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ERIC Number: ED520190
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 341
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-7553-6
Mothers, Workers and Students: Examining the Experiences of Single Mothers Transferring from Community Colleges into Universities
Robinson, Emily Erin Peterson
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
Single parent households are on the rise, and female headed households are more likely to live in poverty than other single parent households (Holyfield, 2002). Many single mothers who do not have an undergraduate degree see education as a way out of poverty (Holyfield, 2002; Heller & Bjorklund, 2004). This research was undertaken to highlight areas where universities are assisting single mothers to attain a degree. This qualitative study utilized semi-structured in depth interviews of 16 single mothers who transferred from community college to a university. Three themes emerged regarding the educational experiences of single mothers who work and attend college. The first theme, "Finding my way to and through college"; highlights their motivating factors, their support network(s) and their feelings of pride. The second theme, "Struggle for legitimacy as a parenting student" focuses on the challenges that confront mothers as students: invisibility within the institution, and the fact that motherhood is a full time job which she cannot neglect. The final theme, "Striving for balance between multiple roles" centers around how they cope with their multiple obligations: knowing herself (honoring abilities as well as limits), and overcoming time scarcity (by managing multiple priorities). Women in this study were challenged by financial need not met by aid packages, finding appropriate child care, insensitive instructors and class schedules which made working difficult. These women were proud of their academic accomplishments and felt supported by institutional recognition of success. They were also supported by student health, counseling services and academic support programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A