It’s no secret that balancing career and family is challenging, but we rarely hear of the struggles facing women who are trying to attain an education while pregnant or parenting. Women (and men) in this situation face a set of unique obstacles — obstacles that often seem insurmountable.
So when Students for Life of America encounters schools that are particularly welcoming to and accommodating of pregnant and parenting students, they acknowledge them. SFLA’s most recent list highlights the 12 public schools most friendly to pregnant and parenting students. Visit StudentsForLife.org to read more about why each school made the list.
1-University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2-Los Angeles Valley College, Los Angeles, CA
3-Winona State University, Winona, MN
4-University of California, San Diego, CA
5-University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
6-Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
7-University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
8-University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
9-Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
10-City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
11-Norwalk Community College, Norwalk, CT
12-University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
With everything from small inconveniences such as a lack of diaper decks in bathrooms to major impediments like facing expulsion in the wake of a pregnancy, it’s no wonder there’s a pervasive cultural attitude which says that parenting and education are mutually exclusive pursuits.
Through their Pregnant on Campus Initiative, Students for Life of America seeks to expose and transform the stigma facing pregnant and parenting college students. Live Action News spoke with Pregnant on Campus Director Beth Rahal to learn more about the barriers pregnant and parenting students often encounter.
Beth explained that while there are some legal protections in place for pregnant and parenting students through Title IX, some schools are exempt from these protections and discriminate against pregnant and parenting students. If the school has opted out of certain Title IX housing provisions, for example, a woman could potentially be kicked out of campus housing because she violated the school’s sexual misconduct policy. Likewise, some schools have expelled women who became pregnant.
“Most schools do not intend to put such pressure on their parenting students,” said Beth. “Nevertheless, they inadvertently create a campus culture that is not comfortable with or welcoming of pregnant and parenting students.”
That’s why Pregnant on Campus exists. “Even the smallest efforts can positively encourage these students as they continue their education,” Beth affirmed. She knows firsthand, as her team works every day to collaborate with schools interested in making these changes.
Click here to learn more about the Pregnant on Campus Initiative.