Wraparound programs are a model for supporting student parent success that provides a comprehensive system of support to promote educational success for both parent and child. Wraparound programs typically are restricted to low-income and/or single-parent students, and within this population, often serve the highest risk student populations (e.g. former foster youth, teen parents, families experiencing homelessness or domestic violence, etc.)
Wraparound programs are often, but not exclusively, residential programs, through which the family lives on campus, or in the immediate community surrounding the campus, while the parent attends a full-time associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. Students within wraparound programs work with a social worker or program director who coordinates a system of comprehensive support, including academic tutoring, work study jobs, federal, state and institutional financial aid, childcare, food security programs, life skills, mentoring, and assistance navigating external support services and systems.
Because of the intensive support and ongoing monitoring within wraparound programs, even the highest-risk groups of student parents experience remarkable success. The Keys to Degrees Program at Endicott College, for example, is a wraparound program that was launched in 1993. To date, 80% of the students who entered the program have completed a college degree, all but a handful, bachelor’s degrees. The Keys to Success Program at St. Catherine University has also found similar outcomes.
However, because of the comprehensive nature of wraparound programs, they are both resource and labor intensive. For this reason, wraparound programs are generally small, with a maximum capacity of as few as 3-4 students, and no more than 25-30.
The National Center for Student Parent Programs is currently exploring cost-efficient ways to replicate wraparound programs for high impact and scale to promote college access and success two-generations at a time!