July 31, 2017
Endicott College is one of six colleges and universities nationwide honored by University Business magazine in its Summer 2017 Models of Excellence recognition program. Endicott was recognized for Keys to Degrees: Educating Two Generations Together, a program that puts a baccalaureate degree within reach for young single parents who seek a better life for themselves and for their children.
“Endicott College’s Keys to Degrees program gives more young, single parents an opportunity to better their position,” said Tim Goral, University Business Senior Editor. “By providing a safe, educational environment for participating students’ children, this particular demographic has a stronger chance at success on campus.”
Endicott College acknowledged that earning a college degree is a challenge many young, single parents simply cannot overcome without support. The school, located 20 miles north of Boston, has been giving them a boost with its Keys to Degrees for more than 20 years. The goal was to positively impact some discouraging statistics—that less than three percent of teen parents will complete a bachelor’s degree program before age 30 and only 17.4 percent of student-parents enrolled in a baccalaureate program will complete their degree within six years. The method? Educating two generations at once.
The four-year program—designed for single parents between the ages of 18 and 24—provides tuition assistance (in the form of scholarships and a variety of federal, state and local grants and loans), year-round apartment-style campus housing, childcare placement and subsidies, and support services. Keys to Degrees students are housed together and all children are enrolled in early childhood education programs.
“Students first must apply and be admitted to Endicott College, and then state an interest in the Keys to Degrees program,” said Autumn Green, Director of the National Centers for Student Parent Programs at Endicott College. “We try to look for students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to attend college.”
Keys to Degrees students work closely with the program director, who serves as an advisor and also coordinates workshops on parenting skills, counseling sessions and a mentoring program where single parents share their experiences and successes. A subsidized babysitting service cares for children during evenings and provides back up childcare on weekends.
But the program is not free. “Students get a lot from the program but they’re also giving a lot to the program,” says Green. “They’re making an investment in their future. They have skin in the game.”
On an annual basis, that equates to between $8,500 to $12,500 for tuition and fees per student, which includes year-round housing, childcare and support services. During the summer and winter break, Keys to Degrees participants can stay on campus and take classes at no cost to get ahead on credits. Green also oversees the national replication of the program—Portland State, Eastern Michigan, Dillard and St. Catherine universities also now have Keys to Degrees programs.
In addition to Endicott College, Summer 2017 Models of Excellence honorees include: McDaniel College (Westminster, Md.); Georgia Technical College (Macon, Ga.); University of Louisville (Louisville, Ky.); University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyo.); and Villanova University (Villanova, Pa.).
Launched in 2015, Models of Excellence is a national recognition program honoring colleges and universities that have implemented innovative, effective and inter-departmental initiatives that are bolstering student success.