“I’ll never forget...I had to go to campus to take an exam and I had no other option but to bring my daughter with me because I didn’t have childcare. I sat in the chair and asked if she could just sit by me while I took it. They told me I couldn’t.” 

Follow Up: Student Parent Advocacy Panel

This post was co-authored by Dr. Katia Levintova; Shannon Ribich, a 2021-22 Equity, and Inclusion Intern; and Kate Farley, one of CATL’s Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultants. 

Katia Levintova (Democracy and Justice Studies | 2021-22 EDI Consultant) facilitated a panel of student parents—Anthony Blake, Candace Hoch, and Carl Woitekaitis—on Nov. 11, 2021, from 12–1 via Zoom. Dr. Levintova led the discussion by reviewing the findings from her forthcoming publication with Dr. Kim Reilly (Democracy and Justice Studies) and summarized some of the survey data and challenges they collected about student parents at UWGB, which are consistent with the national statistics and trends.  

  • Survey of student parents and non-parents on our campus revealed that student parents take significantly longer to complete their degrees but have comparable or higher GPAs than their non-parent peers. 
  • Student parents prefer online and hybrid formats of instruction over other modalities.  
  • They are also more likely to use Veteran Lounge, MESA, and Career Services and less likely to use the Wellness Center, Learning Center, and, especially, Kress Event Center compared to their non-parent counterparts.  
  • Student parents lag behind non-parent students in accessing HIPs, especially teaching assistantships, undergraduate research opportunities, study abroad, and leadership of student organizations. 
  • Student parents are much less likely to attend co- and extra-curricular offerings on our campus, but the lack of access and ability to partake in these important educational offerings does not mean that they are not interested in having meaningful and challenging learning experiences.  
  • On a classroom level, student parents report facing additional challenges with group projects and certain classroom policies and types of assignments.  

In the panel, Dr. Levintova asked the students questions about whether their experiences as a student parent were typical or not; what things instructors have done that have helped them succeed; and what access barriers exist at UWGB for participating in high-impact practices and co-curricular activities. Here are some ways we can make our university and our courses more student parent friendly. 

Changes to Advocate for at an Institutional Level 

  • Create student parent groups that allow students to co-op for things like notetaking, childcare, or other resources. 
  • Provide options for childcare that are either financially subsidized or are available on campus, including drop-off options for student parents so that they can attend campus events and utilize campus services. 
  • Consider partnerships with NWTC or UWGB Early Childhood Development students/faculty to provide childcare. 
  • Create flexible paths through a program so that students can graduate more quickly. 
  • Have more family-oriented extra-curricular events on campus for student parents to bring their children to campus. 
  • Create opportunities for student parents to engage in internships, undergraduate research, or peer mentoring in the major. 
  • Offer more creative ways to accommodate student parents’ lack of time, including rethinking how we count hours for internships and offering more paid internships to compensate for lost income of working parents. 
  • Increase awareness or advertisement of services such as the Wellness Center and Learning Center, which are currently underutilized by student parents. 

Changes You Can Make in the Classroom 

  • Share your syllabi with students ahead of time. 
  • Create multiple options for students to participate in the class (synchronous and asynchronous). 
  • If the classes you teach are synchronous, consider using class time for group work. 
  • If the classes you teach are asynchronous, consider asking students about scheduling challenges they might have, and intentionally group students together who may have similar availability. 
  • For students unable to contribute to group assignments or in-class assignments, create alternative individual assignments and state it on the syllabus. 
  • Grade group work individually. 
  • Provide a statement about flexibility on your syllabi that explicitly lists caregiving as something you would like students to share with you so that you can accommodate them. 
  • Assume good intent and trust your students. 

This was the first event in the year-long programming designed to make our classrooms and our academic offerings more student parent friendly. Participants who attend these events or engage with these resources about creating more inclusive class environments are eligible to earn a badge through CATL. Keep an eye out in March for the next event in this programming series. 

Common CAHSS Panel: “Instructor Perspectives on Managing Information, Misinformation and Democracy in the Classroom” (Nov. 29, 11:40 a.m. – 12:35 p.m)

Check out the Common CAHSS panel on Nov. 29 from 11:40 a.m. – 12:35 p.m., where Sam Mahoney will facilitate a discussion with panelists: Preston Cherry, Christin DePouw, Lisa Lamson, J P Leary, Brian Merkel, Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier, and Jessica Warwick.

In this session, panelists will address questions around information literacy in the classroom. Topics will include managing class dynamics around controversial topics, helping students distinguish between “safety” and “comfort” in class discussions, and dispelling misinformation and misconceptions.


Exploring Open Educational Resources (OER) Workshop (Dec. 10, 11:40 a.m.–12:35 p.m.)

👓 Description

Join the Open Educational Resources Pilot team on Dec. 10 from 11:40 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. for a virtual workshop where participants will explore open educational resources (OER) for their courses.

Workshop Trailer

In this workshop trailer, Nathan Kraftcheck describes OER and shares why you might wish to adopt, modify, or create them for your courses. Check it out before you attend so that you’re ready to start finding OER during the workshop.


Participants will explore why they might wish to adopt OER, how they can find quality OER, and explore methods for creating and modifying open instructional materials.

Please reach out to CATL@uwgb.edu if you have questions before registering.



Presentation & Discussion: White Emotionality, Teaching, and Learning (Dec. 9, 1–2 p.m.)

Join Christin DePouw (Associate Professor, Education & 2021-22 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Consultant) for a presentation and guided conversation, on Dec. 9, from 1–2 p.m. Building on prior conversations, we will discuss white emotionality (Matias, 2016) as a complex set of emotional responses to race-focused discussions and consider the role of white emotionality in teaching and learning.

This discussion will deconstruct and grapple with various emotional responses that maintain or support racial dominance and consider strategies for moving past these responses. We will consider how personal responses are socially situated, and how they may interrupt or maintain institutional processes of inequality.

Register here for a link to a Teams Meeting

Student Parent Advocacy Panel (Nov. 11, 12–1 p.m.)

Did you know that nationally about 20 percent of students are student parents, paying both university tuition and childcare costs? Yet, despite shouldering enormous financial burden to attend college, many student parents routinely lack access to the best learning experiences, including HIPs.  UWGB numbers and student parents’ challenges are consistent with the national statistics and trends.

Those on our campus who are interested in unique learning challenges facing student parents on our campus, both in our regular classes and in engaging with HIPs, are cordially invited to a panel of UWGB student parents, including Anthony Blake, Candace Hoch, and Carl Woitekaitis, discussing these issues. The panel, moderated by Katia Levintova (Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies (Political Science and Global Studies), and a 2021-22 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Consultant) is on Thursday, November 11, 12–1 p.m., virtually via Zoom.

It is the first event in the year-long programming designed to make our classrooms and our academic offerings more student parents friendly. Those attending events in this series will be recognized by various levels of student parents advocate badges (Participation, Knowledge, or Practice), awarded by CATL.

Please come and learn with us how we can do better for our student parents. To register, please click here.