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ERIC Number: ED505307
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 77
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1097-3125
Helping Former Foster Youth Graduate From College: Campus Support Programs in California and Washington State
Dworsky, Amy; Perez, Alfred
Chapin Hall Center for Children
The economic benefits of a college education are well documented; however, data from studies of young people transitioning out of foster care indicate that the college graduation rate for this population is very low. The child welfare system has traditionally done a poor job of encouraging foster youth to pursue postsecondary education. Although addressing the financial barrier to postsecondary education is critical, and may make college a more economically viable option, most current programs do not address this population's nonfinancial needs. One exception in this area is the growing number of campus support programs for young people making the transition out of foster care. Although each program is unique, they typically provide an array of financial, academic, social/emotional, and logistical supports to help former foster youth stay in school and graduate. They are currently concentrated in California or Washington State and are supported, at least in part, by private philanthropy. This study included two components: telephone interviews with program directors and a Web-based survey of current program participants, and indicates a need for a comprehensive impact or summative evaluation of campus support programs. Such an evaluation is recommended to examine whether these programs lead to better educational outcomes, as measured by higher college retention and graduation rates, and to investigate how the relationship between program participation and educational outcomes varies depending on the characteristics of the former foster youth, the types of services and supports that students receive, and the institutional setting. Possible leveraging resources for such a study are also discussed. An appendix includes the Program Director Interview Protocol, Web-Based Survey Instrument, and Responses to Survey Questions by Campus Support Program. (Contains 24 tables and 28 footnotes.)
Chapin Hall Center for Children. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-753-5900; Fax: 773-753-5940; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Stuart Foundation; Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.
Authoring Institution: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Identifiers - Location: California; Washington