The Seita Scholars Program is the service component of the Foster Youth and Higher Education Initiative at Western Michigan University. The broader initiative exists to benefit young people growing up in the foster-care system by engaging foster youth in the process of investigating and finding solutions to the challenges that prevent them from accessing and succeeding in higher education. Planning for the WMU Foster Youth and Higher Education Initiative began following a Michigan statewide summit meeting in April 2007, and accelerated during the fall 2007 semester after the planning team received support from WMU's President, Dr. John Dunn, to move forward with planning efforts.
The Program goal is to increase opportunities for young people who have aged out of foster care to pursue higher education and to provide supports that promote success and well-being throughout the undergraduate experience at WMU. The program aims to create a community of scholars among this segment of WMU's student population. More than providing these students with an undergraduate education, we offer strategies--individual and systemic--to help youth from foster care transition into adulthood through the experience of higher education.