Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Luke Eric Lassiter, Ph. D., Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Campbell, Ph. D.

Third Advisor

Lisa A. Heaton, Ph. D.


This qualitative research study examined the supports children with a history of foster care need to be successful in post-secondary education. The study asked ten foster care alumni students receiving services from programs in Virginia, Florida, and Washington State about the level of support they receive and how successful that support is. The study also asked ten case managers that work in these programs their thoughts on the level of supports students with a history of foster care need in post-secondary education; the results of the case managers and students were then compared for agreement. The study also asked the same students and case managers their thoughts on how successful a campus exclusively designed for students with a history of foster care may be if the staff on the campus are specifically trained in trauma informed care. The case managers and students agreed on all questions regarding support; except for supports provided around access to medical care. The study suggests a dedicated campus for foster care alumni could provide students with a means to overcome some obstacles that make obtaining a post-secondary degree or certificate difficult. The study also suggested that students in the program are more critical of their performance than the case managers are critical of student performance; students may tend to see their failures as their own fault.


Foster children -- Education (Higher) -- United States.

Education and state -- United States.

Higher education and state -- United States.