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Statewide Networks and Postsecondary Programs

Statewide Networks and Postsecondary Programs

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Statewide Networks and Postsecondary Programs

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  1. Statewide Networks and Postsecondary Programs Monday, October 29, 2012 10:30 – 11:45

  2. College and Career Readiness • Those that find the college access process smooth usually: 1) know exactly where they want to go 2) know how to get there 3) have the resources to pay for it • In which of these categories do homeless students fit?

  3. What are Networks? • People and organizations working together to help homeless students access and complete postsecondary programs • People and organizations that understand how to advocate for populations and how to navigate the system

  4. Why Are They Needed? • Current college access and success information presumes that students have supporting adults and access to resources. • Navigating the transition process into a postsecondary program is complicated and frightening and steers the most highly educated person into a dimension of ignorance.

  5. Postsecondary Institutions • What do they have in common? • Entrance requirements? Y/N? • Financial aid packages? Y/N? • Housing? Y/N? • Understanding of homelessness? Y/N? • On-campus supports? Y/N? • Academic offerings and supports? Y/N? • Supportive off-campus communities? Y/N? Answers: “No” to all.

  6. Do We Understand Each Other? • Most likely not • Growing need; dwindling resources • Unclear or nonexistent guidelines that address the issue of homeless education • Bottom of the list of priorities for federal, state, and district policy makers • Mired in bureaucracy, too much work for too few resources, power struggles without focus

  7. We Seem Stuck!

  8. What Do Networks Do? • Individualize the process • Sort through the current policies and procedures of each campus and identify challenges for homeless students • Address the amount of flexibility a campus will allow to accommodate the needs of homeless students • Inform campus gatekeepers of the needs of homeless students and hope for an understanding

  9. How Are Networks Built? • Begins with NAEHCY/NCHE staff and volunteers identifying key stakeholders in each state; or, can begin with you • Connecting the district liaison, statewide coordinator, and postsecondary contacts • Training higher education staff on homeless issues, challenges faced, McKinney-Vento law, and US Department of Education guidelines • Training liaisons on higher education policy and procedures

  10. Navigation Tool • Housing; Financial Aid; Academic Supports; Tutoring/Mentoring; Emergency Services: Health/Counseling; Other needs • Understanding of homeless issues: • Strong Some Possibilities None • Is it a good fit?

  11. Existing Networks & Resources

  12. Colorado Network Consists of stakeholders from: • Colorado Department of Education • K-12 McKinney-Vento Liaisons • Higher Education personnel from Financial Aid, Admissions, and Student Support Services • Collaborates to streamline the verification process between K-12 and higher education • Has established Single Points of Contact (SPOCS) in all CO colleges/universities to help eliminate barriers to higher education access

  13. Colorado Network • Barriers addressed included waiving application fees, deferring housing deposits, and connecting students with community resources • In 2011 the Colorado taskforce along with the nonprofit homeless service provider Family Tree established private funding to assist UHY. • SPOCs apply for funding through Family Tree to provide student IDs, bedding, toiletry items, and other basic needs not covered by other sources

  14. North Carolina Network • Includes staff from NCHE, NC Homeless Education Program, K-12, public and private universities, community colleges, RHYA program, NC State Education Assistance Authority, College Foundation of NC, etc. • Began with top-level administrators • More effective after adding members who provide direct services • Established Single Points of Contact (SPOCS) in all NC colleges/universities • Collaborated on products, publications, webinars, and conference presentations

  15. North Carolina Network • Started in midst of recession • Budgets for higher edinstitutions devastated • Personnel cuts • Institutional barriers within systems • Not in any organization’s scope of work • Legislative change is required to use standard forms in colleges and universities • No champion from higher ed emerged immediately

  16. Overcoming Network Barriers • Getting Started • Start time may not be ideal, but keep up progress • Building relationships takes time • It’s worth investing the effort to help everyone understand the issues • Choose manageable amount of work • Keep momentum going • Small steps forward are still progress

  17. NCHE Resources • Helpline: 800-308-2145 or • Website: Access to Higher Education for Students Experiencing Homelessness Scholarships Sample Forms and Materials

  18. NAEHCY Resources National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth: NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline1 (855) 446-2673 (toll-free) | • FAFSA Tips for Unaccompanied Youth Without Stable Housing • Helping Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Access College Financial Aid Brief Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Toolkits

  19. Additional Resources Application and Verification Guide (AVG) Chapter 5 - Special Cases (p. 99-106) Recommendations for Transitioning UHY to Higher Education (Colorado)

  20. State Resources • Arizona College Access Network (AZCAN) • Kentucky • New Hampshire ( • Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OK-CAN) • New York Technical Assistance Center

  21. Contact Us Marcia E. Weston Membership Support and Program Services Project Manager-College and Career Readiness(E) Cyekeia LeeNational Higher Education Liaison for Homeless Youth National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth(P) (734)-258-8175(E)