Date of Award

Spring 4-20-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Phil Pendley

Second Advisor

Martinrex Kedziora

Third Advisor

Jeff Franks


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe the lived experiences of foster youth at California community colleges who have completed at least one major semester regarding the impact of their participation in campus support programs on their academic achievement.

Methodology: The researcher identified three community colleges within the state of California. Of this target population, purposeful sampling was applied to identify participants that were rich with information and that met specific criteria and 12 students with experience in the foster care system were identified. The researcher collected and coded data from in depth interviews.

Findings: Examination of qualitative data from the 12 interviews with community college students with foster care experience were organized by sub-research questions and aligned to the six factors of student success framework, identifying the impact that campus support services have on the academic achievement of community college students with foster care experience.

Conclusions: The study supported the conclusions that campus staff within the student support programs creating meaningful connections with students was described as one of the most impactful services made available to students. Additionally, conclusions were that financial assistance for students that extend beyond the cost of attending classes are just as important when it comes to student retention and capacity for academic success.

Recommendations: Four areas of further research were recommended to increase the body of literature related to these variables.