and books. This grant allows us to offer a sliding fee scale to low-income student parents who are enrolled for six credits or more at Clark College.”
The goals of the project were to increase the student persistence rate and increase the percent of students who complete three out of four successive terms. Student persistence is defined as adults staying in programs for as long as they can, engaging in self-directed study when they must drop out of their programs, and returning to a program as soon as the demands of their lives allow.
Cornelius said, “When we ask students why they are leaving, we've discovered that we can sometimes remove those barriers so the students can stay in school. Sometimes we try to take an individualized approach and build a plan together, such as a payment plan for an old debt. We've also seen common themes emerge and have responded by offering workshops on dealing with stress and helping students find ways to balance their obligations at work, school and home.”
She added, “When parents enter school, they often worry about the welfare of their children. By partnering and developing close relationships with our families, we create a community where they belong, where they are listened to and where there is understanding of the complexities of being a parent in school. Simply having this shared experience gives them strength to continue their professional pathways.”
As of winter 2007, the persistence rate of Clark students in the CCAMPIS program for at least four terms is 83%. The overall persistence rate for student parents at Clark College is 71%. The completion rate in enrolled classes was 86% for CCAMPIS parents, compared to 79% for student parents overall at Clark College.
According to Cornelius, new retention strategies for student parents have included special financial aid sessions held within the Child and Family Studies Program. Enrolled student parents report more time to study as an additional benefit from the CCAMPIS program.
The CCAMPIS grant request was coordinated by Laurie Cornelius and fiscal specialist Peggy Halferty, who designed the sliding fee scale and tracks data for the program.