Dunwoody College of Technology and Raise The Barr Announce Innovative Partnership to Support Single-Parent Students with Housing, Childcare

The partnership will benefit students in the college’s Women in Technical Careers program

MINNEAPOLIS, April 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Dunwoody College of Technology, a leader in hands-on technical education, today announces an innovative new partnership with Raise The Barr (RTB), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing opportunity and economic mobility for single-parent families through higher education. This partnership, Raise The Barr’s newest program in Minnesota, will provide eligible single-parent students in Dunwoody’s Women in Technical Careers (WITC) scholarship program with crucial resources, including rental subsidies, childcare and career coaching.

“At Dunwoody College of Technology, a commitment to educational equity and student success lie at the heart of everything we do,” said Bayza Sumpter Weeks, Executive Director of Community Partnerships at Dunwoody. “Single-parent students often face incredible challenges in their pursuit of a better life for their families through education, but earning a college degree in a technical field opens the doors to a successful career. We’re excited to have Raise The Barr come alongside our team to support these students with an incredible program that we know will change lives.”

The program will serve a cohort of up to five students over the 2024 school year, with the intention to grow this number in subsequent years of the RTB and WITC partnership. Dunwoody College will work closely with Raise The Barr’s Whole Family Program team to provide a number of supportive services to cohort members, including:

  • Rental subsidies to ensure safe and stable housing
  • Financial support for education-related expenses, such as childcare
  • Emergency grants of up to $1,000
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Financial literacy and career development programming

Women in Technical Careers Program Director Ashley Van Lishout shared, “The Women in Technical Careers scholarship program was founded with the mission to empower women to earn technical degrees from our college. We’ve always been dedicated to supporting nontraditional students at Dunwoody College of Technology, and this partnership will allow us to best serve mothers in our program and set them up for even greater success down the road.”

Dunwoody’s Women in Technical Careers program was designed to eliminate barriers for women to enter technical industries by providing crucial financial and educational support. Most careers in technical industries deliver higher median wages, more opportunities for advancement and greater job security than historically female-dominated professions, but employ fewer than 25 percent women.

“When bringing our work to Minnesota, we knew that we needed to find a partner who acknowledges the inherent strength and value of single mothers and who seeks to improve educational outcomes and workforce development that benefit the local community,” said Lori Barr, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Raise the Barr. “Housing instability, lack of affordable childcare, financial hardship amongst single-parent students – these are all national issues that need to be addressed with innovative solutions, and we’re proud to be working with an institution who feels the same.”

To learn more about single-parent students, and the issues and barriers they face, visit: https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/C481_Parents-in-College-By-the-Numbers-Aspen-Ascend-and-IWPR.pdf.

Dunwoody College of Technology is currently accepting applications from students for the school’s Women in Technical Careers program. Eligible students can apply through May 15 for the fall 2024 semester. Single-parent students who are a fit for Raise The Barr’s inaugural cohort at the school will be recruited from WITC participants. To apply, visit: https://dunwoody.edu/admission-aid/scholarships/women-in-technical-careers-witc/.


Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. Having provided hands-on, applied technical education to more than 250,000 individuals, Dunwoody is the college for experimenters and makers, a place where the curious and the confident learn by doing. Located in Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers a unique campus experience in dedicated labs, studios, and shops that treats students like future professionals from day one. With certificates, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors – including engineering, robotics, design and other STEM-related fields – Dunwoody challenges students to come determined and graduate destined.


Co-founded by Los Angeles native and Loyola HS of LA alum, UCLA All-American, longtime Minnesota Vikings 4xPro-Bowl linebacker, 2021 Walter Peyton Man of the Year nominee, 2022 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award finalist Anthony Barr, and his mother, native Southern-Californian Lori Barr in 2016. Raise The Barr was inspired by their lived experience as a single-parent family. Raise The Barr partners with single-parent students and their children to increase their opportunity and economic mobility through education. Together, single-parent students and Raise The Barr plan and implement comprehensive programming that leads to health and well-being for the entire family. RTB invests in targeted supportive services and systems change initiatives that help single-parent students (SPS) and their children meet their financial, academic, and family goals. Collectively, our work improves a single-parent student’s chance of persisting and degree completion resulting in a range of benefits to families and society. More information on Raise The Barr can be found at www.raisethebarr.org or by following Raise The Barr on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Shepard Rogers


(414) 940 1828

SOURCE Dunwoody College of Technology