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No More Pencils, No More Books: Online College Offers Help To Working Moms

July 21, 2008

Johnson City, TN - Getting the education necessary for a better-paying job requires time and money that many single, working parents just don't have. In Tennessee, some working mothers are turning to online learning programs for help.

Helen MacDermott works with Project Working Mom, an outreach effort of www.elearners.com. It's a program that provides scholarships specifically to help single mothers improve their earning potential - especially, she says, during tough economic times.

"There was a silent crisis in this country. Single working mothers were trapped in this cycle of underemployment, not earning enough to maintain self-sufficiency."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one-fourth of working mothers earn less than $10,000 per year. But the earning potential is brighter for students like Elizabeth Woods. She's a single mother who is attending American Sentinel University's nursing program online, on a full scholarship from Project Working Mom. She says the time, energy and expense involved in raising a family makes it tough to earn a degree through a traditional college.

"Many times you don't know what to do. You don't know how to come up with the money, or if you'll have time to get there. And many times, at colleges that are local, the instructors are just not very understanding."

Without the online program and the scholarship assistance, Woods is convinced she would never be able to attain the degree she started working on years ago. Now, she says, that goal is in sight again.

Barbara Dab/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - TN