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Aftercare Support for Emancipated Foster Youth and Other Independent Young Adults Alvin S. Mares, PhD, LSW Patricia B. Mares, MEd, PC, LSW Society for.

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Presentation on theme: "Aftercare Support for Emancipated Foster Youth and Other Independent Young Adults Alvin S. Mares, PhD, LSW Patricia B. Mares, MEd, PC, LSW Society for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aftercare Support for Emancipated Foster Youth and Other Independent Young Adults Alvin S. Mares, PhD, LSW Patricia B. Mares, MEd, PC, LSW Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) 2011 Annual Meeting Session 45: "Non-Traditional" Students in Higher Education: Personal and Institutional Accommodations August 20, 2011

2 US Retention Rates (Fall ‘09-Fall ‘10) Control LevelPublicNon-profitFor-profitTotal <2 yrs.76% FT 73% PT 4% Instit’s High: 82% High: 84% 1% 74% 72% 20% 75% 73% 25% 2-3.99 yrs.59% 43% 18% 68% 63% 2% 70% 58% 16% 64% 47% 36% 4+ yrs.73% 49% 11% 73% 51% 21% Low: 54% Low: 42% 7% 70% 49% 39% Total66% 47% 33% 73% 53% 25% 69% 62% 43% Avg: 69% Avg: 53% N=5,997

3 OYIT-HST Peer Mentoring Program Participant Characteristics Total (n=40) Mentors (2 nd yr) (n=20) Mentees (1 st yr) (n=20) Age (mean; range)30 yrs. (18-53) 32 yrs. (19-51) 27 yrs. (18-53) Gender (female)74%69%79% Marital (single)66%63%68% Race (white)80%75%84% Educational goal AA14%0%26% BA34%50%21% Grad/prof31%19%42% Undecided20%31%11% First generation86%69%100%*

4 OYIT-HST Peer Mentoring Program Participant Challenging Life Experiences Total (n=40) Mentors (n=20) Mentees (n=20) Single parent37%38%37% Emotional probs29%38%21% Alc/drug probs23%25%21% Domestic violence17%19%16%

5 Characteristics of 2003-04 Students For-profit (10%) Public 2 Yr. (43%) Public 4 Yr. (27%) Age 18-19 yrs.38%56%91% 20-29 yrs.42%26%7% 30+ yrs.20%18%2% Income Lower57%29%20% Middle37%54%52% Upper6%17%28% 1 st Generation58%42%22% Source: US Dept of Ed, NCES, Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) Study, Tab 1.1-C

6 ‘03-04 Student Retention Risk Factors For-profitPublic 2 Yr.Public 4 Yr. 1. No high school diploma22%11%2% 2. Delayed enrollment61%48%12% 3. Attending part-time15%51%10% 4. Independent status57%37%8% 5. Dependent(s)41%24%4% 6. Single parent29%12%2% 7. Working full-time30%31%9% None23%24%76% 4+ risk factors39%27%4% Source: US Dept of Ed, NCES, Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) Study, Tab 1.1-D US Depart of Education. (2011). Six-year attainment, persistence, transfer, retention, and withdrawal rates of students who began postsecondary education in 2003–04

7 ‘03-04 Student Outcomes For-profitPublic 2 Yr.Public 4 Yr. BA Degree4%12%60% AA Degree10%14%4% Certificate31%9%2% Attending school10%20%13% Dropped out of school46% 22% No student loans13%59%39% $1-6K loans ($5K >> 60/mo) 45%15%11% $6-12K loans ($10K >> 120/mo) 30%10%12% $12-22K loans ($20K >> 240/mo) 10%9%19% > $22K loans ($25K >> 300/mo) 3%7%19% Source: US Dept of Ed, NCES, BPS Study, Tables 2.1-A, 2.2-A, 2.3-A; NCES QuickStats

8 TRIO/Student Support Services Student Support Services (SSS) one of 8 federally funded grant programs administered as part of the Federal TRIO Programs within US Dept of Education All eight programs designed to help economically disadvantaged & first-generation college students achieve success at the postsecondary level SSS program focuses on students while enrolled in college; designed to help complete degrees or certificates, transfer to 4-yr institutions if they start at two-year schools, and enroll in graduate school Provides most services to 1 st yr college students Grown from 121 projects / 30K participants / $10M funding in 1970–71 to 1,034 projects / 204K participants / $302M funding in 2010-11 2 nd largest of 8 TRIO Programs in # students served (after Talent Search), and 2 nd largest in funding (after Upward Bound) Source: Chaney, B.W. (2010). National evaluation of Student Support Services: Examination of student outcomes after six years final report. Rockville, MD: Westat.

9 SSS Services, Outcomes & Cost Services (1991-1992) Professional counseling Academic counseling/advising (60%) Personal counseling (20%) Financial aid counseling (19%) Peer tutoring Mathematics (21%) English (17%) Workshops Orientation to college (18%) Instructional courses Study skills (16%) Other (<15%) Peer counseling; labs; cultural events; disabled Source: Chaney, B.W. (2010). National evaluation of Student Support Services: Examination of student outcomes after six years final report. Rockville, MD: Westat. Outcomes (2000-2008) Goal: Increase the percentage of low- income, first-generation college students who successfully pursue postsecondary education opportunities. Measures: % persisting at same institution (2000- 2008): 67-82% % completing AA degree at original institution or transferring to a 4-yr institution w/in 3 yrs (2001-08): 23-28% % completing a BA degree at original institution w/in 6 yrs (2004-07): 28-34% Cost (2009) $301 million/198K served=$1,522/person Source: SSS Program website: dex.html

10 SSS in Ohio…and possibly other states In 2009… – $7M SSS Ohio allocation / $1,500 avg cost per student -> estimated 4,667 served across 21 institutions In 2004… – Public institutions 14 universities with 24 regional branch campuses (38 campuses) 23 community colleges – Private institutions 110 non-profit 26 for-profit – Total 197 campuses/institutions – Total 610K college students Estimated 11% of campuses/institutions and <1% of college students in Ohio served by SSS Program

11 Overview of ASP Ohio Youth in Transition (OYIT) Aftercare Support Program (ASP) – Community service pilot project (Jan-Dec 2009) – Zero budget – 12 young adults served from 4 agencies – Solution-focused brief therapy group intervention – Columbus, OH – Guada, J., Conrad, T. & Mares, A.S. (In-press). The Aftercare Support Program: An emerging group intervention model for emancipated foster youth. Social Work with Groups – Website:

12 ASP “Phase 2” Jan-Jun 2010: Planning expanded ASP + individual case mgt intervention pilot study – Ohio State BSSW & MSW students (in Columbus) & Ohio University Human Services Technology (HST) Associate’s degree students (in Chillicothe) to facilitate groups & provide c/m – Church volunteers to provide adult mentoring – Low-income, independent young adults ages 18- 29, through local Community Action Agencies July 2010-Mar 2011: Recruitment failure

13 ASP >>> HST Mentoring Program Aims – increase retention among Ohio U.-Chillicothe (Public “3 Yr”) HST students – help plan next steps (i.e., job, BA at OU-C, BA elsewhere, other) Approach: – SFBT mixed group and individual approach – Peer mentoring: current students helping new/incoming students – Adult mentoring: church volunteers helping both current & new students Peer mentor planning/training meetings to-date – 1 st (6/22/11): organizing > info sheet & application (2 nd wk of summer term) – 2 nd (6/30/11): needs > topics of interest – 3 rd (7/14/11): helping approach > sfbt handout; ranking of needs survey & results – 4 th (8/4/11): financial aid concerns & resources > Top 10 things to know handout & who to contact for help – 5 th (9/13/11): peer mentor-mentees matching mtg (2nd wk of fall term) Also: church mentor planning mtg (1/16/12)

14 Characteristics of HST Student Mentors Demographic characteristics – Age (mean): 35; Female: 61%; Single (never married): 54%; Caucasian: 81% Challenging life experiences – Single parent: 36%; Emotional problems: 36%; Alcohol/drug problems: 32% – Homelessness: 21%; Physical health problems: 18%; Domestic violence: 14%; – LGBT: 7%; Foster care: 4%; Delinquency: 4% First generation college: 81% Educational goal – AA: 14% – BA: 50% – Grad/Prof: 36% (N=28 as of 7/12/11; Recruited between 5/5/11-6/22/11)

15 Perceived Needs/Topics of Interest New StudentsExisting Students 2. What to expect with classes (N=6) 3. Financial aid (receipt of funds after start of classes) (Ashley/Norma Jean) (N=6) 2. Financial aid: surviving review; renewal; exit (N=7) 15. What teachers are good? (student evaluation data) (N=5) 7. Dealing with difficult professors from other departments (N=5) (Results from 7/14/11 in-class survey of HST student mentors (N=12))

16 Financial Aid-Related Challenges 1.Knowing who to contact for help (Athens main campus vs. Chillicothe branch campus) 2.Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for maintaining aid 3.Reconciling study plan with financial aid status for those not yet decided on major (eg, HST, social work, psychology) and/or degree (AA, BA) 4.Lag time between registration and billing deadlines (weeks before start of term) and financial aid disbursement (sometimes weeks after start of term) 5.Academic and financial aid problems following students transferring to/from other institutions 6.Outstanding balance preventing registration for next term 7.Annual financial aid application process not amenable to open- access/rolling enrollment and changes of major/degree throughout academic year (Results from 8/4/11 meeting with HST student mentors (N=11) and Fin Aid staff (N=3))

17 Financial Aid-Related Resources Branch campus Fin Aid staff to contact for help – Ashley Rauckhorst (Fin Aid Coordinator) / – Norma Jean Beverly (Fin Aid Associate) / 774-7228 – Student workers Email; attend “Open House Fridays” Fin Aid Workshop/Computer Lab 11- noon; stop by Fin Aid office (call 774-7240) Helpful handouts prepared by Fin Aid staff – Top 10 Things to Know about Financial Aid – Financial Aid To-Do List Suggestions – Questions or problems? “COME SEE ME” [ie, Ashley or Norma Jean]; more friendly & helpful than Athens/main campus Fin Aid staff – Choose classes able to attend & likely to pass to maintain SAP (2.0 GPA + 67% completion); SAP checks made annually during spring term – Patience, understanding; start early; follow to-do list; set up direct deposit; pay bills by 21 st of month – If failing a class, arrange with instructor an incomplete, rather than dropping or withdrawing (which both count as incompletion for SAP) (Results from 8/4/11 meeting with HST student mentors (N=11) and Fin Aid staff (N=3))

18 Next Steps Continue meeting with HST students, faculty and Student Services staff (advising & Fin Aid) to develop zero-budget mentoring program alternative to federally-funded SSS program – Sept 13 th (2 nd wk. fall term): Preliminary matching meeting for HST student mentors (2 nd yr students) and mentees (new students) Continue meeting with church volunteers to develop group- based mentoring activities of interest to HST students – Jan 16 th (3 rd wk. winter term): Planning meeting with Orchard Hill UCC Cabinet to discuss mixer with HST students seeking community mentors (perhaps in Feb) Ongoing – Review retention literature, reflecting upon experiences with students, faculty, staff & volunteers – Share experiences via writing and presenting, consulting with others along the way

19 Retention Theories/Frameworks Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Braxton, J. M. (2003). Student success. In Student services: A handbook for the profession. (4th ed.). S. R. Komives, S.R., & Woodard, D.B. (Eds.). 317- 338. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J.A., Bridges, B.K., & Hayek, J.C. (2006). What matters to student success: A review of the literature. Washington: National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.

20 Financial Aid and Retention (1) Hossler,, D., Ziskin, M., Kim, S., Cekic, O., & Gross, J.P.K. Student aid and its role in encouraging persistence Overall findings Following positively associated with persistence: receipt of larger amounts of financial aid; college work study; and grants (rather than loans) Merit-based aid positively associated, though more persistent in general Small, indirect effects providing more opportunity to engage in academic & social activities available on-campus (2) Lapovsky, L. Rethinking student aid: Nontraditional students Challenges facing non-traditional students Over half apply for federal financial aid (FAFSA) after May 1 st Less likely to attend school in fall term; “new” spring term aid less avail Less likely to attend full-time, reducing federal aid and eliminating FT-only aid awarded by many states and institutions Source: CollegeBoard. (2008). The effectiveness of student aid policies: What the research tells us. Baum, S., McPherson, M., & Steele, P. (Eds.). New York: Author.

21 Various Types of “Drop-outs” Drop-Outs: do not return to the college in which they enrolled, have no definite plans to return, and do not transfer to another institution of higher education Stop-Outs: begin a plan of study, leave college for a period of time, and then reenroll to complete their plan of study Transfer-Outs: begin their college career at one college and then transfer to another institution Opt-Outs: leave college because they accomplished what they came to do, even though they have not completed a certificate or degree Source: Hoyt, J.E., & Winn, B.A. (2004). Understanding retention and college student bodies: Differences between drop-outs, stop-outs, opt-outs, and transfer-outs. NASPA Journal 41(3):395-417.

22 Top 5 Reasons for Leaving Utah Valley State College (Public 4-Yr) After 1 st Year (Fall 2000 Freshman Cohort) Drop-Outs (N=49) Stop-Outs (N=161) Transfer-Outs (N=164) Financial Concerns39% (1)52% (1)31% (1) Family Responsibilities35% (2)13% (4) Conflict Job27% (3)35% (2)15% (2) Marriage16% (4)10% (5) Low Grades14% (5) Health Concerns14% (3)11% (5) Programs/Courses13% (3) Dissatisfied Instruction12% (4)

23 Closing Thoughts Challenges – Crazy busy lives of students, faculty, staff & volunteers – Inconsistent attendance and limited availability of participants to attend mentoring meetings/events – Low priority of planning/mentoring relative to financial needs, family demands, health concerns – Forthcoming reductions in public funding of post- secondary education support (eg, grants, SSS Program) likely at federal, state and institutional levels Opportunities – A lot of potential (scholarly and service) for applying mentoring and SFBT principles to increase retention among at-risk college students – Much to be learned…much to be gained

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