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ERIC Number: ED556724
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 60
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 57
Pathways to Postsecondary Education for Pregnant and Parenting Teens. Working Paper #C418
Costello, Cynthia B.
Institute for Women's Policy Research
This report focuses on pathways to postsecondary education (PSE), including high school completion, for pregnant and parenting teens. Although birth rates among teens have declined in the United States over the last 20 years, one in seven adolescent females (14.4 percent) is expected to give birth before age 20 with females of color (24 percent of Hispanics and 21 percent of African Americans) more than twice as likely to have a child when compared with white females (10 percent) (OAH 2014). For too many of these adolescents, parenthood marks the end of their high school careers and aspirations for attending college. This is unfortunate because completing high school and earning a postsecondary degree or credential are critical for the economic well-being of both teen parents and their children. Very little is known about pathways to PSE for pregnant and parenting teens. Although some studies have focused on programs to prevent subsequent pregnancies among teen parents (Klerman 2004), research is lacking on effective approaches for preparing these students for college. This report represents a first step towards filling that gap. Drawing on a literature and program review, analysis of a small online survey conducted with Health Teen Network (HTN), and consultations with experts in the field, "Pathways to Postsecondary Education," examines barriers and promising approaches to support educational success for pregnant and parenting teens. Among the findings are: (1) More than two out of three young single mothers aged 18 to 24 are poor, and almost half of their children are poor; (2) Only about half of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by the age of 22, compared with about nine in ten women who do not have a child during their teen years; and (3) A survey supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that a third of the young women surveyed reported that becoming a parent played a major role in their decision to leave school. This report features eight programs that provide a range of academic and other supports and services to support pathways to PSE, including high school completion, among pregnant and parenting teens: (1) Florence Crittenton High School (FCHS) in Denver, Colorado; (2) Cal-SAFE in California; (3) New Heights in Washington, DC; (4) The Care Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts; (5) Keys to Degrees at Endicott College in Massachusetts; (6) Student Parent HELP Center (SPHC) at the University of Minnesota; (7) Generation Hope, a program started by a former teen mother in Washington, DC; and (8) The Jeremiah Program, a residential program in the twin cities of Minnesota. A list of experts consulted is appended. [This report is a product of IWPR's Student Parent Success Initiative.]
Institute for Women's Policy Research. 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4362; Fax: 202-785-5100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Annie E. Casey Foundation; Kellogg Foundation
Authoring Institution: Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR)
Identifiers - Location: California; Colorado; District of Columbia; Massachusetts; Minnesota