Graduate Parent Support (GPS) was created in the fall of 2009 by the University of Alabama’s Graduate School to help provide support for graduate students who have children.  Since its creation, the Graduate School has extended the program’s mission to also support undergraduate students at the University of Alabama. The support system for undergraduate students: Undergraduate Parent Support (UPS) works collaboratively with GPS to achieve the mission statement and objectives listed below. We understand that it can be difficult to be both a student and a parent; therefore we are here to be your advocate and help you be successful in your diverse roles.

The American Council on Education named UA’s Graduate Parent Support program as the 2014 recipient of its State Network Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women in Higher Education. “The Graduate Parent Support program at The University of Alabama is a prime example of how an institution can nurture educational excellence and ease the path toward a degree for post-traditional students, in this case graduate students who have children,” said Kim Bobby, director of ACE’s Inclusive Excellence Group. “GPS is working to both nurture educational excellence and to expand the pipeline of potential higher education leaders.”

The goal of the GPS program is to provide an innovative and accessible academic, social, and emotional support system for graduate and undergraduate students who have children. GPS also strives to empower all students who have children by providing services and resources to aid them in achieving their educational goals.

  • Provide information about campus and community resources available to graduate and undergraduate students who have children.
  • Provide a centralized platform for students to communicate about various topics related to balancing graduate work and family.
  • Coordinate events that allow graduate students with children to network with each other, with professors, and with members of the larger community.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and academic socialization.
  • Serve as an advocate for graduate and undergraduate students with children.
  • To institute new programs and services that directly address the needs of student parents at the University of Alabama.
  • To provide one-to-one assistance to graduate and undergraduate students with children through email, voice, and face-to-face communication.
  • To work to foster an environment on campus that is receptive to children and their student parents.

Success in graduate school is more than just reading, writing, and researching. It’s a challenging time for graduate students as they are being stretched intellectually more than they have been at any point in their academic careers. For those students who are also parents, it is crucial to find adequate support and the resources needed to navigate their journey toward becoming a scholar. 

The Graduate School acknowledges the challenges and opportunities of parenting while in the academy and considers it a key priority. We encourage graduate students to explore the resources on this page, at UA, and in the community, to determine the best options for care, education, for community activities, and support for their children. 

We recommend graduate student parents connect with other graduate student parents at UA through various channels such as Facebook group, and GPS events to gain additional recommendations and insight on additional resources.

Lastly, we encourage graduate students to reach out to the GPS with questions regarding advocacy, policies, and opportunities for community support.

University of Alabama student parents and their families are eligible for participation in:

  • At least three, large FREE family events held throughout the fall and spring semesters
  • Weekly newsletters highlighting academic, family, and social events happening on campus and in the Tuscaloosa community

*If you would like to be added to the GPS/UPS email list, please use our Contact Form and select “Graduate Parent Support Newsletter” as the reason for contacting Graduate School. We would love to send you student parent newsletters and updates about free resources, family-friendly events designed just for you, and vital information to help you balance being a successful student and parent. Please ask to join the list today!