UMSL is committed to supporting students who have children by creating opportunities, connections, and services on the UMSL campus and in the surrounding community through the Students Who Are Parents (SWAP) group. Parenting is a tough job! Many of our students parent, work, and juggle many other competing priorities. SWAP aims to create a cohesive and supportive community of scholars that understand the unique experience of their parenting peers.
SWAP is spearheaded by Ashley Johnson - a parent, student and UMSL professional. In an effort to continue building this initiative we welcome any feedback or suggestions. Please contact Ashley with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The central effort of SWAP is Parent Cafe, a recurring event where student parents to share a meal and gather for meaningful, reflective conversations that promote parent leadership and collaboration.
Past Parent Cafe themes include:
- Goal Setting in The New Year
This cafe encouraged students to make S.M.A.R.T. goals by creating objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time sensitive.
- It Takes a Village
When parents have positive, trusted friends in the community, they have a support system for meeting both practical and emotional needs.
- Take Care of Yourself
This session focused on "self care" just in time for finals week and identified ways to recharge and relax at home and on campus.
The Parent Cafe model has been shown to:
- Reduce stress / increase peace and well-being
- Increase parenting knowledge & skills
- Build protective factors
- Facilitate meaningful relationships and bonding / community-building
- Provide opportunities for parent leadership
We hope you'll join us and share your experiences! If you'd like to recieve updates on future Parent Cafe dates, email Ashley Johnson at email@example.com.