Fostering success for the future : bridging the higher education gap

Matriculation of foster care youth in four-year colleges and universities has been abysmal bordering on the side of not existing at all. Research has evidenced that foster care youth are often left out of the dialogue of post-secondary education. Many reasons apply to this notion of being eliminated from the critical discourse around education of foster care youth. The purpose of this study is to find out what barriers foster care youth encounter, who are first-time freshmen of the Guardian Scholars Program at San Francisco State University. This mixed methods study examined support that foster care youth had prior to attending the university, the support they felt they needed more of, and what changes they would implement to aid in the success of their college experience. In addition, this study will outline ways in which the Guardian Scholars Program and SFSU can better support foster care youth in the matriculation process to and through college. This study concluded that the foster care youth who are first-time freshmen face many challenges when matriculating to college. Additionally, this study demonstrated how important foster care support programs like the Guardian Scholars Program are for the purposes of success in higher education for foster care youth.