Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

John Elmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Tweedy, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D.


Institutions of higher education face the ongoing challenge of an ever-changing student demographic. As the student population changes, so too do their needs for support. Student affairs practitioners have an obligation to serve the entirety of the institution’s student population by providing resources that equitably meet students’ needs. Parent-students face significantly different challenges and obstacles compared to their counterparts. Offering services that cater to these needs will vastly improve their student experience, motivate their development as individuals, and encourage successful completion of degree programs. Utilizing educational and psychology theories of development, the argument is made that targeted and individualized services provided to parent-students will benefit not only the students, but the campus community as a whole. By creating a resource and advocacy center on campus to serve the parent-student population, student affairs and higher education professionals may work to support this marginalized student population. Through collaboration with campus and community resources, the center will provide opportunities and experiences to parent-students that will motivate their personal, professional, and academic pursuits. An individualized approach to advising and supporting will enable center staff to provide ongoing resources and community to parent-students. These efforts will provide valuable, life-changing resources to parent-students and will revolutionize the higher education landscape for students, faculty, and professionals within the institution.