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* Former Foster Youth & Their

Experiences at 4-Year Institutions

Caressa Nguyen | Loyola University Chicago
Final Research Proposal Presentation
*What do you know about
foster youth?
*Foster Youth Statistics

*Source: Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY 2014 data
*Purpose of the Study
To examine the experiences of former foster
youth at four-year institutions
*Research Question:
What are the experiences of former foster
youth transitioning to four-year college
*Previous Literature
Struggles of foster youth:
* Lower expectations for themselves
* More likely to drop out in their first year and upon completion
of college
* Can be academically successful, but still vulnerable to
setbacks in other areas of their life.
* Leave college because of:
* Financial strains
* Emotional problems
* Lack of social involvement
* Academic skills

(Kirk et al., 2011), (Day et al., 2011), (Merdinger et al., 2005), (Salazar et al., 2012), (Hines et al.,
*Previous Literature
How college makes former foster youth feel:

* College experience is affected by their foster care upbringing

* Both positive and negative outcomes to their identity as a
result of transition

* Feel just as confident as peers about college, but large gap

from readiness compared to peers

(Berzin et al., 2014), (Okumu, 2014), (Unrau, 2011)

*Previous Literature
Former foster youth college programs:

* Analysis of summer campus program for transitioning foster

youth into college helps resilience

* Students appreciate the structured support system, but more

so, value the relationships that come out of them

(Kirk & Day, 2011), (Dworsky & Perez, 2009)

* Former foster youth currently at a 4-year institution
* Four institutions
* Participating in foster youth program on campus
* Two types:
* Traditional 1st year students in their 2nd semester
* Non-traditional 1st year transfer students in their 2nd semester
* Setting of interview: students college campus
* Timeline:
* 60-75 minute interviews
* All interviews within 3-month span during 2nd semester
* Interviews are audio and video recorded
* One researcher per interview

* Students given online survey one week after interview

* In-depth interviews on the following topics
* Transition to 4-year institution
* Transition out of foster care
* Academic readiness and classes
* Campus involvement
* Financial concerns and stability
* Responsibilities outside being a student
* Future goals

EX: If someone asked you about what it is like to attend this

university, what would you say?
* Demographic information
* Foster Care History
* Campus Experience (Likert scale questions)
EX: I feel like I can connect to the general population of
students at my university.
* Strongly disagree
* Generally disagree
* Slightly disagree
* Slightly agree
* Generally agree
* Strongly agree
Data Analysis (Mixed Methods):
* Transcribe interviews verbatim
* Pull similar themes from conversations
* Survey will inform the qualitative interviews concurrently
* Demographics compare age, race, and gender to
experiences they have
* Campus experience descriptive statistics
* Qualitize Likert scale answers
* Use the mode to determine how students feel

Thank you for your time!