Seita Scholars Program

The Seita Scholars Program is part of a larger initiative to change the college going paradigm of youth in the foster care system. Currently, only 2 percent to 4 percent of youth from the foster care system will earn a college degree (Casey Family programs, 2010).

Program Goals

  • Create transitions that lead to success in college and career for Western Michigan University students from foster care ages 18 to 25 years old
  • Develop a community of scholars among WMU students who have aged out of foster care, and create a safe community to deconstruct and reconstruct identity
  • Educate WMU students from foster care and their support network to enhance their professional skill set
  • Transform WMU students from foster care by integrating experiences from students’ past to build opportunities for their future
Video of Seita Scholars Program Video

Outcomes

Graduation rates for the Seita Scholars Program far exceed this national average, as over 30 percent of Seita Scholars who are first-time-in-any college and nearly 50 percent of all Seita Scholars achieve an undergraduate degree. Many go on to pursue graduate school. 

In addition to graduating at rates above the national average, Seita Scholars are participating in a wide array of skill building activities on and off campus. Scholars have:

  • Made the Dean’s List in colleges across campus
  • Studied abroad in a variety of countries including Italy, Spain, Australia, and Argentina
  • Served as assistants in the residence halls on campus
  • Participated in club and varsity sports
  • Held leadership positions in student organizations across campus
  • Spoken at conferences across the nation and advocated for youth in foster care

Take a moment and browse through the Seita Scholars Annual Report for more highlights from 2020-21.