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New moms are going back to school too

10 tips that can earn your college or university a winning report card

Back-to-school time put most moms into a shopping madness. But when mom is the student, the madness takes on a whole new meaning.

Here are 10 smart ideas your institution of higher learning can explore to lower a new mom’s madness and help her balance home life, campus life and life away from her precious newborn.

  1. Help with childcare. Offering a childhood development center for new moms on campus will ease stresses and provide valuable training, insights and internships for early child development and education majors.
  2. Offer new moms a back-up plan. A student babysitter club or service will give mom a game plan if her child is sick and can’t go to daycare. It’s a win-win— a new mom doesn’t miss classes and her fellow students make some extra money.
  3. Plan a new mom or mom student orientation. Consider including her baby or toddler, so they both can do a trial run before the school bell rings. It’s also a great way for new moms to meet and form a support group for studying, car pooling and sharing ideas (or even a few “I miss by baby” tears)  during the school year.
  4. Provide a new mom with a student advisor/counselor who understands her situation and is always ready to help. He or she can advise mom on what’s the best class schedule and make the transition easier for her and her baby.
  5. Nursing rooms are a must. Why make a new mom abandon breastfeeding just because she’s hitting the books? Equip your campus with private rooms for moms to pump or bring her baby for nursing sessions between classes.
  6. Host a clothing swap on campus. That will help those new moms who may not fit into their pre-prgnancy wardrobe to add some style to their school days. Traditional students will also benefit from slightly used, yet price-savvy fashions. Book swaps are a great idea, too.
  7. Create a new mom on campus handbook. Content could include easy meal recipes for her and her family, advice on studying between birthday parties and bath time and even coffee coupons to fuel the occasional all-nighter. (Not that she gets much sleep anyway.)
  8. Feature new mom student achievements on your school Facebook page. The virtual encouragement will give moms a big boost in bringing home the As and potential new moms a big incentive to apply.
  9. Make the most of mom’s time. Consider offering accelerated classes, weekend sessions or online studies for new moms. The key to making their scholastic stint more successful is offering flexibility and options.
  10. A little tuition help goes a long way. New mom scholarships, grants and other assistance programs can make her the BSOC (Big Saver on Campus).

Big test tomorrow…are you ready? Enrich the college experience for new moms and you’ll both end up with bigger brains and bigger bucks.