Ohio Reach Summit May 7, 2012 Chris Bennett KlefekerAcademic Adviser, Retention Specialist Foster Care Liaison -Hamilton Campus Meghann McCabe UC Degree Programs Specialist
Purpose of Ohio Reach• To address recruitment and retention of emancipated foster youth in Ohio’s higher education system• To establish foster care liaisons at Ohio universities and community colleges. Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Former Foster Youth as College Students Compared to students of other types, foster youth who enter postsecondary education:• attend the same types of institutions• attend similarly priced institutions• are as likely to enroll full-time Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Undergraduates from Foster Care are More Racially and Ethnically Diverse Than Non-Foster Students White, Black or Hispanic Asian or All Other non- African or Latino Pacific Hispanic American IslanderFoster 40% 30% 20% 1% 7%Youth*2009 figuresNon- 64% 14% 12% 7% 4%Foster,All ages* 2011 figures Source: Child Welfare Information in Gateway, Foster Care Statistics 2009, US Dept of Health & Human Services, ACF. Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac Issue 2011-2012, August 26, 2011, pg. 4, Access & Equity.
Foster Youth and College Retention• 84% of foster youth express a desire to attend college. (2004 Midwest Study, Courtney 2007)• Only 20% enroll in postsecondary education, as compared to a 60% of the general population . (Wolanin 2005)• 67% of foster care youth who enter college drop out before graduation.• Less than 2% of former foster youth complete a bachelor’s degree. (Pecora, et. Al., 2006; Pecora, et al., 2005) Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Barriers to College Retention• On their own, without family support• Family issues (single parents, trying to support siblings or bio-parent)• Often first-generation students• College unaware of their support needs• College and/or young person often unaware of available supports Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Foster Youth Who Enroll In College Are Just As Likely to Attend Four-Year Schools as Other Students; Their College Costs Are Also Nearly Identical Foster youth Non-foster youthInstitutional Type: 4-Year Public 29 percent 30 percent 4-Year Private 11 percent 14 percent 2-Year Public 41 percent 40 percent All Other 19 percent 16 percent *College costs for foster youth vs non-foster youth are also nearly identical*Enrollment Status: Full-time 61 percent 54 percent Part-time 38 percent 45 percent
College Cost Reduction and Access Act Amended the FAFSA definition of an “independent student” by adding the following three categories:*• Student who is an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court, at any time when the student was 13 years of age or older• Student who is an emancipated minor or is in legal guardianship as determined by the court in their state of legal residence• Applicant is verified as an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of homelessness and self-supporting *The young person only needs to fit into one of the above categories in order to be eligible to claim independent status. The act does not specify the length of time spent in foster care or the reason for exiting foster care. Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
ETV funds• The ETV Program is a federally-funded, state- administered program, that provides grants up to $5000 per year to help former foster youth attend college and vocational training institutions.• Funds can be used for: Tuition, books, computers, school supplies, living expenses at college, vocational or technical training programs.• To learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-585-7115 Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
ETV EligibilityA current, or former foster youth (18+) who has been accepted intoor enrolled in a degree, certificate or other accredited program at a college,university, technical or vocational school.They must fall into one of these three categories:a.) Was in foster care on their 18th birthday and aged out at that time ORb.) Was adopted from foster care after his/her 16th birthday ORc.) Will emancipate from foster care between ages 18-21To remain eligible for ETV funding, students must show progress toward adegree or certificate. Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Education Training Voucher1. Financial Aid Release Form: Student should take the ETV to the financial aid office, where it is completed and faxed to OH ETV.2. Cashier’s Statement: Student should take the ETV to the cashier/bursar’s office, where it is completed and faxed along with dated copy of the student’s ITEMIZED BILL for that term.• Students cannot be funded without completed ETV forms and a current school bill. Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Foster Care to Success and College Retention• In 2009-2010 Foster Care to Success awarded over $15 million in financial aid to more than 3,500 students.• Foster Care to Success students have a 60% graduation rate after five years – more than three times the rate of other independent students.• For more information: http://fc2success.org/what-we-do/scholarships-and-grants/ Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Keys to College Retention• Knowledge of and access to available resources, both on and off campusThis could include:• Tutoring• Housing during breaks• Transportation• Support systems Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Early academic challenges faced by foster care youth• Only 15% of foster care youth are enrolled in college prep courses in high school.• Foster care youth attend five high schools on average• With each transfer, lose 4-6 months of academic progress• 65% change schools in the middle of the year• Higher rates of absenteeism, grade retention, special education, dropping out before graduation Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Role of Campus Liaison• 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?• A full-time designated point person is vital for the success of foster youth at the university.• “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. Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
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 Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Campus Liaison Responsibilities• Train campus staff about issues challenging foster youth on campus and over school breaks and vacations.• 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• Post Ohio Reach Symbol in your office and add your Foster Care Liaison title to your business cards*Research Brief: Building a Campus Support Network For Students Emerging from Foster Care, Education Advisory Board, Washington DC, June 10, 2009 Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Campus ConnectionsSupporting success for foster care youth in higher education requires working collaboratively within the university structure:• Registrar• Financial Aid• Housing• 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 Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Higher Ed and Child Welfare partnership opportunities• Identifying current and potential students• Raising awareness of community resources for ALL students (i.e. housing, medical, food, transportation, child care, etc.)• Forging relationships with people who have a history with your student and are familiar with his or her situation
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.• http://www.regionals.muohio.edu/fostercare/• http://www.units.muohio.edu/advising/Foster%20Youth/FYAIndex.html
• The Higher Education Mentoring Initiative (HEMI) Program recruits, trains and supports mentors to establish positive long-term relationships with foster care youth. www.HEMImentors.org• HEMI mentors assist, encourage and support student academic achievement through high school and provide a direct pathway to higher education.
Ohio University – Foster Care Task Forcehttp://www.ohio.edu/univcollege/fostercare/
Wright State University – Changing Lives MarketingCampaignhttp://www.wright.edu/changinglives/ads.htmlIndependent Scholars Networkhttp://www.wright.edu/independent-scholars/
Western Michigan University – John Seita Scholars Program http://www.wmich.edu/fyit/
Ball State University – Guardian Scholars Program http://cms.bsu.edu/Academics/CentersandInst
Identifying 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• http://www.regionals.muohio.edu/fostercare/• 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
Measuring Progress in Overcoming Barriers to College Retention• Grades and GPA• Courses taken• On-Campus activities• Transfers and reasons for doing so• If dropped out, reasons for doing so• Graduation• Current status, whereabouts, activities – ideally at certain time intervals (e.g., 1,3, & 5 years Supporting Foster Youth Reaching for Higher Education
Challenges and Supports – Whatcan we do to better serve these students? Identification/FAFSA Publicity of Services Housing during breaks Mentoring Social and academic programming Funding
Additional Free ResourceSupporting Success: Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Students from Foster Care (Version 2.0)http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publicat
Sources Cited• “Helping former foster youth graduate from college: Campus support programs in California and Washington”, Chapin Hall, 2009.• “It’s My Life: Postsecondary Education and Training”, from Casey Family Programs,2006 ( www.caseylifeskills.org)• “Supporting Success: Improving higher education outcomes for students from foster care – A Framework for Program Enhancement”, from Casey Family Programs, 2008.• “Improving Family Foster Care”: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study”, Casey Family Programs, 2005.• “College Access, Financial Aid, and College Success for Undergraduates from Foster Care,” Ryan J Davis, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, 2006.• Child Welfare Information in Gateway, Foster Care Statistics 2009, US Dept of Health & Human Services, ACF.
Sources Cited, continued•“Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth:Outcomes at age 21.”Courtney, M.E., Dworsky, A., Cusick, G.R., Havlicek, J.,Perez, A., & Keller, T. (2007). Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children atthe University of Chicago.•“Improving family foster care: Findings from the Northwest Foster CareAlumni Study.” Pecora, P., Kessler, R., Williams, J., O’Brien, K., Downs, C.,English, D., White, J., Hiripi, E., White, C., Wiggins, T., & Holmes, K. (2005).Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs.•“Assessing the educational achievements of adults who formerly wereplaced in family foster care.” Pecora, P., Williams, J., Kessler, R., Hiripi, E.,O’Brien, K., Emerson, J., Herrick, M., Torres, D. (2006). Child and FamilySocial Work, 11, 220-231.•“Higher education opportunities for foster youth: A primer forpolicymakers.” Wolanin, T. R. (2005). Washington, DC: The Institute forHigher Education Policy.