Credit hours:

Course Summary

**This is part 2 of a 2 part series. Please complete "Supporting Higher Education Success Part 1" prior to this course.** Youth in foster care need supportive adults, mentors, and other higher education advocates to help them realize educational goals and pursuits. While many youth in/from foster care want to attend college. 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 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  

  • Specific and general educational resources available to foster youth 

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

Step 1

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

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

Step 3 

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

Watch the video at the top of this article to hear from young people about how programs like Great Expectations in Virginia (explore their page here) are helping foster youth attend and succeed in college.

Step 5

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

Step 6 

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

Step 7 

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 

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 goals?

Step 9

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate!

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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

PatrickLMc's picture

PatrickLMc said:

Look for type of education you need. Make sure that you have enough to cover all of your educational needs.
apriljackson11's picture

apriljackson11 said:

By talking to them and letting them no that and education is and key of life it will make you successful and gain and online degree are and on campus degree that will make and better person in you because having and education is and good thing to have in life because everyone need and degree in life and to help with resources they can have and volunteer are ask someone at the Welfare office and they can also receive housing.
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.'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.