McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Erika Humphries

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Major and Classification

Policy, Planning and Development and Minor in Dance

Faculty Mentor

  • Gary D. Painter, Ph.D.

Department

  • School of Policy, Planning & Development

McNair Project

Barriers Associated with Mothers Entering Post-Secondary Education Programs: Mitigating the Barriers

Abstract
Prior research on mothers entering post-secondary education has demonstrated that investing heavily in education will promote an increase in skilled labor in the American economy, and enrich individual lives, communities, and the lives of future generations. However, there is a lack of research regarding the challenges, and barriers associated with entering higher education institutions among this population. A greater understanding of this special population is required especially as government programs dedicate more money to their cause. This study uses mixed-methods to investigates the perceptual differences between mothers who attended and others who did not matriculate, their perceived identity conflicts, self-esteem, self-efficacy, financial well-being, attitude toward education, and social support. Preliminary findings showed significant differences on perceived identity conflict between college attended mothers and non college attended mothers. College attended mothers reported higher perceived identity conflict than non college attended mothers. Such findings demonstrate the need for further research in order to mitigate barriers associated with entering and completing post-secondary education programs as described by college attended and non college attended mothers.