Bridging Success Early-Start Program for Former Foster Youth Entering ASU (ASUF 30000770)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Bridging Success Early-Start Program for Former Foster Youth Entering ASU (ASUF 30000770) Bridging Success Early-Start Program for Former Foster Youth Entering ASU The Bridging Success Early-Start program offers former foster youth the opportunity to begin their ASU experience in a welcoming community with peers who have had similar challenges and to gain access to support that will ease their transition to the university. This program, which will be offered to 50 entering freshmen in Fall 2015, is both novel and timely. Until recently, former foster youth were not easily identifiable at ASU. Arizonas Senate Bill 1208 changed that. SB 1208 created a five-year pilot program that offers a university tuition waiver to former foster youth up to 23 years old. The legislation was passed amidst heightened national awareness about the challenges that face former foster youth seeking college degrees. As youth from foster care reach their 18th birthdays, many simply do not have stable housing or employment, or reliable friends and family to support them, unlike their peers living with their parents. They do not have parents preparing them to attend college and they do not have a safety net to fall back on when they need help. Without support and encouragement, many will not enroll after being accepted or will drop out before completing their first year. At ASU, data show that former foster youth have first-to-second year persistence rates that are 14% lower than the average for all ASU freshmen. This project addresses a current and compelling need: with the passage of SB 1208, more foster care youth will enroll at ASU but many will require targeted support to help them persist through the first-year. As a result of the tuition waiver, we can now identify and recruit admitted former foster youth to participate in the Bridging Success Early-Start program. Leaders from community organizations have already expressed a desire to partner with us in this effort. We are confident this program will be successful because it will be adapted from ASUs Early Start program, which serves at-risk students with a particular academic profile and has a proven track record of success. Key faculty and staff from University Academic Success Programs and the College of Public Programs will partner to customize that successful program with workshops, social support, and community-building activities so that foster youth meet peers, form relationships, and network with staff who will provide a safety net for them throughout their ASU experience. The Bridging Success Early-Start Program proposal meets all of Women & Philanthropys grant evaluation criteria: Access, Impact, and Excellence with a novel and timely transition to college program that targets the unique needs of former foster youth. By supporting this proposal, Women & Philanthropy will help to enroll more former foster youth in ASU, ease their transition to the university, increase their first-year success rates and ultimately, improve their persistence to graduation. These success outcomes will optimize the promise of Senate Bill 1208. Furthermore, studies on this project will contribute to the scholarship and best practices for policy and programs that support foster youth who wish to complete a college degree anywhere.
Effective start/end date6/1/156/29/18


  • Women and Philanthropy: $36,297.00


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