Title

What Works: Colleges Building Pipelines for Students in Foster Care

First Presenter's Institution

University of West Georgia

Second Presenter's Institution

na

Third Presenter's Institution

na

Fourth Presenter's Institution

na

Fifth Presenter's Institution

na

Location

Session 9 (Ballroom D)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Students emerging from foster care desire to attend college but have limited access. Currently less than 10% matriculate to college. This presentation emphasizes ways to reduce educational inequity in students in and emerging from foster care by making connections between students' developmental and physiological needs and the resources college administrators believe are vital to student success. By understanding the multiple components of this population's struggle to achieve academic success (high school graduation, college matriculation, college graduation) K-12 teachers and administrators, school counselors, community members, and college administrators can work to decrease the achievement gap for this historically undereducated population of students.

Brief Program Description

This presentation explores the structures and programs one university system is creating for college students emerging from foster care (SEFC). The presentation includes assets common to SEFC, an overview of systemic barriers, and the programs and structures colleges (2 and 4 year) use to support the matriculation, retention, progression, and graduation of CSEFC. This presentation is meant for anyone interested in the educational achievement for students in/emerging from foster care including K-12 teachers, counselors, and administrators, individuals working with students in foster care, community agencies, mental health providers, and/or college administrators.

Summary

  • Introductions
  • Overview of assets, common characteristics, and systemic barriers that impact education for students emerging from foster care (SEFC)
  • Audience think pair share about interventions and/or programs that would benefit this group of students
    • What structures and/or programs already on your school or in your district that would benefit this population of students?
  • Summary of research procedures and findings
  • Implications for educators including tips for pedagogy, curriculum, types of instruction, and communication systems within and outside the school
  • Discuss and create an implementable plan to support this population of students
    • What structures and/or programs could you alter or create that would benefit students in/emerging from foster care?

Evidence

Access to college is at an all-time high, however, students emerging from foster care have limited support in educational systems (K-12 and Postsecondary), therefore their access is not always an opportunity (Tinto, 2008). For example, of those matriculating to college, less than 2% of SEFC graduate within six year (Unrau et al., 2012).

Though the educational inequity has been established and barriers to student success emphasized, few states have created and implemented a pipeline specifically for this population of students (Courtney & Dworskly, 2006; McNaught, 2004; Percora et al., 2006). Information from this presentation was gleaned via research collected from a university system that is working to create a resource rich environment while building a pipeline of access for college students emerging from the foster care system. Many campuses are equipped to meet some micro level needs of CSEFC (Toporek, Lewis, & Crethar, 2009). For example, students typically have access to mental health counseling, university housing, and dining services on a college campus. Beyond the resources available for every student, institutions are beginning to create food pantries, clothing closets, and career readiness workshops in order to increase student engagement and progression through college. Further, campus and community collaborations have created avenues for additional funding via foundation dollars earmarked for micro loans or grants specifically for college students emerging from foster care. Collaborations between colleges and the greater community create opportunities for the most vulnerable students to find the resource rich environments necessary to generate equity and enable CSEFC to thrive (Tovar, Simon, & Lee, 2009).

Though this research is grounded in student develop and higher education theories, the results and implications cross the P-20 continuum and directly impact students in K-12 schools and all personnel (teachers, administrators, counselors) who interact with them.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Sarah Jones is an Assistant Professor of College Student Affairs at the University of West Georgia. Sarah’s experiences across the PK-20 continuum, including roles as a K-12 public school classroom teacher, university instructor, and assistant director of first-year experience, inform her practice and research. Sarah’s research interests include educational transitions for historically marginalized students, including students who experienced foster care.

Keyword Descriptors

Foster Care, Education, College, Mental Health, Counselors, Schools, Leadership

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-11-2020 11:15 AM

End Date

3-11-2020 12:30 PM

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Mar 11th, 11:15 AM Mar 11th, 12:30 PM

What Works: Colleges Building Pipelines for Students in Foster Care

Session 9 (Ballroom D)

This presentation explores the structures and programs one university system is creating for college students emerging from foster care (SEFC). The presentation includes assets common to SEFC, an overview of systemic barriers, and the programs and structures colleges (2 and 4 year) use to support the matriculation, retention, progression, and graduation of CSEFC. This presentation is meant for anyone interested in the educational achievement for students in/emerging from foster care including K-12 teachers, counselors, and administrators, individuals working with students in foster care, community agencies, mental health providers, and/or college administrators.