03/31/2022 | AuthorNCC
Reprinted from Winter 2022 EOP Newsletter
Sue Ellyn Cortez and her four-year old daughter were both headed to the classroom last fall. For Cortez, who graduated from high school in 2012, the time was finally right to go to college. And thanks to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which provides intensive counseling, tutoring, skill development workshops, supplemental instruction and other services, Sue Ellyn is receiving the support she needs to be successful at Nassau Community College.
“My goal was always to continue my education…I want to be a role model to my daughter,” said Cortez, who plans to major in theatre arts. “I want to give it my all.”
Sue Ellyn is one of three moms who juggled parenthood and jobs while participating in NCC’s EOP Pre-Freshman Summer Program. Helping these busy student mothers overcome obstacles and reach their academic goals is a priority for Nassau EOP Director William Clyde Jr. and his counselors, who champion the needs of parenting students.
According to data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, more than one in five college students are parents. Of the nearly four million students who are raising children while in college, more than 70 percent are mothers. The largest share of student parents are enrolled in community colleges.
Akeema Morton, a radiation therapy major, already had a full plate before enrolling at NCC. A married mother of three who works full-time and is a volunteer board member at the MLK Center, Akeema is an experienced multi-tasker. She was interviewed for this story while waiting in the checkout line at the local Stop & Shop. Adding classes, homework and studying to her daily responsibilities is daunting.
“For me, the EOP summer program was a blueprint for what’s to come,” said Morton. “There are things I had forgotten about school life.” She particularly enjoyed working in a group because she found she could feed off the energy of other students.
Though she has taken some ribbing from her children for returning to school at age 30, Morton wants her kids to see the importance of education.
I served in the United States Navy in Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, II and at Camp Pendleton with the 5th Marines. I was also deployed to Okinawa, Japan twice. Stateside, I knew that Nassau Community College has a reputation for being very military friendly, and when I got here, it was true.
Nov 10, 2023 | NCC