News release: MDH distributes funds to support pregnant or parenting students under the age of 25 enrolled in post-secondary education

News Release
February 10, 2012
Contact information

MDH distributes funds to support pregnant or parenting students under the age of 25 enrolled in post-secondary education

Through August 2013, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will distribute approximately $2.7 million in federal grant awards to 11 institutions of higher education to start new or support existing student-parent help centers. These centers address the health and education needs of college-age pregnant and parenting young people. "Having a college education is important to the health and economic well-being of the citizens of Minnesota. Pregnancy and parenting are major reasons why college women drop out of school," said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health. "Student-parent help centers provide the support that pregnant or parenting students need at a crucial time in their lives as they are building their future through post-secondary education."

The grants, made available through Minnesota's Young Student Parent Support Initiative, will range from $55,000 to $280,000. Funded institutions include tribal colleges, universities, technical and community schools, and private colleges. MDH received funding for the grants from the Office of Adolescent Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The goals of Minnesota's initiative are that pregnant and parenting teens and young women and men will accomplish their higher education/post-secondary education goals; and that pregnant and parenting young students will maintain positive health and well-being for themselves and their children. These goals will be achieved by initiating or expanding current services to young pregnant and parenting students on campus. Student-parent help centers may provide referrals to needed health and social services, parenting education, and outreach to pregnant or parenting high school students.

The following is a list of the grantees and their campus locations:

    Program Expansion Grants:
    • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis
    • St. Catherine University - Minneapolis and St. Paul
    Program Start-Up Grants:
    • Century College, White Bear Lake
    • Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount
    • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Cloquet
    • Leech Lake Tribal College, Cass Lake
    • Metropolitan State University, St. Paul
    • Pine Technical College, Pine City
    • Riverland Community College, Austin
    • St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud
    • Winona State University, Winona
    For more information, please contact Elizabeth A. Gardner, M.A., Student Parents Grant Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Health, 651-201-5411 or


For more information, contact:

John Stieger
MDH Communications

Elizabeth A. Gardner, M.A.
MDH Student Parents Grant Coordinator