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Boise State Creates Space for Student Parents, Kids

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Tuesday, September 12, 2023   

In September, the spotlight is on a college student population that is often overlooked: parents. This month is student parent month and studies show this group is less likely to get a degree than their peers. However, some colleges and universities are finding ways to better accommodate them, including Boise State University. They have set up a family study room in Albertsons Library.

Georgann Kurtz-Shaw, head of instruction and research services with the library, explained the room helps parents feel comfortable bringing their kids to campus.

"We decided to do what we had seen some other universities doing and that's create a space just for students who are also parents at the same time," Kurtz-Shaw explained.

Kurtz-Shaw added parents sometimes worry their kids are disruptive while they study in the library. A U.S. Government Accountability Office report found 52% of student parents left school without a degree, compared to 32% of students without children.

Kurtz-Shaw added the family study room is an inviting place for kids.

"It's a very colorful space and we think it's a happy space - a space that parents would want to bring children to and children would want to be in and could entertain themselves for a while while their parents work," Kurtz-Shaw said.

Kurtz-Shaw said it is important to have student parents in higher education for a number of reasons, noting they provide a unique perspective.

"The things that their children will learn from them while they watch their parents get a degree are also very valuable, and it sort of pays it forward in some ways," Kurtz-Shaw continued.


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