Children First: Group wants more college birth control education - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Group wants more college birth control education

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The contraception debate has been reignited recently as presidential candidates vie for votes.

Now a community college group is pushing for better birth control education, but not just to encourage safe sex.

It's a fact of life that young adults like to experiment.
 
"They are prone to some impulsive decisions," said Sheridan College mental health counselor Deanne Wyssmann.
 
Unfortunately, she said, those impulses sometimes don't include using birth control.
 
"We encourage it," she said of contraception use. "We try and make condoms available at various health education events."
 
But even free condoms aren't a big enough draw some teens. And that can lead to unplanned consequences.
 
"I know we do have some students who do become pregnant, both traditional age and non-traditional age students," Wyssmann said, "and they definitely do struggle."
 
So the American Association of Community Colleges is teaming up with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to bring better contraception education to campus.

The two groups are trying to integrate the information into non-health-related classes.
 
"If the information's out there," said Sheridan College student Katherine Headstream, "you can make an informed decision. If it's not, then you don't have that choice."
 
And students say if you don't have that choice, you may be faced with other choices down the road.
 
"To get the good education, I'm sure it's very hard to raise a child as a single mother," Kami Siroky, another student at Sheridan College, said.
 
"Just from school and books and all the expenses it takes to put yourself through school, I can't imagine having to take care of somebody else on top of that," added Headstream.
 
The groups are pushing the program, called "Make it Personal: College Completion," in the hopes that by increasing education, they can increase graduation.

Some say it might be a bit of a long shot, but one worth the effort.
 
"Any information is going to help," said Siroky.
 
"I'm all about any kind of education that can help students maintain their functioning and help them to succeed," Wyssmann said.

The campaign is still in its pilot phase: Just five community colleges across the country are participating in the three-year trial.

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