When students are working towards their career at college, they need more than just study time to succeed.
Oftentimes basic living needs get in the way of a student’s success.
To help address the program, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is promoting PA MASLOW, which is designed to fulfil the “Hierarchy of collegiate Basic Needs.”
PA MASLOW is a guide to supporting postsecondary students, translated from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs, which includes physiological, safety and security, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs. By addressing these basic needs in a more individualized approach, the PDE says it hopes to ensure that learners have everything they need to be successful and complete their education.
On Tuesday, representatives from the department joined students, faculty, and advocates at Cedar Crest College in Allentown to announce the launch of the program.
“Through the PA MASLOW framework, institutions can learn from one another as they identify ways to meet the basic pillars of Collegiate Need. And, at the state level, PDE is committed to eliminating silos among our sister agencies, working collaboratively to break down systemic barriers and cycles of poverty, and provide pathways for today’s modern students,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “Together we can provide the tools, resources, and support students need to ensure that they can reach infinite possibilities of success.”
According to a release, PA MASLOW is a cross-agency partnership that expands upon the mission of PDE – ensuring every student not only has access to education — but that the education pursued provides them with support and resources to create optimal learning environments.
This initiative will work with colleges on areas including digital equity, housing and transportation, mental health, personal needs, adult student needs, and safety and belonging.
“None of us can be at our best if we don’t have safe housing, sufficient food, and support for our physical and mental health, and we can’t expect students to be successful in college without these, either,” said Dr. Calley Stevens Taylor, vice president for student success and engagement and dean of students at Cedar Crest College. “For college students, transportation, textbooks, access to support services, and educational technology are also fundamental basic needs, and I believe that we have an obligation to address these needs, on and across our campuses, in partnership, and in our communities.”
While the department has existing programming that speaks to finding solutions to these student needs, PA MASLOW will provide an opportunity to expand its work, as well as collaborate with schools.