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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores McNair

First Committee Member

Joanna Royce-Davis

Second Committee Member

Judy Sakaki


Less than 5% of former foster youth in America graduate with a bachelor's degree. The goal of this phenomenological research was to use student voices to identify or better understand promising practices that support the success of former foster youth. Two California State University (CSU) campuses were chosen as research sites because the California Education Code has language indicating CSUs responsibility to recruit, serve, and graduate former foster youth. Through purposeful sampling, eight students who were successfully approaching graduation were selected. The data collected through two interviews, a biographical questionnaire, and a photo review were subject to thematic identification and analysis of the use or lack of use of the types of capital outlined in the community cultural wealth theory. Five themes and the abundant and lacking types of capital were identified. Identified themes were student services and programs, mentorship, financial challenges, family dynamics, and self-determination. The participants were found to have abundant aspirational, navigational, resistance, and certain aspects of familial capital. They were found to be largely lacking in cultural, social, spiritual, linguistic, and other aspects of familial capital. Through the identification of the themes and the evaluation of capital, promising practices and next steps were identified and additional research needs brought to light.





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