School of Education awarded grant to improve graduation rates among foster students

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A $500,000 grant will help the School of Education faculty complete a new project to support foster youth and improve their educational trajectory. This randomized controlled trial provides an important opportunity for the School of Education to collaborate with Child Advocates, Inc., on a scientific investigation to identify the best possible intervention approach for moderately at-risk middle and secondary students in the Marion County, Indiana, foster care system. The randomized controlled trial is supported by Arnold Ventures.

The cutting-edge study, “Assessing the Impacts of the Educational Liaison Model in Youth Foster Care,” is led by Jeff Anderson, Professor and Department Chair, Curriculum and Instruction, Patricia Muller, Director of the Center for Evaluation, Policy, and Research (CEPR) with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, and John Hitchcock, Principal Associate with Abt Associates.

Our hope is this research will offer solutions for our education system to better serve our most vulnerable population.

Cindy Booth

“We know that youth in foster care tend to demonstrate lower academic outcomes and graduation rates, and that these outcomes can always be improved,” Anderson says. “This project is an opportunity to use science to inform the best overall supports and services to improve the academic trajectory for this group of students.”

“Foster youth face a unique set of challenges and require additional support especially as it pertains to education,” Child Advocates CEO Cindy Booth says. “Our hope is this research will offer solutions for our education system to better serve our most vulnerable population.”

The ultimate outcome of the study is to better understand and improve interventions that provide this population of students with a higher probability of graduating on time and with their peers, an outcome with direct policy relevance to state and national practitioners.