BOONE, N.C. — Completing a higher education degree while parenting involves a multitude of demands that student parents must balance, including finding care for their children.
The Child Development Center (CDC) at Appalachian State University, which has provided high-quality early care and education for children of student parents since the 1980s, is expanding its services to low-income parents pursuing postsecondary education as part of its successful Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant proposal, funded by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
CDC Director Moriah Stegall ’07 ’14 worked in tandem with Dr. Teressa Sumrall ’05 ’07, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Child Studies (FCS) in Appalachian’s Reich College of Education (RCOE) and director and internship coordinator of the university’s B.S. in child development–family and child studies (non-licensure) degree program, to develop the grant proposal. Sumrall is the principal investigator of the $185,092 ED grant, which covers October 2019 through September 2020.
Sumrall said the project’s goals relate to Appalachian’s “ultimate vision of improving the quality of parent–child relationships, supporting students in their roles as both parent and student and providing high-quality care and education for young children in our community.”
As the grant project director, Stegall has identified four goals of the project, which are as follows:
- Provide individualized academic and parenting support to student families through the implementation of a home visitation program and by offering other educational opportunities for families.
- Strengthen the educational opportunities provided to children at the CDC by enhancing the center’s indoor and outdoor learning environments, adopting of a child- and family-centered curricular approach and implementing a mentorship program with the Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory Program (LBCDLP).
- Increase the availability of infant and toddler care to student parents, which Stegall and Sumrall have noted as a great need in the local community.
- Reduce the financial burden to low-income student parents by waiving enrollment fees.
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About the Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 14 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. These units include the Career Development Center, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Conduct, University Recreation, Multicultural Student Development, Student Legal Clinic and Off Campus Student Services, Electronic Student Services, Child Development Center, and Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives. Learn more at https://studentaffairs.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Family and Child Studies
The Department of Family and Child Studies in Appalachian State University's Reich College of Education prepares students to assume professional roles working with children and families in school and non-school settings. The department focuses on the developmental study of families and children in all areas of society and in all cultures. Learn more at https://fcs.appstate.edu.
About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina. Learn more at https://rcoe.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.