Porterville College

Foster Youth Success Program

Foster Youth Success Program

The Foster Youth Success program provides service to identified and verified current or former foster youth attending Porterville College. Our goal is to provide student support services to foster youth which will prepare and invest in the youth during their post-secondary educational journey.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) has recognized that there is a significant deficit regarding youth attending higher education. Every year, approximately 4,000 foster youth turn 18 in California’s Child Welfare system. In surveys conducted of foster youth, the vast majority express a desire to go to college. Unfortunately, the outcomes for these youth do not match up to their aspirations. In 2007, the Children’s Advocacy institute at the University Of San Diego Of Law reported that “only 20% of (foster youth) who complete high school even begin to pursue postsecondary education, compared with 60% of their peers. The percentage of all former foster youth who attain a college degree is even lower, at only 1 to 3 %” Recognizing this need, CCCCO is sponsoring a concerted effort called the Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) to bring issues affecting these youth to the forefront and to improve the ability of these youth access to high education. The FYSI program is dedicated to supporting ambitious, college bound students exiting the foster care system. Upon aging out at age 18, many former foster youth are ill equipped and lack the necessary skills to maneuver their way through the numerous campus offices and processes necessary to access support services and assistance. They repeatedly conveyed their sense of discouragement when they had sought assistance at postsecondary institutions.

The goals of this initiative are to improve:

  • Access to student services and resources
  • Access to academic support
  • Retention
  • Academic performance
  • Completion of units
  • Completion of programs and degrees
  • Transfer rates to baccalaureate

Former foster youth attending California community colleges, identified needs:

  • Help completing the financial aid application
  • Academic counseling
  • Help completing the Chafee Grant application
  • Psychological counseling
  • A constant figure in their life to guide them

Foster Youth Eligibility Criteria

The criteria for participation in our program consists of youth who were in foster care at age 18, youth who qualify for FAFSA independent status based on foster care involvement, Chafee eligible youth, youth who had contact with the foster care system at any point in their life. There is no single standard definition of a “foster youth,” but rather a number of eligibility criteria for various financial and support programs designated for foster youth.