Publication Date

Spring 5-8-2023

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The purpose of this study was to learn about the experiences of graduate students who are raising children while enrolled in master’s and PhD programs at the University of San Diego. The question that guided this research was: What do the stories of graduate student parents inform us about the need to improve policies and practices at USD? Three cycles of action research were conducted at the University of San Diego between November 2022 and March 2023, with a total of seven participants. The methods of research included focus groups, interviews, and a creative group session. It was found that there are some areas where there is a lack of support in funding, campus space, and inclusivity for student-parents at USD. Further findings indicated that graduate student parents in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) department at USD felt supported by their professors and faculty.

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