We provide customized supportive services to help participating families mitigate any barriers that might impede degree completion.

Although higher education clearly helps single parents improve their financial circumstances, the cultivation of social capital, leadership opportunities, and direct support in providing immersive learning experiences for children are critical components of ensuring these economic gains continue to positively impact future generations. In addition to academic support, we work with families to create a customized economic mobility plan to anticipate and overcome barriers

In our program, single parents gain the leadership and motivational skills necessary to not only finish a degree, but they are empowered to take responsibility for their children’s early learning outcomes, ensuring the next generation has a strong foundation for educational achievement and economic stability. The more they engage with the program, the more opportunities participants have to cultivate social capital, enhance their overall well-being, and emerge as powerful leaders of front lines of familial transformation.

What Is the Two-Generation Approach?

Our two-generation approach recognizes that families are more successful when the important people in a child’s life take a long-range view. As each family’s needs change, Pittsburgh Scholar House adapts accordingly, providing a wide range of supportive services to help participants build economic security and reach their goals. Parents gain the knowledge and skills they need to qualify for family-supporting jobs and participate in civic life, while children receive support to help them reach key developmental milestones and thrive in an academic environment.

How Is Our Approach Different?

At Pittsburgh Scholar House, we understand that income insecurity is more than an economic issue – it’s a social injustice. Although cash payments and other economic benefits help, in isolation, they are not enough to catalyze economic growth. Families must have a strategic roadmap to pair those investments with education, social capital, and increased income earning capacity. Households headed by single parents do better when they have access to higher education, affordable health care, high-quality early learning services, and opportunities to build social capital. That’s why we focus on the multi-faceted aspects of well-being.

Postsecondary education

Higher education can increase a single parent’s lifetime earnings and demonstrate for  children that it’s possible to succeed. Pittsburgh Scholar House helps participating parents earn two-year and four-year degrees in high growth industries such as healthcare, finance, tech, energy, advanced manufacturing and energy

Early childhood education

While parents are achieving their educational goals, children receive early learning services to prepare them for academic success later in life.

Health and wellness

Good health is essential for success at work and in school. Unmet health needs have the potential to affect school or work attendance, educational achievement, and professional advancement. Pittsburgh Scholar House promotes health equity and ensures that participating families have access to the services they need to maintain their physical and emotional wellness.

Valuable connections

Social capital builds stronger communities and makes it easier for children and adults to achieve their goals. We offer peer support and other services to help participants build social capital and gain the confidence they need to fulfill their dreams.

Economic security

Complementary to postsecondary educational opportunities and our academic support to help participating adults increase their income, we also provide services to help participants build assets, access available benefits, and reduce their monthly expenses, all of which help build economic security.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Understanding how a family defines and views long-term success and translating those desires into achievable goals with long-term results.

Pittsburgh Scholar House is committed to eliminating structural and systemic barriers to success.

If given the right level of support, families throughout the region can transition from surviving to striving to thriving. We seek to distinguish our work by offering goal-oriented programs centering what is possible for an economically striving family, while taking into full account the barriers that might present and roadblocks to those desired outcomes. We have an asset-based view of families free from the limitations of their current economic circumstances.

How We Help Families

Our engagement process begins with identifying each family’s needs—not just their economic needs, but their aspirations and desires. We listen carefully to identify each parent’s “why” and determine what barriers that might undermine their ability to complete a degree program. Based on that initial assessment, we look for effective ways to address each family’s most pressing needs.

There’s no right or wrong way to participate in the Pittsburgh Scholar House program. Some adults choose to work on two-year degrees, reducing the amount of time it takes to increase their income. Others decide to complete four-year degrees to maximize their future earning potential. We work closely with each family to ensure single parents and their children have access to the resources they need for meeting their specific goals.