Strategies for Student Engagement in Higher Education Settings Jamie Crandell, Fostering Success Coach Training and Certification Coordinator, Western Michigan University, Center for Fostering Success Belen Gonzalez, Program Director, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Ronicka Hamilton, Senior Campus Coach, Western Michigan University, Seita Scholars Program Tamar Toutant, Seita Scholar, Western Michigan University Nina Scholars Program Nina Scholars Criteria • Established in 2001 at four institutions: Arizona State University, Maricopa Community Colleges, IUPUI, Ivy Tech • Target Populations: – Adults 25 years or older with dependents – College age youth with physical disabilities – Foster youth that have transitioned out of child welfare system • Applicants should also: – Have less than 24 degree-applicable credit hours – Demonstrate financial need What’s included in the Nina Scholars program? • • • • • • Tuition assistance (amount varies) Nina Scholar Program Director and support staff Student support services Class (cohort) experience Passport Program Up to four years of support at community colleges and up to six years at universities. Nina Scholar Evaluation • 2001-2007: Six- year longitudinal study comparing Nina Scholars to students who were eligible but not selected for the program. • 2007- Current: Internal report comparing Nina Scholar performance with data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. • Beginning 2014- Longitudinal study following Nina Scholars in Class 14 Nina Scholars- Show me the numbers! • Through the first 11 years of the program, 494 students entered with 65 percent graduating or persisting, across all schools and populations. – Adults with Dependents- 57% of the Nina Scholars, graduation rate of 64% – Youth with Physical Disabilities- 16% of the Nina Scholars, gradation rate of 62% – Foster Youth- 27% of the Nina Scholars, graduation rate of 40% Nina Scholars- It’s working! Foster Youth Graduation Rate Arizona State University IUPUI MCCCD Ivy Tech 63% 69% 25% 18% Nina Scholars and Youth Engagement • • • • • • Nina Scholar Advisory Council iLead Conference Student Success Committee Class Welcome Orientation College Success Course Nina Scholar dedicated space New Features • Nina Scholar Graduate School Assistance Fund • Building on the Foster Care Tuition Waiver in Arizona • Connection to the Arizona Youth Opportunities Initiative Seita Scholars Program Why Coaching? • Growing in foster care can result in skill gaps • Coaching aims to narrow and eliminate gaps in skill • Coaching differs from casework and therapy – Future focus – Partnered relationship Fostering Success Coaching Model Why Coaching? 3rd Semester Retention At WMU, 3rd semester retention rates for freshman students from foster care are similar to other freshman who are first time in any college (FTIAC) Fostering Success Coaching Model: Core Elements • Interdependent Relationships – Partnering – Promoting reciprocity • Empowerment Evaluation – Progress indicators – Ongoing feedback loop Interdependent Relationships Practice Strategies Partnering with Students Doing for Doing to Doing with Practice Strategies • Partnering with Students – Avoid making assumptions • Getting real-time feedback from students – What about your interaction has been helpful? What could be changed to be more helpful? • Observation and Praise – What skills are in practice? Student Engagement Summer Outreach by Peer Leaders New Student Orientation SET Week Fall Welcome Week First Year Seminar Registered Student Organization Career Mentors Identity Groups Practice Tool: Using Scales in Assessment and for Student Engagement in SelfAwareness Practice Tool: Using Structured Problem Solving Method to Engage Student and Increase Knowledge, Skill and Awareness S = Situation O = Options D = Disadvantages A = Advantages S = Solution Small Group Discussion, Q & A 1. What university services/programs do you know of that work with youth who have experienced foster care? 2. Arizona recently instituted tuition waivers for foster youth. How are other states managing similar processes? 3. What are the major principles that guide your work with youth who have experienced foster care? 4. How do you identify students that were formerly in foster care? How do you engage these youth in a campus/education setting?