Mentorship Access Guidance in College (MAGIC)
70% of young people who spent time in foster care plan on going to college. However, the experience of foster care and homelessness can make it exceedingly difficult for students to be successful on campus. Because of this, only about 3%of students from foster care complete a Bachelor’s degree by the time they turn 26 compared to 24% of the general population (Courtney et al, 2011).
Some of the most common barriers these students face are:
- Homelessness: 25-36% of foster care youth are homeless after aging out compared to 2.6% of the 18-24 aged population in the U.S.
Lack of financial support:
- The mean income for alumni of foster care is $13,989 compared to a mean income of $32,312 for the general population. (Courtney et al, 2011)
- 48% of alumni of foster care are employed, compared to 80% of the general population. (Courtney et al, 2011)
- 57% of alumni of foster care indicated that they lacked individuals to loan them money in the event of an emergency. (Courtney et al, 2011)
- Fewer than half of alumni of care have bank accounts, making them vulnerable to predatory lending practices and paycheck cashing shops. (Courtney et al, 2011)
- Physical and mental health concerns (like trauma): The rates of post-traumatic stress syndrome among alumni of foster care were HIGHER than among war veterans (Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative, 2007)
- Inadequate academic preparation due to constantly changing schools and moving between placements
- Little social support and encouragement to pursue post-secondary education
- Lacking basic life skills and resources (like documentation)
Collaboration with Academic Success Partnerships (ASP)
MAGIC is housed in the department of Academic Success Partnerships in Pierce Hall on Eastern Michigan University's main campus. Academic Success Partnerships is the perfect home for MAGIC as it is committed to creating an inclusive environment focused on ensuring students, often from under-represented populations, are not marginalized or under-emphasized on campus. The goal is to empower students to achieve personal, educational, and career goals.
Academic Success Partnerships also houses the GEAR UP and SIP programs. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education that increases the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post secondary education.
SIP (Summer Incentive Program) provides high school graduating seniors who do not meet the prerequisites for admission the opportunity to attend Eastern Michigan University on a conditional basis. This program is designed to facilitate a smooth transition into University life while allowing each student to successfully develop academic skills and the personal responsibility necessary to ensure success at the University level.
As a department focused on student success, MAGIC is provided the perfect environment in Academic Success Partnerships to support students who have experienced foster care or homelessness. If you have any questions about these programs please contact our office at 734.487.8413