The University of Texas at El Paso’s Alyse C. Hachey, Ph.D., associate professor of early childhood education, co-authored a research paper that for the first time uses data to show that students with preschool-aged children, despite having higher GPAs on average, are at risk because they have significantly lower quantity and quality of time for college than their peers with older or no children.
“Although our findings make intuitive sense and have been assumed for a long time, this is the first study to use empirical methods to prove it by actually gathering and analyzing data,” Hachey said.
“My hope is our research gets policymakers to re-think current support programs and to create new ones for student parents that will really address the issue – time poverty – which is holding them, and potentially the next generation, back.”
The study shows that the main reason for the time differential is the amount of time spent on childcare.
It also shows that a greater availability of convenient and affordable childcare likely would lead to better college outcomes for students with young children.
The researchers conducted their study from 2015 to early 2017, said Hachey, who joined UTEP in fall 2017. They based their findings on institutional data and surveys of students who attended a large, urban U.S. university.
She said research has shown that increased parental education improves the educational outcomes of their children. In fact, parents often are motivated to attend or return to college to provide for their children financially or to set a good example.
The Journal of Higher Education recently published “No Time for College? An Investigation of Time Poverty and Parenthood.” Hachey collaborated on the study with Claire Wladis, Ph.D., professor of mathematics, and Katherine Conway, Ph.D., professor of business management, who both teach at the Borough of Manhattan Community College at the City University of New York.