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Keeping them in college miami u hamilton
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Keeping them in college miami u hamilton


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  • 1. Keeping Them in College
    Chris Klefeker,
    Foster Care Liaison;
    Harrison Thompson,
    Miami University-Hamilton
  • 2. Sobering Statistics
    67% of foster care alumni who enter college drop out before graduation
    Less than 2% of former foster youth complete a bachelor's degree, compared with 24% of the general population
  • 3. Factors that Undermine College Retention
    Lack of college readiness
    Lack of family support
    Lack knowledge of available resources
    Family issues (e.g. single parent, trying to support
    bio-parent or siblings)
    Housing challenges (e.g. holidays, summer break)
  • 4. Facilitating Campus Support
    To ensure student success, it is necessary to provide financial, academic, and emotional/social support.
    A full-time designated point person is vital for the success of foster youth at the university.
    Whether or not the university is able to provide a comprehensive scholarship for students aging out of foster care, financial advising is essential.
    *Research Brief: Building a Campus Support Network For Students Emerging from Foster Care, Education Advisory Board, Washington DC, June 10, 2009
  • 5. Zero Budget Model
    All three campuses of Miami University, along with the new VOA site, have named Ohio Reach Liaisons.
    Each liaison is linked with a different student support office: advising, learning assistance, transition/retention.
    The state does not provide financial assistance.
  • 6. Why Campus Liaisons??
    Why are Campus Liaisons a vital part of the Ohio Reach initiative to increase the number of foster care youth who enroll in higher education?
    Because “youth from care need a caring trusted staff person who has primary responsibility to identify them and consistently provide guidance in navigating higher education.”
    *Appendix B: Supporting Success: Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Youth from Foster Care, which 2010 Ohio Reach Summit participants will receive in hard-copy form.
  • 7. Campus Liaison Qualifications
    Familiarity with the needs of foster youth
    Willingness and ability to advocate for support throughout the university community
    Knowledge of available resources available within the university and ability to network effectively
    Listening skills and availability to interact with students
    *Research Brief: Building a Campus Support Network For Students Emerging from Foster Care, Education Advisory Board, Washington DC, June 10, 2009
  • 8. Campus Liaison Responsibilities
    Post Ohio Reach Symbol in your office and add your Foster Care Liaison title to your business cards
    Work with child welfare partners to recruit foster youth to apply to the program and identify college students with foster care backgrounds
    Provide support and assisting students on a day-to-day basis
    Train campus staff about issues challenging foster youth on campus and over school breaks and vacations.
    *Research Brief: Building a Campus Support Network For Students Emerging from Foster Care, Education Advisory Board, Washington DC, June 10, 2009
  • 9. Campus Connections
    Supporting success for foster care youth in higher education requires working collaboratively within the university structure:
    Financial Aid
    Academic Advising
    Counseling Center
    Learning Center
    *Research Brief: Building a Campus Support Network For Students Emerging from Foster Care, Education Advisory Board, Washington DC, June 10, 2009
  • 10. Keys to Campus Survival
    Housing during breaks
    Support systems
  • 11. Identifying College Students from Foster Care
    FAFSA data base queries (question #53)
    Work w/ your area independent living, child welfare/social workers, and agencies
    Brochures, posters, media spots
    Websites – both college, social services, and youth
    Foster care status question on applications & “sign in” forms
    Outreach to area high school counselors
    Use of Ohio Reach Symbol in your office and your Foster Care Liaison title on your business cards
    Word of mouth – student/youth networks
  • 12. Higher Ed and Child Welfareas Partners
    Identify potential and current students
    Raise awareness of community resources for ALL students (i.e. housing, medical, food, transportation, child care, etc.)
    Forge relationships with people who have a history with your student and are familiar with his or her situation
  • 13. College Retention
    Better preparation - CW
    Connections on campus
    Choosing a college closer to home
    OCOG and Pell Grant
    Peer Support Networks – CW & H.Ed
    College Liaison – H.E.
    Paired with a mentor in the community - CW
    Connections amongst schools for smooth transfers or relocations
  • 14. Evaluating Success
    Grades and GPA
    Courses taken
    On-Campus activities
    Transfers and reasons for doing so
    If dropped out, reasons for doing so
    Current status, whereabouts, activities – ideally at certain time intervals (e.g., 1,3, & 5 years)
  • 15. Open Discussion