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The State

Monday, November 14, 2011

On Oct. 26, The State published an article, “Retention a Struggle for 2-Year Colleges,” which focused on the public costs associated with community college students who drop out. One important detail the article did not mention is the role that unplanned pregnancy can play in derailing a student’s path to academic success.

Sixty-one percent of community college students who have children after enrolling do not finish their degree, which is 65 percent higher than those who do not have children, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Here in South Carolina, remarkable partnerships have been developed between colleges and health centers to provide family planning services in Columbia, Charleston, Spartanburg, Aiken, Beaufort and other areas. Few (less than 6 percent) two-year colleges in South Carolina have health centers on campus and these mutually beneficial partnerships between colleges and health centers fill an important gap. Students receive services to delay pregnancy until they are ready, which benefits the student, the college, and our state as a whole.

For more information, visit the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy website.

Shannon Flynn, MSW
Director of Research and Evaluation
SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Columbia