This study addresses the problem of low college completion rates among students formerly involved in foster care systems. This qualitative research study identified the knowledge, motivational, and organizational factors that supported college completion among eight college graduates formerly placed in foster care. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data and six Storyboard online videos were also reviewed for thematic content addressing the factors that contributed to college success among the former foster youth. The resulting data will be used to create an Emerging Adult Peer Specialists curriculum to former foster youth to support other students transitioning from foster care to college. Knowledge factors contributing to successful college completion included specific knowledge on financial aid, housing, health, and academic resources, and how to access these resources, as well as self-awareness to promote self-regulation. Motivational factors that promoted self-efficacious behavior and intrinsic motivation included seeking out and identifying mentors, attitudes supportive of educational goals and behaviors, and finding ways to combat stigma were identified motivational factors supporting college completing. Programs for students with foster care histories, the safety and predictability of college campuses, and the need for increased academic preparation in independent living skills programs were identified and important organizational factors promoting college completion. The data was used to create an implementation and evaluation plan for the Emerging Adult Peer Specialist program, which is summarized at the end of the study.
|Commitee:||Foulk, Susanne, Hasan, Angela|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social work, Education, Psychology|
|Keywords:||College success factors, Emerging adults, Foster care, Mentorship, Peer specialists, Stigma reduction|
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