Lee College a partner in College Success for Single Mothers

Lee joins the National College Transition Network at World Education

Baytown, TX – Lee College is one of eight community colleges selected through a competitive application process to participate in College Success for Single Mothers. Funded by ECMC Foundation and led by the National College Transition Network (NCTN), the goal of the three-year project is to identify the needs of single-mother students on campus and develop a plan to expand key practices and services to enhance their college and career success. Lee College has convened a cross-functional task force of decision-makers, practitioners, and stakeholders to carry out the project’s activities and receive a $10,000 stipend. 

“By doing more to address the educational needs of our students who are single mothers, we believe Lee College is taking steps toward a more equitable society as a whole,” said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College President. “We are excited to participate in the national College Success for Single Mothers program, because educational success for single mothers makes a lasting difference not just in the lives of individuals, but for entire generations.”

Single mothers make up an increasing part of the post-secondary student population in the United States. Lee College believes the educational success of single mothers has the potential to reap intergenerational benefits, forging a path for economic mobility and success for their families.

“The CSSM grant is going to be a great opportunity for us to build on our current supports offered to student parents, especially our single mothers,” said Dr. Victoria Marron, Lee College’s Executive Director of Retention and Transition Services. “As a child raised by a single mother, I can attest to the struggle and advocacy needed for this population of students, including of single-fathers. This is truly exciting, and I am honored to lead the college and our task force on this project as we increase institutional capacity, advocacy, and resources for these students.”  

Marron said Lee College’s commitment to addressing the needs of single mothers and student parents is essential to its core values of equity and student success for all students regardless of their background.

To achieve the project goals, the National College Transition Network (NCTN) is partnering with the Program Evaluation and Research Group at Endicott College, developers of the Family Friendly Campus Toolkit: Using Data to Improve Outcomes, and Achieving the Dream, a national leader in community college reform. These two organizations complement NCTN’s expertise designing effective college and career pathways for adult learners. 

College Success for Single Mothers builds on NCTN’s 2019 report, No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way, which documents examples of 17 community colleges that offer targeted programming for student parents. The report recommends that significant work remains to increase institutional capacity to collect data to identify single mothers on campus; provide professional development to faculty and staff on the needs of single mothers; develop diverse and flexible funding sources; and advocate for policies within and outside of the institutions that support single mothers.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts.