Spring 2008 |
For more than 20 years, MCC has offered services directly for single
parents, single pregnant women and displaced homemakers. Single Parent
Homemakers Services (SPHS) is a program offered to low-income and first
generation MCC students to assist in learning, self-sufficiency and personal
and career development. Single parents with full or joint custody of minor
children, single pregnant women and homemakers with diminished marketable
skills who need to return to the workforce due to divorce or the death or
disability of a spouse are eligible for this program.
Phyllis Brown joined the College as the coordinator of Single Parent
Homemaker Services in late fall 2007. Though the program has a history at the
College, a major emphasis of her work is aimed at promoting and enhancing the
accessibility of these services.
Brown began her new position by visiting MCC´s campuses and sites and
asking students what they would like to see in the SPHS program.
Overwhelmingly, both staff and students wanted the services to be accessible
to all campuses and sites, which may not have a daily presence from the
program. But once accessed, what does SPHS do?
"We provide one-to-one counseling and advising. They see the same
advisor each time, versus seeing who is available," Brown said.
SPHS counselors and advisors help students by evaluating their educational,
financial and personal/family needs then examining the options available in
education, careers and financial aid. They then help the student plan for
their future, including nontraditional career information, career exploration,
employability skills and community resource referrals if needed.
SPHS offers four types of services. The first, Positive Opportunities for
Parenting Solo, is a group that fosters personal and educational growth
through mentoring, networking, community service and lifelong relationships.
Secondly, SPHS staff provide agency referrals to students by locating other
services not provided by SPHS. Thirdly, the program offers workshops and
seminars throughout the year that cover topics such as resume writing,
interviewing, math anxiety, parenting and budgeting. Finally, SPHS operates a
book lending program that loans textbooks to student participants who
demonstrate financial need.
"We encourage them to go as far as they can, and we try to be there to
help them take one step further," Brown said. "Students graduate
with skills to take back to the community. The goal is to retain, graduate and
transfer our students to four-year institutions and to provide them with the
tools necessary to become self-sufficient parents and citizens."
Students can visit the SPHS web site
www.mccneb.edu/trio/sph, make an appointment in advance or
walk in to meet with a representative. SPHS representatives are on the Fort
Omaha and South Omaha campuses full-time and at the other MCC locations each