Female Immigrants Face Higher Hurdles to College Success


Nontraditional students, especially single working mothers, face a number of unique barriers in their quest to become professionals, none larger than childcare. Photo courtesy of New America Media

By  Erika Cebreros, translated by Elena Shore, New America Media / BabyCenter en Español

Lourdes Alarcón is what higher-education experts call a “non-traditional student.” In other words, she isn’t a young person who went straight to college after high school. Originally from Bolivia, she is a thirty-something mom raising two kids – a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl – on her own. And by the end of 2013, after four years of personal sacrifice and hard work at San Francisco State University, she’ll also be a college graduate.

Alarcón’s success was spurred by disappointment. Five years ago, she lost her job of assistant principal at an elementary school in San Francisco, and subsequently had difficulty finding a job that would pay her enough to support a family in one of the country’s most expensive areas to live.

“My options were to [either] go to college, or take any job,” said Alarcón. “I preferred to study to get ahead and provide a better future for my kids. My dream has always been to be a teacher.”

Read the complete story at New America Media.

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