Mixed Methods Evaluation of Two Georgia College Campus Support Programs for Students with Experience in Foster Care


School of Government and International Affairs

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A large and growing number of colleges and universities have invested in the development of campus support programs (CSPs) that specifically aim to support students with experience in foster care (SEFC). However, the evidence base for CSPs remains quite limited. The current study seeks to contribute to the literature with a mixed methods evaluation of two CSPs in Georgia, one at a 2-year technical college and one at a 4-year university. Qualitative data were collected by the study team via student and staff interviews. Quantitative data were provided by CSP program staff and included program implementation and administrative outcome data (i.e., grade-point average, course credit completion) for SEFC who participated in the CSP. Outcome data were also provided for comparison student groups: (a) all undergraduate students, (b) all first-generation undergraduate students, and (c) all undergraduate students who checked “Ward of the court” on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Analyses revealed that the two CSPs in this study offer important supports to SEFC, but many barriers stand in the way of services reaching their full potential. Most of the university students interviewed shared positive experiences of the CSP, but many suggested improvements were offered as well. Administrative data showed the promise of CSPs, with SEFC performing similar to or better than some of their peers academically; however, the study design and data limitations prevent this study from making efficacy claims. Policy and practice recommendations are provided, as well as how researchers can work alongside CSPs to conduct program evaluations.

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Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

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