Foster Care Initiative (FCI)

The CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative (FCI), funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, aims to connect students in care to CUNY Start and/or ASAP to improve persistence and increase their chances of timely graduation at CUNY. FCI develops strategic partnerships with foster care agencies to identify and refer eligible students to CUNY. Furthermore, FCI provides personalized supports to bring students from matriculation through graduation. REPS provides program data support and is conducting a four-year analysis of FCI implementation and participant outcomes. Read More


The evaluation began with the first cohort of students in Spring 2016 and will conclude following the final cohort (starting in Spring 2019). REPS will collect and analyze data on the creation and maintenance of FCI to inform program implementation and explore whether there is a replicable model for pursuit at CUNY and beyond. In examining the association between program characteristics (such as strategic partnerships and enhanced supports) and academic outcomes, the project seeks to fill a gap in the research on college access and success for foster youth.

Evaluation Questions:

  1. What are essential features of the strategic partnerships created between the foster care agencies, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), and CUNY as they relate to college access and success for students in care?
    a. How has the work between the partners been organized and implemented? What types of organizations and which actors are necessary to structure and implement a program serving students in care?
    b. What are the lessons learned and how can these improve service to students in care who participate in the initiative?
  2. What specific programmatic features, i.e. the additional layers of support provided, influence college access and success for students in care?
  3. How do program participants’ academic outcomes related to college access (i.e. remediation) compare to non-participant students in care?
  4. How do program participants’ academic outcomes related to college success compare to non-participant students in care?
  5. Do the unique needs, experiences, and challenges of students in care affect how FCI participants are experiencing and completing CUNY Start and ASAP?


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Successful Transition to College, Success in College