September 23, 2022
The Tallahassee Community College Library now features a Family Study Room. The study space was created for students who need to use the library while accompanied by their young children. The Family Study Room features two computers for student use and contains amenities and activities appropriate for younger children. Family kit backpacks which include a puzzle set, coloring book and crayons, non-toxic markers for the room’s whiteboards, and a tablet with educational apps for children, can be checked out at the service desk.
The Family Study Room is the most recent addition to the resources for students who are parents. On the main campus, restrooms in the Library and Student Union are outfitted with changing tables and a private lactation room is available in TPP 176. The Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education campus is equipped with changing tables and a private lactation room. Childcare assistance and school-readiness resources are provided through a partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend.
According to Generation Hope, one in five undergraduate students nationally are parents. Statistics also show that fewer than 2% of teen mothers earn a college degree before the age of 30 and more than half of all parenting college students leave school without a degree. College completion unlocks higher earnings for young parents with average annual earnings more than doubling after earning a college degree.
“We know that young parents face many challenges when trying to balance their studies with caring for their children,” said Sheri Rowland, Vice President for Student Affairs at Tallahassee Community College. “Our Family Study Room is the most recent addition to the resources we offer to make student parents feel welcome and supported on our campus.”
Students can book the Family Study Room through the study room reservation system. The room is intended for use by students when accompanied by their children. While geared for children under the age of 12 and designed to entertain children aged one to five, children of all ages are welcome. Children must be supervised by their parent or caregiver at all times while on campus.
“The Family Study Room is close to my heart because I know first-hand the challenges you face as a parent while trying to earn a degree,” said Sila Lott, Faculty Librarian and Interim Director of Library Services who led the project to create the Family Study Room. “Our goal was to make the room as welcoming as it is functional. I’m so proud of the team that came together to create this space.”
“I think it’s phenomenal,” said Ja’Zel Pemberton, TCC student and mother of three. “Having a space where students can feel comfortable and supported is so important. The room actually provides motivation to come to study because my kids really love being here.”
“Supporting student parents and their young families is essential and can have a multi-generational impact,” said Anthony Jones, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Many studies have shown that a child’s future educational success is linked to the examples set by their parents. When a parent is successful, their child can be successful as well.”