WCU is committed to supporting students who devote resources to caring for their children or family members and often face additional obstacles to success. The information on this page is designed to help you balance the competing tasks of your life as a student and caregiver by highlighting resources that provide academic support, financial support, and community support. These resources have a specific focus on the West Chester and Philadelphia areas. In the parent section, you will find information regarding child-care centers, federal child-care subsidy programs, scholarship opportunities and additional resources.

General:

  • PA Provider Search: This database provides users the opportunity to search for child care providers by zip code. A list of providers along with information about address, website, contact information, hours of operation, age groups, cost, subsidies accepted, meals provided, transportation, and discounts are included.
  • A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in PA: This guide can be used to access information about (1) where to start your search, (2) what to look for when you visit a facility, (3) questions to ask while you visit, and (4) how to access a list of child care facilities in PA.

Philadelphia Centers:

  • Philadelphia Free PreK: This site offers information about Philadelphia child care facilities who participate in the Philly PreK program, which provides free pre-school to residents of Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia Child Care Information: Additional information about child care centers in Philadelphia. 

West Chester Centers:

  • Child Care Centers in West Chester: This is not an inclusive list of child care centers and I am unsure of any partnerships between the college and these organizations, but this might be a starting point to explore specific centers in West Chester, PA. My hope is later in the semester we will have a more inclusive list of these resources.

 

  • PA Help Paying for Child Care: A Screen for Benefits: This is a PA site where you can input your information to see if you qualify for assistance such as: (1) Health Care Coverage, (2) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (3) Free or Reduced Price School Meals, (4) Cash Assistance, (5) Child Care Works, and (6) Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). 
  • PA Child Care Works Program: This is a PA site where you can learn more about child care subsidy programs. 
  • Cap4Kids.org: This resource provides additional Information about Chester County's Child Care Information Services. They can answer questions about receiving subsidies for child care.  
  • WCU Scholarships: These are scholarships available to students with a variety of backgrounds, majors, and interests.
    • Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship for Mature Students
      • The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation was created in 1979 at the bequest of Mrs. Newcombe. Mrs. Newcombe greatly valued higher education during her lifetime. In her will, she established the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation to continue her scholarship gifts. Her legacy continues until today. The Foundation provides scholarship funds to select colleges and universities for mature/second career students to complete their education and prepare for careers. As a result of this generous funding, WCU is able to award 20-30 Newcombe Scholarships per year. 

      • Eligibility:
        • 25 years old or more by the time of award
        • Undergraduate degree candidate completing 60+ credits by by the time of award
        • Enroll in 9 or more credits per semester at West Chester University during the award academic year
        • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 31. International students must complete a paper version of the FAFSA, available in the Financial Aid Office.
      • Application Process: The online application for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship Application is available in February; Applications are due in early April; Award recipients are notified by late May 

    • Alice Conway Memorial Scholarship
      • The Alice E. Conway Memorial Scholarship was established in July 2006 to honor the memory of a beloved member of the West Chester University staff. Alice served the University with distinction for many years, and always provided great comfort, support, and valuable assistance to faculty, staff, and students. She was a member of the Division of Academic Affairs staff for close to two decades before joining the Division of Student Affairs in 1999, where she oversaw the administrative operations of the Counseling Center. Her humor, genuineness, warmth, and care for others were valued traits, and she brought welcomed relief to the many students who passed through the Counseling Center. The University honored Alice in 2003 with the Civility Award in recognition of her untiring dedication to others. After her untimely death, her family, friends, and colleagues created a scholarship in her name to memorialize and honor her "mothering" presence to so many at the University.

      • Amount: $500

      • Eligibility: A student who is a parent, guardian, or part of a custodial relationship with a child or children who are under the age of 18

      • Application Process: This award uses the same online application as the Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship and follows the same timeline for submission deadlines and notifications 

    • Jane Swan Scholarship
      • The Jane Swan Scholarship is given each year to a student who demonstrates superior academic achievement and steadfast dedication to improving the lives of women. Jane Swan was the Director of the Women's Center from 1977-1981. Her hard work secured a central location, budget, and graduate student support. In 1979, Jane Swan was instrumental to starting drop-in childcare at the Women's Center to support parenting students. She was especially committed to supporting non-traditional women students at WCU.

      • Amount: $500
      • Eligibility: A non-traditional woman in her third or fourth year at the University

      • Application Process: This award uses the same online application as the Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship and follows the same timeline for submission deadlines and notifications

  • Twardowski Career Development Center: This is the department to learn more about on- and off-campus jobs and internships.
    • All current WCU students have an account in Handshake; log in using your WCU Network ID (e.g., AB654321@wcupa.edu) and password.

 On-Campus

  • Resource Pantry on Campus: The WCU Resource Pantry supports student success by minimizing food and basic need security and preparing students for life after graduation. 
    • The Resource Pantry is open to ALL undergraduate and graduate students at West Chester University, regardless of need level. No appointment necessary, walk-in’s are welcome at any time during our hours of operation.
    • The Pantry offers non-perishable food, fresh produce from the campus gardens, personal care items, school supplies, and winter and career clothing.

Off-Campus

On-Campus Resources:

Off-Campus Resources

On-Campus Resources: 

  • Counseling Services: “Personal Counseling consists of a one-to-one counseling experience where the focus is upon: (1) resolving personal conflicts, (2) resolving conflicts with others, and (3) improving your expertise at making personally meaningful choices. 
  • Group Therapy Services: The therapy groups include (1) navigating relationship group, (2) women’s group, (3) RAM support group, (4) grief group, and (5) stress-less: what to do when life is a mess group. 

Off-Campus Resources: 

  • Black Men Heal: "King's Corner: A Virtual Safe Space Meet Up for Men": King's Corner is a virtual safe meetup for men held every Sunday evening via Zoom. Register for this group by visiting blackmenheal.org.
  • Ok2Talk.org: This website is sponsored by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). “OK2TALK is a community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health conditions can find a safe place to talk about what they’re experiencing by sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope.” Visitors to this site can also find resources, support services, and a phone number to talk to someone (1-800-273-8255).  

CHIP: CHIP is an insurance program especially for children and is solely dependent upon your current income

On Campus

  • West Chester University's Speech and Hearing Clinic: The Clinic offers free, full diagnostic evaluations for children and adults suspected of having speech, language, or hearing disorders. Treatment is offered in both individual and group settings and bilingual Spanish-English evaluations and treatment are available.

 Educational Resources

Podcasts 

Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence as Parents

  • Helpline:
    • PA hotline - 1-888-772-7227
    • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-4673
    • National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE). 
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape’s Guide for Family and Friends of Sexual Assault Survivors (2013):   
    • Effective Communication Methods:  
      • Remain Calm  
      • Believe the Victim  
      • Give the Victim Control  
      • Maintain confidentiality  
      • Ask permission before initiating physical contact  
      • Be patient  
      • Allow Authorities to deal with perpetrator  
      • Take care of yourself as you take care of the victim  
    • Other information offered:  
      • Responding to sexual assault against children  
      • Effects of sexual assault  
      • Reactions to sexual assault  
      • Understanding sexual assault – different forms, definition, potential perpetrators  
      • Data about different populations who experience sexual assault – children, teens, men, etc.  
  • End Rape on Campus – Parent info: 
    • Offers info about:  
      • Teaching about consent & boundaries at earlier ages  
      • Asking schools about Title IX policies, amnesty policies, etc.  
      • Getting involved with local & state politics to change policies  
      • Offers video for parents  
  • University of New Hampshire’s Sexual Assault and Rape Prevention Program (some info is specific to the university’s program) 
    • Offers do’s & don’ts when responding:  
      • Don’t criticize the survivor for their actions/attire/etc.  
      • Don’t downplay their feelings/account of what happened  
      • Don’t sympathize with the perpetrator  
      • Don’t blame the survivor, yourself, or anyone else other than the perpetrator  
      • Don’t panic, control your own emotions while listening to the survivor  
      • Recognize the need for privacy  
  • Article – College Sexual Assault Prevention: A Parent's Guide:
    • Offers a list of questions parents can ask schools  
  • Know Your IX – Tips for Parents, Guardians, and Family Members   
    • Tips for responding  
      • Listen & Believe survivor.  
      • Don’t interrupt  
      • Ask survivor how they would like to be helped, avoid pressing for answers 
      • Don’t minimize the experience or make excuses for the perpetrator  
      • Do not victim-blame or tie the violence to other consensual sexual, clothing, friend, or drinking choices. 
      • If you find out about the experience from someone other than the survivor, let the survivor tell you on their own time with their own words. Use the same words that they use to describe the experience  
      • Work with the survivor to develop a safety plan  
      • Recognize the survivor’s autonomy 

Accommodations for Pregnant & Parenting Students

Information regarding policies and accommodations is provided by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) for students who are pregnant or parents:

"Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities, including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic and other programs/activities of the University. This prohibition includes discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. At West Chester University, any form of sex discrimination is prohibited.  If a complainant chooses to move forward with a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will facilitate a Title IX investigation.  If you have been harassed or discriminated against because of your pregnancy or related condition, you can submit a report online or contact the Title IX Coordinator at 114 W. Rosedale Avenue, 610.436.2433.

Also, although pregnancy itself is not a disability, pregnant persons may have impairments related to their pregnancies that qualify as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). It is the procedure of West Chester University to provide individualized reasonable accommodations to students who have a pregnancy-related disability, including recovery from childbirth.  To receive these accommodations, students must be in contact with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD). WCU has a right to request documentation of the temporary disability, and it is the student's responsibility to work with their private physician prior to the provision of services.  This is determined on a case-by-case basis and is based on professional medical documentation provided by the student."

Please visit ODEI for more information on policies, support, and accommodations for students including:

  • Protections 
  • Potential Accommodations
  • Student FAQs
  • Additional Resources

 

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