ERIC Number: ED473917
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Opening Doors to Earning Credentials: Supporting CalWORKS Students at California Community Colleges. An Exploratory Focus Group Study.
Nelson, Laura; Purnell, Rogeair
The challenges faced by low-income parents as they pursued an associate's degree or postsecondary credential and the effects of the comprehensive student services offered by the CalWORKs community college program were examined through focus groups at the following California community colleges: Grossmont College; Sacramento City College; and Santa Monica College. The study included focus groups of 10 to 12 CalWORKs participants at each of the three colleges and focus groups involving five CalWORKs nonparticipants from two of the colleges and one CalWORKs nonparticipant from the third. The focus group participants benefited greatly from the comprehensive services offered by the CalWORKs program and its staff, whom the participants described as knowledgeable and empathetic. The academic, personal, career, and employment-related assistance provided by CalWORKs staff helped many students persist in school, particularly during times of crisis or doubt. Juggling the responsibilities of parenting, school, and work while satisfying county program requirements proved an ongoing challenge for many students. Some of those pressures were eased by the availability of good, stable child care and affordable housing; support from family, peers, and employers; and having clear educational plans. (Eighty-one footnotes are included. Summaries of CalWORKs community college programs and information on the focus group methodology are appended.) (MN)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Access to Education, Associate Degrees, At Risk Persons, Child Care, Community Colleges, Counseling Services, Demonstration Programs, Disadvantaged Youth, Dropouts, Focus Groups, Low Income, Needs Assessment, Nontraditional Students, Parents, Participation, Remedial Instruction, Research Methodology, School Surveys, Social Services, Special Needs Students, State Programs, State Surveys, Student Attitudes, Student Certification, Student Characteristics, Student Needs, Two Year Colleges, Unemployment, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Working Poor
Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, 16 East 34 Street, New York, New York 10016. Tel: 212-532-3200; Web site: http://www.mdrc.org. For full text: http://www.mdrc.org./Reports2003/open_doors_calworks/od_calworks_ fullreport.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.
Authoring Institution: Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families