Role model moms post-secondary academy: A university–community collaboration to encourage access to postsecondary for marginalized women

Roxanne Wright, Tianyue Wang, Casey Goldstein, Danielle Thibodeau, Joyce Nyhof-Young

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The Role Model Moms (RMM) program supports low-income mothers completing their General Equivalency Diplomas. Postsecondary education (PSE) can break cycles of intergenerational poverty; however, existing PSE orientation resources were not designed for this group. A need existed for a new university resource utilizing a collaborative and community-engagement approach to provide tailored information on PSE for RMM participants. The RMM Post-Secondary Academy was developed to bridge this gap. It was evaluated via facilitator debriefing sessions, post-event surveys, and participant interviews, with results analyzed using basic statistics and descriptive thematic analysis. The event has run for three iterations, inviting 42, 45, and 38 women, respectively. Participants improved their understanding of and outlook on PSE. Their PSE concerns included family, financial, and academic barriers. This event provides a replicable model for responsive and cost-effective community programming. Community engagement ensured the content was relevant and applicable to the target audience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2021


  • marginalized populations
  • cross-institutional collaboration
  • grassroots
  • general equivalency diploma
  • women

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