School, work, and a family

There are 13,000 plus students on the campus of Sam Houston State University and many of those students happen to be single parents. The hard work and hours these students put into getting a college degree takes dedication and determination. Many of these students are not given the credit they deserve. Trying to hold down a full time job, go to school full time and have enough time for your child is not an easy job. Many students are determined enough to get their degree, no matter the situation. “We know that it will benefit us in the future,” said single parent Lauren Brown. Brown said she is not a full time student and she has a difficult time completing the six hours that she is enrolled in. Many of the parents who go to school full time agree that it is very challenging. Shauna Mckibbens said she just had her baby and will re-enroll in school next semester as a full time student. “You just have to want more for yourself and your kids in order to be successful. That is why I do it. Everyday, I look at my child and I want to see a better life for her, so I do whatever it takes to give her that life,” Makibbens said. She said she will never give up on college and plans to have her degree by fall 2003. “The best thing a student with children can do is never give up on college,” said Jessica Fowler, a former SHSU student. Fowler said she left SHSU when she was only 21 hours shy of getting her degree. “Anyone who gives up like I did will need more motivation just to go back. I plan to go back, I just don’t know when,” said Fowler. Fowler said it was too much of a challenge for her to stay in school and she was unable to see her child as much as she would like.SHSU single parents said programs on campus are lacking and there should be programs on campus for students who have children and may be going through a lot trying to get their degree. Many students with children said such programs would help them get through college more easily and feel more confident in what they are doing.In the meantime, single parents say it is their children that keep them motivated in the quest for a college degree. “I really don’t need a program, all I have to do is look at my child everyday and that is enough motivation for me,” said senior Crystal Mitchell.While on campus programs maybe lacking for students with children, SHSU does offer parents access to a convenient, affordable childcare center. Many SHSU parents make use of the Bearkitten Academy, a full-service, licensed childcare center, with qualified teaching and support staff. For more information about Bearkitten Academy call 293-8877

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