Across the nation, approximately 400,000 children are temporarily placed in foster care because their families are unable to care for them. Over 60,000 live in California.
Though 70 percent of foster youth express an interest in college, only 50 percent graduate from high school, 20 percent enroll in college, and only 3 percent graduate from college.
In 2014, under Senate Bill 1023 (Liu) the Cooperative Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support Programs (CAFYES) were established as an expansion of the EOPS programs. At San Jose City College (SJCC), the Guardian Scholars Program is dedicated to serving “current and former” foster youth using Student Equity resources to help support students throughout their academic endeavors. The Guardian Scholars program is under the umbrella of the EOP&S program at San Jose City College.
Through the collaboration of the Foster Youth Success Initiative Liaison and the EOPS/Guardian Scholars program, it is the intent to encourage the enrollment, retention, and transfer of “current and former” foster youth at SJCC.
The EOPS-Guardian Scholars program will provide “over and above and in addition to” support services to San José City College foster youth population. These services will be administered by a group of dedicated and trained professionals to help foresee and address the challenges that students may encounter at San Jose City College (SJCC).
Who is Eligible?
Foster Youth: Someone who has been in foster care, no matter the length of time
Dependent or ward of the court-someone who has received protection from the court and may have had a legal guardian appointed either by the court or by parental consent
Emancipated minor-someone who is a minor (under age 18 in CA) and is no longer under parental control.
Orphaned-someone whose parents or legal guardians are deceased
Was identified as an unaccompanied minor who is homeless (or at-risk of being homeless), or McKinney-Vento (someone who is living in a shelter, on the street, or “couch hopping”). Documentation of status will be required to verify eligibility.
Living with kin (arranged formally or informally)-someone whose care is provided by relatives or extended family member(s) due to any number of reasons.
Attend Guardian Scholars orientation
One on one intake to complete a comprehensive educational plan
Be enrolled in at least 3 units in current semester
Meet with Guardian Scholars Counselor (4 times per semester)
Intention to become a fulltime student following semester
Former foster care involved
At least one day of foster care experience from 0-18 years old (e.g. foster home, group home, or placed with a relative by the court)
Documentation from county identified as foster care involved
No high school diploma required
The following are some of the services available to Guardian Scholars:
Guardian Scholars Coordinator
(408) 298-2181 ext. 3653