Exploring the Modes through Which the Wee Care Center Impacts Student Success at Utah Valley University

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Alexis Ross, Utah Valley University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

The new Wee Care Center at Utah Valley University opened its doors to students in January of 2014 with an increased capacity, serving 110 children at any given time, double the number of children the old facility could service. Because Utah Valley University has the lowest women success rate in the state (based on data provided by the Women’s Success Center), one of the primary purposes of expanding the Wee Care Center was to increase women’s success and degree completion at UVU. Currently, the Wee Care Center serves approximately 120 students, however, it is unknown how many other Utah Valley University students need childcare services and are not being served by the Wee Care Center. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of the current services of the students being served by the Wee Care Center, with targeted focus on women, and also to identify the students that could be served, the degree to which their current childcare needs are being met, and how these needs are impacting their student success. This study is a collaborative effort between the Department of Student Leadership and Success Studies, the Women’s Success Center, and the Wee Care Center. The Women’s Success Center will email a digital survey, using Qualtrics, to all Utah Valley University students with children, targeting students with children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, the current population serviced by Wee Care Center. This survey will gather information that will help assess the unmet childcare needs and their influence on student success, including emotional, physical, educational and financial challenges that are commonly presented while simultaneously pursuing a degree and raising children. In addition, the Wee Care Center will administer a paper survey to students being serviced by the center while the students are on site, which should increase the response rate. This survey will explore the ways the Wee Care Center contributes to the student success of those being served by the facility.While it may be too early to determine long-term effects of the Wee Care Center expansion, the objective of this study is to measure the immediate impact on those students who are being served by the new Wee Care Center since its opening, to assess the increased success of students pursuing their educational goals with access to the Wee Care Center, and to explore the level of student success from students with children that are not using the Center.