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Eastern joins statewide network to assist foster care alumni seeking college degree

1/20/2014


WILBURTON, OK (Jan. 20, 2014) – Eastern Oklahoma State College has joined a growing, statewide network dedicated to assisting Oklahoma’s foster care children in their efforts to attain a college degree.

“R is for Thursday” is a collaboration of higher education professionals, community members, educational specialists from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, as well as foster care alumni who are currently attending or plan to attend college. The group is working toward increased understanding and support of former foster care youth attending Oklahoma colleges and universities.

Participating institutions have designated program advocates who can help foster care alumni navigate their college experience and overcome potential barriers as needed with one-on-one assistance. Dr. Stephen Glazier, vice president for Student Affairs, will serve as the program’s volunteer advocate at Eastern.

“We recognize there are substantial differences in degree attainment between young adults who have been in a foster care system versus others in their peer group,” Glazier said. “It is our hope that this initiative will help close the gap between these two groups and provide the support needed for these students to be successful. As a community college, our mission is to reach out and be an active partner within our service area.”

The program’s name came from a foster care alumnus. When asked what she would tell other foster care alumni who were new to college, the student said “R is for Thursday.” She explained that as a new freshman, she didn’t understand that the letter “R” is used to indicate a class that meets on a Thursday and she didn’t have anyone to tell her about that small, but important fact about college life. Organizers felt that statement captured the essence of the program.

For more information about support services available at Eastern, call 918-465-1767.

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