Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Pamela Eddy


The focus of this study was the experience of students who had successfully achieved the transition from foster care to enrollment in Virginia Community Colleges. The following questions guided the inquiry: How do students who are emancipating from foster care describe their transition to enrollment at one of the Virginia Community Colleges? What challenges do students who are emancipating from foster care face in the transition to college? What types of support do these students require to successfully transition to college?;This study used a qualitative approach to examine the transition from care of emancipated foster youth to post-secondary education. Narrative responses from semi-structured interviews with emancipating youth now enrolled in a Virginia community college provided insight into their transition from care to enrollment in college. Twelve students aged 19 to 21, participated in this study. Ethnicity of participants included one biracial student, five Caucasian students, and six Black students. Findings from the study showed the importance of the influence of a single secondary educator in each participant's experience, the importance of financial assistance, and the importance of campus/institutional support on college choice and transition from high school to college. Participants were challenged by their lack of academic preparation, lack of family privilege, and lack of understanding of the norms of college.;Keywords: college transition, foster care, college students, community college.



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