Open Program Models


Open programs support student parents through a variety of services which can be offered through a Student Parent Resource Center, or through separate offices across campus. Open programs began with the implementation of various family support services offered to students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities such as: family housing, campus childcare, institutional scholarships and subsidies, women’s centers and work/life offices, legal services, health services, food pantries and university- community partnership programs.

Unlike wraparound programs, which offer student parents a package of services as students within the program, open program services may usually be accessed ala carte, allowing student parents to chose which services and programs to utilize.

While the availability of a range of services and programs that student parents can select from expands opportunities to serve large numbers of student parents in various ways, and often at a lower cost per student served, open programs often have less frequent contact with their student parent participants and may operate in separate divisions or parts of campus from one another. It is important with open programs to coordinate information and services so that student parents are able to access information about all of the services and supports available to them at the college or university through a centralized point of contact. This is often a student parent resource center or office within student support services.

Our membership discussion groups include opportunities to connect with other college and university faculty and staff who work with open programs. Join us to connect and learn from other open programs across the country!