Long Beach City College and Raise The Barr Announce Innovative Partnership to Support Single-Parent Student

(Long Beach, CA, September 21, 2022) Raise The Barr (RTB) and Long Beach City College (LBCC) announced an innovative partnership to launch a pilot program that will coordinate care and housing for low-income single-parent students and their children. This is the first time the two organizations have partnered together with the goal of improving academic outcomes with a program that focuses on LBCC single-parent students and their families.

“Often single parents struggle with a decision – do they provide care and support for their children or do they take college classes in order to make a better life for themselves and their family,” said Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) Board President Uduak-Joe Ntuk. “With this new partnership with Raise The Barr, our single-parent students won’t have to make that difficult decision. They can take their classes and concentrate on achieving their degree or their plans to transfer to a university and not worry about how they will pay their rent or find affordable childcare.”

Twelve students will be selected by LBCC to participate in this one-year pilot program. Long Beach City College’s CARE, CalWORKs, and Basic Needs staff will work closely with RTB’s Whole Family Program Coordinators to provide wrap-around academic, mental health services and other basic needs to LBCC’s single-parent students and their families, including:

  • Subsidized housing
  • Childcare
  • Financial literacy and career development workshops held at LBCC

“I know from first-hand experience that the mountains that you have to climb when you’re a single parent attending college are challenging,” said LBCCD Superintendent-President Dr. Mike Muñoz.“Many of the resources like daycare and student housing that would assist single parents aren’t usually available until you attend a four-year university. This important partnership opens doors and resources specifically for our single-parent students to persist with their education and help their families thrive.”

Through this collaboration, the initial cohort of LBCC’s single-parent students will gain access to Raise The Barr’s whole-family model designed to help single parents persist in college by intentionally and simultaneously working with both generations. Raise The Barr’s support will include activities focused on peer-to-peer support, mental health and wellness, healthy relationships, job training and career development, and financial empowerment with an emphasis on reducing financial burden, stabilizing expenses, and building wealth. 

Lori Barr, co-founder of Raise The Barr and Southern California native said, “We are very excited to launch these new programs with LBCC.  We hope they will serve as scalable, cost-effective model programs for community colleges across the state, pairing wrap-around services with housing subsidies to increase the 6-year attainment rate for single-parent students.”

Nationally, it is estimated that one out of five undergraduate students is a parent, with about half of them single parents.  Student parents are more likely to identify with one or more marginalized communities; they are more likely to be first-generation students, identify as women and BIPOC, and live at or below the poverty line.  Students who are single parents are much less likely to graduate than other undergraduate students. They also graduate with more student debt.  Promoting college success among single-parent students is critical to improving racial, ethnic, and gender equity in higher education access.

About Raise The Barr

Co-founded by UCLA All-American, Loyola High School Alum, 4xPro-Bowl linebacker, and 2022 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award finalist Anthony Barr, and his mother native Southern-Californian Lori Barr in 2016. Raise The Barr was inspired by their lived experience as a single-parent family.  Raise The Barr partners with single-parent students and their children to increase their opportunity and economic mobility through education. Together, single-parent students and Raise The Barr plan and implement comprehensive programming that leads to health and well-being for the entire family.  RTB invests in targeted supportive services and systems change initiatives that help single-parent students (SPS) and their children meet their financial, academic, and health and well-being goals. Collectively, our work improves a single-parent student’s chance of persisting and degree completion resulting in a range of benefits to families and society. More information on Raise the Barr can be found at www.raisethebarr.org or by following Raise The Barr on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College consists of two campuses with an enrollment of over 25,000 students each semester and serves the cities of Avalon, Lakewood, Long Beach, and Signal Hill. LBCC promotes equitable student learning and achievement, academic excellence, and workforce development by delivering high quality educational programs and support services to our diverse communities. Visit www.LBCC.edu for more information about Long Beach City College.