Single Parents Reaching Out for Unlimited Tomorrows (SPROUT)
What is SPROUT?
The SPROUT program is a comprehensive residential program for single parents (ages 18-23) and their children. Founded at Baldwin Wallace in the Fall of 1990, this program was created when it was identified that many single parents drop out of the college environment when it becomes difficult to care for their children. Many are unable to finance day care, independent housing, or their education given the many competing needs. However, without a college degree most single parents (primarily women) are unable to break the cycle of welfare. Given the opportunity of campus housing and nearby day care, this cycle can be broken.
What are the components of the SPROUT Program?
Each mother and her child are provided with year round, on-campus housing in a group living environment. Typically, four families share a large campus home. Each mother and child has a private room and shares group living space such as living rooms, study areas and dining facilities.
Child care is the responsibility of each parent, yet Baldwin Wallace assists each woman in obtaining funds from social welfare programs, grants, and scholarships to offset costs. There are several childcare providers in the Berea community. Currently, childcare services are being provided by the Family Life Center of Berea, located on the Baldwin Wallace campus.
A component of the SPROUT program is personal development of each individual woman in regard to her academic and career aspirations, her parenting skills and individual personality and interest. Personal development occurs through a series of methods including speakers, classes, counseling, mentoring, experimental projects and internship experiences.
Students are selected to participate in the SPROUT program based on their desire, need, past academic achievement and academic promise. Each participant is expected to complete full time course work each term while meeting the College grade point average requirements. Baldwin Wallace offers a number of support services such as tutors, a learning center, a writing laboratory and a computer center to help assure students of their success.
A major concern for many single parents is how to pay for college, housing, childcare and living expenses. The Financial Aid Office, along with the director of the SPROUT program, assists each student in locating and obtaining funding for these expenses through federal financial aid, TANF, scholarships, grants and student loans. The majority of students in the SPROUT program work on campus through the campus work-study program to develop additional skills while earning money toward their educational cost.
Each mother is a full time student who is responsible for her individual academic success through the use of campus support services, if necessary. All participants are responsible for a portion of the financial cost of tuition and must fulfill those obligations through work-study jobs, scholarships and loans. The women juggle care for their children with campus responsibilities. In addition to her academic and work demands, each student also participates in a series of self-development and educational programs outside of the classroom.
For further information contact, Julie Candela, SPROUT Director, 440-826-2130.