Research study about the impacts of social support on college students who are foster care alumni

Research study about the impacts of social support on college students who are foster care alumni


Here is an opportunity for current foster youth & foster care alumni who are in college or recently have graduated college...

My name is Malia Minnick and I am a doctoral student in the EdD program with a focus in higher education administration at New England College in Henniker, NH. I am currently seeking participants for my dissertation research study about the impacts of social support on students who were previously in foster care's ability to achieve at the college level.


If you are interested in being a participant (or know someone who is), please read the details of my study below and contact me directly:

Participants of the study must meet the following criteria:

- recent college graduates (within the past ten years) or current college students at a 2 or 4 year institution in the United States

-have been/currently are in the US foster care system. Participants may have aged out, been adopted, or returned to their family of origin after their foster care experience. 


As a foster and adoptive parent myself, I am passionate about the educational success of this population and look forward to conducting my research with them.

Below is a description of my study and methods of contact for me:

My study aims to understand systems of social support in higher education that students involved in foster care perceive that they have access to, their willingness to accept/use such supports, and the gaps where support does not exist for students through a qualitative research design. Participants will all be current or previous youth involved in the United States foster care system who have graduated or are currently enrolled in a two- or four-year college. The aim is to
recruit 20 participants.

Participants will complete a demographic questionnaire to collect information about their time in their time in foster care and college experiences, as well as basic information about their personal identities (age, gender, race, etc.). After completion of the demographic questionnaire, participants will take part in a semi-structured online interview lasting about 1.5 hours, or until saturation of the data has been achieved, via Skype or Zoom.


The focus of this study is to gather information specifically about the impact of social support on college persistence for students involved in foster care, rather than on traumas experienced prior to/during foster care. Participation is voluntary and participants may revoke their consent to participate (or decline answering specific questions) at any time without penalty. Data will be collected via audio recording on a secure recording device. The device will be stored in a locked cabinet. The transcription of data will be done on a password protected computer and encrypted to ensure confidentiality. Names and identifying information will be removed from the transcription and not included in any final reports. After five years, all data will be destroyed.


Qualitative data will be analyzed through qualitative coding by the primary researcher in two cycles, first by applying in vivo codes to capture participants’ voices and then to bring codes together into overarching themes. Results of the analysis will be displayed visually and in the form of a written description with examples in participants’ own words.

If you have any questions about the study or feel that you may qualify as a participant please contact:

Malia Minnick, MEd, NCC

Thank you for your time.


Malia Minnick, MEd, NCC

10/09/2019 3:10 PM |Add a comment
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