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

Parker2020's picture

Parker2020 said:

Provide information and support
manningfamily.alexis's picture

manningfamily.alexis said:

Most children in care are afraid to ask for help, so we should always have information pre avaliable to them.
lanne's picture

lanne said:

Give them lots of information, take them on college visits, follow up on applications, help them complete applications. Most importantly, help them realize that they can go to college, and that they can succeed in college!
kateem02's picture

kateem02 said:

I can take a mentorship /coach role in helping youth find educational resources.
G.Brown's picture

G.Brown said:

By helping them find the resources and supporting them.
shawnhill's picture

shawnhill said:

We must help them envision what they can do in life. That they can be successful and that they can go to college. We need to contact the school counselor, find out what the student dreams of doing, and then help them find the right college and financial plan that will help them succeed. We need to be a mentor for life and not just for day.
rhiannon's picture

rhiannon said:

Communication, trust, and being a coach for them.
kmbogue's picture

kmbogue said:

Volunteering your time to get involved earlier in a foster youths life can help them build a supportive network as they consider college. I also highly recommend considering serving a mentor through the Foster-2-Success program or the local boys and girls club mentorship programs.
krboswell's picture

krboswell said:

I could lead them to many of the resources found in the Foster Club Transition Toolkit. I can also keep an open line of communication to learn the things they enjoy doing.
Cschwendeman7's picture

Cschwendeman7 said:

Talk to the youth about what they really want and what makes them happy. Not every youth will walk the same path and want the same things out of life. Everyone needs to know all their options and have the opportunity to explore them all