Endicott College Grows Keys to Degrees with Grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation

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Single Parent Program Expanding to Dillard University; Furthering Academic Opportunities Available to Students with Young Children.

After seeing so many success stories firsthand here at Endicott, the desire to help as many single parents as possible is a strong one. With the Kellogg Foundation’s support, we can continue, grow, and perpetuate this effort.

Endicott College is pleased to announce that their nationally renowned Keys to Degrees residential program for single parents has been awarded a $700,000 grant for replication at Dillard University in New Orleans. The two-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will also fund the continuation of successful Keys to Degrees programs at Eastern Michigan University and Ferris State University and includes funds to be used for evaluation, research, public policy development and dissemination of best practices in providing access to higher education for young parents.

“The Kellogg Foundation grant is a huge confirmation for us that the mission of this program is important to higher education administrators and policymakers alike,” said Dr. Richard Wylie, President, Endicott College. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Dillard University on their new program and also fund work necessary to bring these residential program benefits to locations across the country. After seeing so many success stories firsthand here at Endicott, the desire to help as many single parents as possible is a strong one. With the Kellogg Foundation’s support, we can continue, grow, and perpetuate this effort.”

The success of Keys to Degrees at Endicott College earned a grant of $400,000 from the Kellogg Foundation in 2009, which was for pilot replication of the program at Eastern Michigan University and Ferris State University in Michigan. Since implementation of those two programs, the push to provide similar opportunities for young parents has gained momentum nationwide. The new grant includes additional funding for Eastern Michigan and Ferris State to continue working with their programs.

Funded by the grant, this two-generation program, which provides educational opportunities for enrolled student parents and their children together, will now be implemented at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, beginning in fall 2013. Located in a state with high rates of teen parenthood and child poverty, Dillard is very highly regarded academically and provides a solid foundation for Keys to Degrees as part of their commitment to the success of all students.

“Our students have a need for a program like this, and we are absolutely excited to work with Endicott College to serve the needs of our single parents on campus,” said Dr. Kevin Bastian, Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Support Services, Dillard University. “Through this grant, our students can now focus on creating a better life for themselves and their children. I expect to enroll about 15 single parents on our first year and I anticipate this program being received quite well within our community.”

Strategic support and guidance for the Keys to Degrees programs will be supported by The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Ascend at the Aspen Institute was launched in 2011 to elevate two-generation strategies to move children and their parents beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security. Working with 20 Ascend Fellows, Ascend at the Aspen Institute is focusing on sparking a new conversation around low-income families, building a leadership network, and elevating two-generation community solutions and policies. Endicott College’s Dr. Wylie serves as an inaugural member of the 2012-2013 Ascend Fellowship class.

The Keys to Degrees: Educating Two Generations Together program was founded at Endicott College in 1992 to provide education opportunities to young men and women who become single parents before they are able to complete college. The program is designed for academically qualified single men and women, ages 18 to 24 at the time of their enrolment, who are the parents of one child. While these young parents complete their undergraduate degrees in an encouraging environment, benefits like campus housing and support services ensure the experience is positive and enriching for both parents and children.

“Thanks to the Keys to Degrees Program, I became the first college graduate in my family,” said Monica Arriaza Hernandez, Endicott College Class of 2007. “I am able to have a good career and a promising future. The program allowed me to grow as a student and as an individual, but most importantly, it provided the tools and support I needed to also grow as a parent. I’m overjoyed knowing that programs like these are expanding. These programs allow single parents who would otherwise not have the privilege or opportunity to gain their degrees and better their and their children’s future.”

As part of the grant, funding and support will go to a group of institutions utilizing single parent programs to assist in setting up an evaluation and data collection system that will be used in developing and reporting best practices.

For more information on Keys to Degrees, visit http://www.endicott.edu/keystodegrees.


About Endicott College
Located in Beverly, Massachusetts on 235 acres of oceanfront property, Endicott College offers Doctor, Master and Bachelor degree programs in the professional and liberal arts. Founded in 1939, Endicott provides an education built upon a combination of theory and practice, which is tested through internships and work experience. Studying at the Beverly campus, regionally, and internationally are approximately 2,360 undergraduate and more than 2,500 adult and graduate students. For more information, visit http://www.endicott.edu.

About The W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

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Joanne Waldner
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