Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Ronald Hallett

First Committee Member

Crystal Laura

Second Committee Member

Linda Skrla


Young people from foster care face numerous challenges and barriers in their transition to adulthood and engagement with higher education. Foster alumni are one of the most disadvantaged student populations, compelling educators and policy makers to create pathways leading to student success. This qualitative life history explores the journey of one foster alumnus from high school drop out to four-year college scholarship recipient. Narrative intimate inquiry frames this study. A critical lens is used to view the identity capital of one raised by surrogate parents—the state. Jean serves as the heart of this study; I serve as a co-constructor in bringing her story to life. I explore how the life of one speaks to the plight of many and how we can smooth out the transition processes for this underserved, historically marginalized group of young people seeking stability. In addition, this study explores intimateness in inquiry. Intimate inquiry bringing to the forefront a critical conversation of how love and relationship with participants adds dimension to both scholarly contribution of findings and the rich nuances of researcher-participant engagement.





To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in ProQuest



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email