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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A phenomenological study: The lived experience of former foster youth attending a four-year college in southern California
by Lee, Dora Yiu Lam, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2010, 257; 3403733
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study examined the lived experience of eight individuals attending a four-year college who were all part of a campus support program for former foster youth. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand and explore the lived experiences of these unique college students that have gone through the foster care system. This study gives voice to a community of students that not only survived various forms of abuse and/or neglect during their childhood, they negate the nation’s trend of low high school graduation rates and low college attendance rates among former foster youth. These students are success stories.

The phenomenon of being a foster youth is told through the students’ narratives. The narratives convey stories about their experiences in foster care system, their journey as foster youths and how they came about being one of the few that made it into college. Twelve themes summarizing their collective experience emerged from the student narratives: Feeling Alone, Wanting to Be Normal, Growing Up Fast, Powerless, Missing Links, Social Worker(s), That One Person, Summer Bridge, RS Program, Turning 21, Not Wanting to be Like Parent(s) and Giving Back.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Baca, Reynaldo
Commitee: Jun, Alexander, McCroskey, Jacquelyn
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Higher education
Keywords: California, Child welfare, College, Foster care, Foster youth, Phenomenology, Student services
Publication Number: 3403733
ISBN: 978-1-109-77451-1
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