RSU’s Lactation Room, SMILE Program Benefits Single Mothers

lactation room

Being a college student is challenging enough, but the complexity of being a single parent, especially a single mother, can present additional difficulties.

Rogers State University has long stood in support of its students who are new mothers, whether that support comes by way of resources, support groups or, for new mothers, a private space where nursing mothers can care for their children.

Housed in the RSU Health Sciences Building, the lactation room provides new mothers with a dedicated space to allow them to nurse and care for their children without having to leave campus.

According to RSU Accessibility and Disability Resources Coordinator John Carle, the lactation room offers students, faculty and staff who are nursing mothers the accommodations needed to pump and store breast milk, as well as comfortable seating and privacy screens, a changing table and more.

Another resource for new and/or single mothers is the Single Mothers Inspiring Lifelong Education program, or SMILE, which provides support and encouragement to single mothers at RSU.

Made possible through a grant provided by the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma, since 2017 SMILE has served more than 300 single mothers through paid internship opportunities, support gatherings supplying highchairs and booster seats in campus eating areas, finals study sessions with childcare provided, and back-to-school and holiday gift drives.

Carle said the SMILE program is currently working toward setting up a clothing exchange.

“Right now, we’re looking for a space to allow parents to drop off clothing outgrown by their children to help those parents who might need a hand in providing for their own kids,” he said. “We’re also talking about creating a new student organization, similar to SMILE but for all student parents – single, engaged or already married – but that’s something we’re working on for the upcoming school year.”

Additional on-campus resources available for single mothers are financial aid, employment, online tutoring, career services, counseling services, disability services and more.

“We’re always looking for ways to be supportive of all our students, and these (lactation room and SMILE) are just a few means by which moms can be assisted while they are working to accomplish their educational and career goals,” Carle said.

The lactation room is Room 246B of the Health Sciences Building on the RSU Claremore campus.

For more information about RSU’s SMILE Program, visit