Task force survey identifies needs of student caregivers

Emily Pisqui

A new campus task force wants to hear the voices of all student-parents and caregivers.

The task force at Colorado State University developed a survey that will help reach the needs of students who are parents, guardians, future parents or caregivers. The survey will give the task force more information to reach the needs of students who are parents or are planning to be parents. 

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The task force is made up of members of many units and divisions, including the Office of Financial Aid, admissions, the Registrars Office, Student Case Management, the Office of International Programs, Housing and Dining Services and the Academic Advancement Center.

“I don’t think we could effectively try to capture the perspective of these students without it being across all these different units,” said John Henderson, assistant dean of students who also serves as the director for Parent and Family Programs. “There are all of these other spaces that really care about this particular set of students and how we can do better as a university to serve them.”

An email was sent out by the Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes stating the reason the task force created this survey was to help parents, guardians, future parents and/or caregivers to make sure they have the resources to succeed on campus.

It’s the first steps, but at least we’re moving in the right direction and asking about this population.” -Orlando Cruz, student-parent, master student in student affairs in higher education

“The whole reason this task force as a whole started was to figure out what are the resources on campus, because different places are doing different things for student-parents, and expand it to pregnant students, students planning to become pregnant and caregiving students,” said Lisa Chandler, assistant director for Adult Learner and Veteran Services. “We want to figure out how to create more of a hub, to figure out what gaps are missing in order to help these students.”

Chandler said the feedback from this survey will help the task force know what exactly they can do to help this student population at CSU.

“It’s important to accommodate a wide variety of our students and individual needs they might have on campus,” said Matthew Ross, a student majoring in journalism and media communication and part of ALVS.

Orlando Cruz, a parent who is currently in a master’s program in student affairs in higher education, took the survey and said it was the first time he was asked about his experiences as a parent.

“It’s the first steps, but at least we’re moving in the right direction and asking about this population,” Cruz said. 

To encourage students to take the test, the first 50 participants to complete the survey will receive a $25 Visa gift card. Everyone who completes the survey will have a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.

The survey allows student-parents and caregivers to express their experiences with handling school and caring for a dependent, said business student Mick Larson.

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“I think it’s good CSU is looking into this,” Larson said. “It’s definitely a need since I know, in recent years, there has been huge growth of student-parents and caregivers on campus. ” 

To take the survey, click here

Emily Pisqui can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @emilypisq15.