Date of Award

5-1-2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Green, Judith

Abstract

Foster care youth face significant challenges to postsecondary educational success, especially while enrolled at four-year institutions. Foster care youth are absent of family support that their non-foster peers receive throughout the college experience. Without family support, foster care youth encounter greater challenges to persevere through college and reach graduation. Postsecondary education provides a fundamental opportunity for foster care youth to achieve positive life outcomes. Policy makers, social welfare agents and educators continue to advocate on behalf of foster care youth and have made it possible for them to attend college; however, lack of preparedness and support prevent foster care youth from staying in college. Skills necessary for college success are often gained in early stages of life. For many foster care youth it is in this early stage of life that they have been separated from biological family and placed in the foster care system. This research sought to answer the question: how does the family milieu influence postsecondary educational success for foster care youth? According to research, parents play a significant role in the accrual of educational, social and cultural skills needed for children to have success in later stages of life. Additionally, research supports that schooling becomes increasingly complex as life success becomes increasingly dependent on college success.

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