Thursday, January 16, 2020
Capitol, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
* noted as presenting author
Purpose: This study is an outcome evaluation of the Guardian Scholars Program (GSP) at San Francisco State University, which supports current and former foster care youth on the campus. GSP services include: clinical case management, year-round on-campus housing, career planning and preparation, mental health therapy, social activities, leadership opportunities, and scholarships. Methods: This study examined all 72 GSP graduates (80% are students of color) who received services from the Guardian Scholars Program between 2005-2017, and who then graduated from SF State University. Outcomes examined included: employment rates, annual salaries, graduate school enrollment, receipt of public assistance and housing. Results: 90% were either employed at least 35 hours per week or were enrolled in graduate school. Of those employed, they saw an average annual salary of $55,250. Since graduating 18% had received some type of public assistance (food stamps, WIC, and/or TANF) and 97% were living in stable, permanent housing. These outcomes are better than the outcomes for the general population of foster youth and for graduates from all 20 California State University campuses. Conclusions: Although descriptive in nature, this study offers early evidence that comprehensive campus support programs may lead to improved long-term employment, salary, graduate school enrollment, and housing outcomes for foster youth in undergraduate studies at four-year public universities.