"The least we can do is give them a little help so that they can achieve their full potential." - John Burton

California College Pathways

More now than ever, the key to a successful career and financial stability lies in access to higher education.  Sadly, statistics indicate that only 50% of foster youth graduate from high school or receive a GED and that an even lower percentage of foster youth (2-3%) successfully obtain a bachelor’s degree. There are many reasons why only a small group of former foster youth can continue their education but adequate support and a stable housing environment are major factors in this equation.

That is why the Foundation has entered into a partnership with the Stuart Foundation and other California College Pathways partners to increase the number of foster youth in California who enter and succeed in higher education. With the implementation of extended foster care in 2012, new opportunities exist for foster youth to pursue and achieve educational goals and the project seeks to leverage this exciting new opportunity to improve educational outcomes for foster youth.

To achieve this, California College Pathways pursues four strategies:

  • Technical Assistance & Training This includes a two-fold effort that includes providing hands-on technical assistance and training for campus staff about extended foster care.  The second component involves training child welfare professionals and caregivers about the ins and outs of higher education so that they can better support foster youth.
  • Policy Analysis & Development This includes analyzing the barriers that prevent foster youth from entering higher education and developing practical, politically feasible policy solutions to remove those barriers.
  • Coalition Building & Advocacy This includes building a well-organized coalition of students, campus administrators, nonprofit professionals and public officials to advocate for policy changes that will promote academic achievement among former foster youth.
  • Information-Sharing This includes collecting and disseminating information about available campus support programs in California and nationally, together with information about the latest research, legislation and policy developments.

For more information on the California College Pathways project, please visit their website at www.cacollegepathways.org