When single moms are college students, complications and barriers abound. The risk is great as they try to raise children, provide financially and succeed as a student. But if they earn a degree, so is the reward.

The Education Design Lab, a nonprofit group that seeks to improve higher education systems and reduce equity and skills gaps, has enlisted a team of four community colleges to develop new programs and support systems that improve the chances of success for single moms at community colleges.

At Delgado Community College in New Orleans, single moms can join a special section of a college success skills class that caters to their unique needs. The course typically teaches study skills, time management and financial literacy, all skills they will need to make it through their education, while also letting them build a support system with other students in similar situations, said Tamika Duplessis, the associate vice chancellor for student affairs at Delgado.

Delgado is one of four community colleges that received $50,000 to design programs toward the goal of increasing the degree and credential attainment by 30 percent for single moms by 2024.

“It’s really, really critical to focus on populations like single moms, for whom education was not designed and who experience so many different barriers,” said Miriam Swords Kalk, a senior education designer at the Education Design Lab. Their education is “going to be critical for them to advance their careers, support their families as they want to, and just have the futures they want for themselves in terms of fulfillment and growth and economic mobility.”

Read the full article about community colleges by Olivia Sanchez at The Hechinger Report.