Credit hours:
1.50

Course Summary

Youth in foster care need supportive adults, mentors, and other higher education advocates to help them realize educational goals and pursuits. The majority of youth in/from foster care want to attend college. However, the rates of actual enrollment and completion don't match desire. 85 percent of foster youth aspire to attend college, but only 40 percent graduate from high school; only 20 percent actually enroll in higher education; and less than 4 percent graduate with a college degree. Moreover, research shows foster youth are more likely to graduate from a postsecondary program if they are better prepared academically, have independent living stability, AND are given tangible, hard/soft supports. This 2-part online course teaches current and prospective foster parents how to identify and overcome challenges/barriers to post-secondary education; how to encourage and support a young person’s pursuit of higher education; ways to help foster youth successfully navigate college admissions and financial aid processes; and finally, how to find and obtain resources to ensure college/academic success.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Available supports to ensure foster youth go from matriculation (college admission) to graduation  

  • About specific and general educational resources available to foster youth 

  • How to help foster youth transition into life after foster care

Step 1 (15 min)

Watch this TEDx Talk by Robert Duke, Administrator at Azusa Pacific College to see how higher education can become a reality for more foster youth.

Step 2 (5 min)

Read the story of Elexus to better understand the potential struggles foster youth face while attending college, and how to overcome them.

Step 3 (10 min)

Read how Casey Family Programs’ “Fostering College Success Mentoring Program,” a public-private collaboration is not only increasing higher education access for New York’s foster youth, but ensuring academic success as well.

Step 4 (10 min)

Read/watch how programs like Great Expectations in Virginia are helping foster youth attend and succeed in college.

Step 5 (10 min)

View a collection of higher education resources, state-by-state, on FosterClub.org.

Step 6 (5 min)

Check out some of the  tuition waiver programs (Download PDF from ECS), the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program, and the Guardian Scholars Foundation.

Step 7 (10 min)

Review FosterClub’s Transition Toolkit “Education” section. Foster parents use this invaluable tool to help foster youth develop a comprehensive transition plan with a team of supportive adults.

Step 8 (10 min)

Join the Discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

 

How can you help foster youth find and obtain resources to support their educational needs?

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Just $24.95 for 1 year subscription per parent (unlimited access to courses for one year).

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Course Discussion

Clarolga's picture

Clarolga said:

Communicate, communicate, communicate! We try to use phrases like, "when you go to college," and "what problems do you want to solve?" Connecting them to what they are learning or doing now with how it is helpful later on is important and empowering.
dcorriher@lincolncounty.org's picture

dcorriher@linco... said:

have encouraging conversations with teens about college, connect them early on by taking them to college campuses, college sports events, or on campus activities, research and find out what college resources are available to them, be a sounding board and support system for them when they take that step to go to college by calling or visiting them on campus, help them connect to the on campus resources available to them, and teach them the independent living skills they need to feel confident being alone.
sbradfozz's picture

sbradfozz replied:

This is very well said. Taking young people to a college campus is huge! Just by being in a collegiate environment can be encouraging. Thanks for your feedback.
lmarkins's picture

lmarkins said:

Teaching life skills and having open discussions about future college plans so you can direct them to the appropriate resources and help them through the process until they finish college...keep your doors open!
sbradfozz's picture

sbradfozz replied:

Establishing open lines of communication is important. Especially when discussing future education goals. I appreciate your perspective. Thanks so much for your feedback.
wolf81's picture

wolf81 said:

Strong mentorship
sbradfozz's picture

sbradfozz replied:

Mentorship is highly effective. Having good people to look up to and be a guide for youth in care is still needed. Thanks for your feedback.
ktrickel's picture

ktrickel said:

Be a mentor, a landing spot for holidays, and help them find resources on FosterClub.
ctmainguy's picture

ctmainguy said:

I believe providing strong mentorship throughout college and helping students overcome the financial aid barriers and giving them a solid living situation throughout the journey can help kids reach their educational goals.
epowell's picture

epowell said:

I believe that all learning no matter what it is starts at home. So as long as you making sure to give them the tools they need to be independent and the skills they need to survival in this thing called life. Most importantly remind them that they are human and part of being human is living an learning.