The Center for Fostering Success was officially approved by Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees in 2012. Our mission is to improve college graduation and career achievement rates among youth and young adults (12 to 25 years old) aging out of the foster care system. In alignment with the WMU’s mission, the activities of the Center are learner-centered and discovery driven. We provide leadership that informs teaching, research, learning, and public service as it relates to the topic of foster care and higher education. The knowledge and innovations developed within the Center for Fostering Success is focused on action in applied settings.

The Center is led by Dr. Yvonne Unrau, Professor of Social Work and Director of the Center for Fostering Success, who teams with Chris Harris, Director of the Seita Scholars Program and Maddy Day, Director of Outreach and Training to shape the activities and direction of the Center’s goals and activities. The Center reports to the Provost, Office of Academic Affairs, on matters related to the Seita Scholars program, and to the College of Health and Human Services for outreach and training programs.

The Center has three major program’s:

  1. Seita Scholars Program
  2. Fostering Success Michigan
  3. Fostering Success Coach Training

The above three programs work collectively to accomplish the five goals of the Center, which are to:

  • Create successful transitions from foster care-to-college and college-to-career for students ages 12 to 25 through the experience of higher education.
  • Educate the community in the college-to-career pipeline about the needs, challenges, and discovery-driven solutions related to students from foster care.
  • Develop leaders among alumni of foster care to enhance the greater community and society.
  • Connect strong and enduring networks addressing needs of youth and alumni of foster care in relation to higher education and career.
  • Sustain the backbone structure of the Center for Fostering Success to support the above goals.