Released: July 3, 2023
Santa Fe Community College announces that Vanessa Rodriguez was selected as the SFCC FamilyU Student Parent Fellow. Rodriguez, 21, is pursuing a certificate in phlebotomy and an associate degree in biological sciences. In addition to being a student and mom to a two-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter who she shares with her husband Joab, she also works full-time. From an early age, her passion has centered on bettering her community. Rodriguez said, “During my Family U fellowship, I am excited to build awareness and visibility of student parents because I believe everyone deserves access to higher education and the ability to build intergenerational wealth.”
SFCC is one of seven colleges to participate in Generation Hope’s FamilyU (2022-2024) technical assistance cohort. Through FamilyU, Generation Hope partners with colleges and universities across the country to increase the number of parenting students who complete their program studies and graduate. Although parenting students account for 1 in 5 undergraduates nationwide, their odds of completion are far slimmer than students who are not parenting. Despite having higher GPAs than students without children, parenting students are 10 times less likely to graduate due to inadequate support systems. SFCC joined the Generation Hope’s Family U technical assistance program with a commitment to help SFCC parenting students defy these odds.
SFCC is expanding its support of parenting students through several college-wide initiatives supported by leaders across multiple college departments on the FamilyU team. Through SFCC’s FamilyU work, the college is developing and implementing strategies to enhance parenting students’ experiences at the college. The college has also created several family-friendly campus spaces, including a family study room in the college library. The Student Parent Success Program, a program of the college’s Early Childhood Center of Excellence (ECCOE), provides 1:1 support, coaching, and stipends for younger parenting students at the college. The program has also established a Student Parent Advisory Group to amplify parenting students’ voices in decision-making both within the program and across the college. ECCOE and the Student Parent Success Program also host parent workshops and family activities for both parenting students and the broader community.
Joining the FamilyU Cohort experience in the second and final year, Student Parent Fellows are integral members of each school’s team, working together with academic and administrative staff to create a more family-friendly campus. As the SFCC Student Parent Fellow, Rodriguez will serve as a liaison between students and the FamilyU team. She will participate in the work of both the cross-departmental Family U team and Student Parent Success Program and develop her own student parent advocacy project, with the support of the college.
Student Parent Success Project Manager Rachel Kutcher said, “SFCC welcomes parenting students and strives to ensure their SFCC experience is fulfilling and successful. We’re excited to have Vanessa join our team as we deepen our commitment to parenting students’ achievements and leadership at SFCC.”
For more information about Generation Hope’s Family U Fellows visit https://www.generationhope.org/our-stories/2023-familyu-student-parent-fellows. For information on SFCC’s parent resources contact Rachel Kutcher at email@example.com or 505-428-1325 or visit sfcc.edu/parenting-students/.
For more than 35 years, Santa Fe Community College has been the gateway to success for individuals and the community by providing affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological, and economic needs of a diverse community. SFCC is a designated Best for Vets and Military Friendly school. The college serves more than 12,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult programs. For further information, visit sfcc.edu or call 505-428-1000. Follow us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.