Higher Education

SHC Celebrates the Launch of KSU’s CARE Roadmap to Train Colleges to Support Homeless and Foster Youth

In recent years, a growing body of research has documented the pervasive extent and injurious impact of homelessness and hunger on college and university students. At the same time, an increasing number of colleges and universities have embraced the call to meet students’ basic needs in order to advance equity and improve college completion for historically underserved students. But what has been missing from the “basic needs movement,” until now, is access to practical, hands-on help from experienced practitioners to move campuses from awareness to fully realized action.

Kennesaw State University’s Campus Awareness Resource and Empowerment Services (CARES) has emerged as a leader, creating practical solutions to help students in need. From identifying, recruiting, and helping students transition to higher education, to short- and long-term housing, to accessing public benefits, to nutritious meals, to community partnerships, to program development and campus administration — the KSU CARES program has refined its approach and built a sustainable, integrated initiative that allows students to excel individually, academically, and professionally.

But what has been missing from the “basic needs movement,” until now, is access to practical, hands-on help from experienced practitioners to move campuses from awareness to fully realized action.

Now, KSU launches the CARE Roadmap, a customized program to provide training to colleges and universities that allows other institutions to benefit from the experience and insights of KSU CARES’ expert practitioners. By offering three levels of coaching, CARE Roadmap can support institutions at any stage of program development, from initial stages to more advanced levels. The program will benefit any college or university seeking to sustainably address homelessness and hunger on campus, providing tangible steps to build collaborative, inclusive, and supportive programs for all students. The CARE Roadmap materials are clear, thoughtful and actionable, distilling decades of learning into practical resources. Yet the real power of the program comes from the opportunities to interact with CARES’ extraordinary coaches and receive guided support, every step of the way, to meet the goals established by each participating institution. Most importantly, the creators of CARE Roadmap know that just as every student is unique, so too is every campus and community. The coaching model allows for tailoring and adaptation of KSU CARE Services to local campuses of varying sizes, demographics, and resources.Of particular interest to K-12 systems will be “Ascending to College,” designed for K-12 and/or Higher Education Professionals to develop a high school to higher education pipeline for homeless and foster care students to create a successful transition experience. Available in Spring 2022, the program will guide professionals in how to assist students during their journey into the high educational environment so they can have a better, more successful start.At SchoolHouse Connection, we have witnessed the need for precisely this kind of coaching service: practical, detailed, supportive, and informed by direct experience. We are thrilled to support KSU’s CARE Roadmap program, and know that it will transform systems and the lives of college students across the nation.