Foster Youth Program

Foster Youth Program (PATH Scholars) Annual Report 2021-2022


PATH Scholars, in conjunction with the campus Foster Youth Committee, is dedicated to the higher educational needs of former foster youth and unaccompanied homeless youth. We will enhance access to the California State University, Chico community through collaborative efforts with other college network and community partners. For those identified as former foster youth and unaccompanied homeless youth, we will develop stability by acting as a liaison with campus and community resources. Our goal is to cultivate successful, proficient, and self-aware citizens in pursuit of their degree and beyond.

Department Goals (Last reviewed July 2022)

  • Inform and educate the campus community about this population. (Division goal 1; University strategic priorities 1, 2, 4, 8)
  • Provide leadership and networking opportunities through campus and community collaboration. (Division goals 1, 2, 3; University strategic priorities 1, 4, 7, 8)
  • Increase access, retention and graduation rates for this population. (Division goals 1, 2, 3; University strategic priorities 1, 4, 8)


  • Successfully returned to 100% on-campus services, while also providing hybrid format for students still enrolled solely online.
  • Presented to PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) group to educate and partner with more local community organizations.
  • Participated in the public comment portion of a virtual Senate Budget Hearing meeting to advocate for $12 million funding to standardize Foster Youth Program budgets across the CSU system.
  • PATH Scholar students were featured in Chico State Today/Chico Statements magazine(opens in new window)
  • This year saw the highest number of graduates so far – 22! (20 undergraduates and 2 graduate level)
  • Celebrated our graduating students in a variety of ways, including the EOSP Graduation Celebration, Butte County Graduation and our own virtual celebration.
  • Celebrated the 5-year anniversary of the PATH Scholars Center (physical location).
  • Increased collaboration with Dream Center, which allowed us to optimize the shared space more and lead to the purchase of new furniture for the entire Center!
  • Honored National Foster Care Month in May by coordinating a variety of events and activities for students, campus partners and local stakeholders. Collaborated with our partner agencies, including Butte College Inspiring Scholars, Butte County Office of Education, Children Services Division, Butte County Independent Living Program and Youth and Family Programs.
  • In partnership with University Advancement, PATH Scholars was selected for a special Regional Rumble 30-hour crowdfunding competition which raised $4,000 from 29 donors, specifically for our welcome baskets for new incoming students.
  • Received $25,000 donation from the Warren Family Trust to continue in supporting PATH Scholar students.


  • PATH Scholars was featured in Chico State Today/Chico Statements magazine. Another honor during National Foster Care Month (May) was that PATH Scholars was selected for a feature article in the Chico State Today/Chico Statements magazine. Writer Sean Murphy met with and interviewed five PATH Scholar students – two continuing students, two that were graduating with their undergraduate degree in that same month and one alum who graduated in 2017. The article beautifully illuminated these students, their challenges, but most importantly their achievements and all that they have overcome. Their stories were powerful and highlighted their journey at Chico State.
  • PATH Scholars was selected for a special Regional Rumble 30-hour crowdfunding competition which raised $4,000 from 29 donors, specifically for our welcome baskets for new incoming students. PATH Scholars continues to partner with University Advancement. Acting treasurer for our campus Foster Youth Committee is part of the Advancement team, and she is always looking for ways to connect PATH Scholars with additional funding. When this Regional Rumble opportunity arose, she suggested PATH Scholars as the receiving program and we were selected! A fun competition between Chico State alumni in California and Colorado yielded $4,000 to easily support the procurement of welcome baskets for our new incoming students for Fall 2022.

Diversity Efforts

  • Participated in Listening Sessions for Chief Diversity Officer
  • Newer staff participated in Diversity Certificate Program
  • Presented to several foster youth (from foster care agencies and schools throughout the state) in collaboration with Campus Special Tours.
  • Continued regular events with campus partners (Butte College and Shasta College) to strengthen transfer pipeline.
  • Services continue to be offered to older and re-entry students with a foster care background. There has been an increase in this student population seeking additional services as active PATH Scholar participants.




Resource Allocation

FYP General Fund Budget Allocation 21/22 - $110,927.00
(No rollover from 20/21)
Work Study Allocation 21/22 (FYP only) - $0
Total Allocation -  $110,927.00
Annual Expense (GF) + Encumbered - ($110,635.50)
FYP General Fund Balance -  $291.50

Note: Professional staff salaries included within the EOP General Fund allocation.

Human Resources



The PATH Scholars Center continues to be a shared space with the Dream Center, which is not conducive to the goals and priorities of both programs. However, towards the end of the 21/22 fiscal year, both programs partnered and leveraged funds for new furniture as we also opened up the Center to optimize the use of the existing shared space. This allows for the opportunity to collaborate more and reduces the optics of a divided space which includes two separate programs. While the goal of this is to offer a collective and community feel at the Center, the ultimate goal continues to be for each program to have its own designated space.


Program Objectives for 2021-2022:

  1. Continue to effectively support students in transitioning back to in-person. Met – Program staff worked diligently to return to in-person services for fall 2021. Many students continued with a 100% virtual learning environment for a variety of reasons, while others did, in fact, return to campus for in-person courses and services. We saw a slow return of students to campus in the fall, but more returned in spring 2022. To mitigate this trend, PATH Scholars offered a hybrid option to almost all services and activities. This strategy was highly effective, and was meeting students where they were at. If students wanted to meet in person, this opportunity was offered. If students still preferred to meet via zoom or phone because they were not in Chico or just felt more comfortable meeting remotely, this alternative was provided, as well.
  2. Implement diversity goals. Met/Ongoing – Program staff participated in trainings, such as the Diversity Certificate Program for the 21/22 academic year, and the inaugural CSU Juneteenth Symposium. In addition, program staff incorporated the Chico State “Land Acknowledgement” to their email signature, as well as it being recorded on the PATH Scholars website. Program staff will continue to search for professional development opportunities pertaining to diversity themes.
  3. Continue to advocate for a dedicated space solely for PATH Scholars. Ongoing – Regular discussions occurred throughout the academic year with University leadership, i.e. President Gayle Hutchinson and Senior Director for Division of Student Affairs. The EOSP Director is in complete support of this goal and has consistently advocated for these efforts. This objective will continue to be brought to the forefront of University leadership.

Ongoing Assessment Efforts

Foster Youth/Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Grade Levels
Grade LevelSpring 2020Spring 2021Spring 2022
Freshman20 (15%)7 (6%)7 (6%)
Sophomore22 (16%)19 (17%)16 (13%)
Junior38 (28%)32 (29%)47 (37%)
Senior56 (41%)54 (48%)56 (44%)

Foster Youth/Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Ethnicity
EthnicitySpring 2020Spring 2021Spring 2022
Black/African American151312
Two or More Ethnicities/Race151517
Native Hawaiian/Other Pac Islander211
American Indian/Alaska Native333
Not Specified/Decline302

Foster Youth/Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Term GPA
Term GPASpring 2020Spring 2021Spring 2022
Below 2.021 (15%)14 (12%)39 (31%)
2.0 - 2.9939 (29%)41 (37%)31 (25%)
Above 3.076 (56%)57 (51%)56 (44%)

Foster Youth/Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Cum GPA
Cum GPASpring 2020Spring 2021Spring 2022
Below 2.010 (7%)1 (1%)4 (3%)
2.0 - 2.9982 (60%)67 (60%)82 (65%)
Above 3.044 (33%)44 (39%)40 (32%)

Cumulative GPA for First Time Freshman
Cum GPA for Freshman2019/202020/212021/22
Below 2.04 (24%)1 (14%)4 (57%)
2.0 - 2.998 (47%)3 (43%)2 (29%)
Above 3.05 (29%)3 (43%)1 (14%)

Tier II Student Retention Rates
Academic YearTotal Number of StudentsStudent Retention RateGraduates
2019/20 Tier II7090%10
2020/21 Tier II6896%18
2021/22 Tier II8685%22

PATH Scholars Center Visits
VisitsFall 2019Spring 2020AY Total 
Number of Student Visits519246*765
Fall 2020Spring 2021 AY Total
Number of Student Visits-------**--------**-------
Fall 2021Spring 2022 AY Total
Number of Student Visits134230364

Note: *Spring 2020: Incomplete data due to COVID-19 campus closure. **Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 Academic year: Data not collected due to 100% virtual learning setting/PATH Scholars was closed.

Student Learning Outcomes

Note: A Student Learning Outcomes survey was sent out at the end of the academic year to 86 students (Tier II/active). Thirty-two students completed the survey (37% completion rate). The results of that survey inform the following:

SLO #1 – As a result of participating in the PATH Scholars Program, students will increase in their academic self-confidence and networking skills.

  • As a result of attending a PATH Scholars New Student Orientation and/or Welcome Reception (20 respondents), 90% of respondents stated that it was Extremely Helpful or Very Helpful to their overall success.
  • As a result of meeting with the PATH Scholars Academic Advising liaison to ensure being on track with courses and graduation plans (19 respondents), 74% of respondents stated that it was Extremely Helpful or Very Helpful to their overall success.
  • As a result of attending a Social Activity (23 respondents), 83% of respondents stated that it was Extremely Helpful or Very Helpful to their overall success.
  • As a result of historical “Networking” opportunities not being offered and/or being extremely limited this academic year, we were also not able to assess this area.

SLO #2 – As a result of participating in the PATH Scholars Program, students will develop and improve independent living skills, reducing their emotional stress and giving them more time to focus on academic goals.

  • As a result of attending PATH Scholars Independent Living Skills Workshops (15 respondents), 80% of respondents stated that it was Extremely Helpful or Very Helpful to their overall success.
  • As a result of working on Independent Living Skills during individual meetings with Program Staff (23 respondents), 91% of respondents stated that it made a Significant Impact or Moderate Impact to their overall success.
  • As a result of learning and practicing healthy coping skills to manage stress during individual meetings with the Program Staff (22 respondents), 91% of respondents stated that it made a Significant Impact or Moderate Impact to their overall success.
  • As a result of participating in PATH Scholars (31 respondents), 10% of respondents stated that it Completely assisted in overcoming challenges, 55% of respondents stated that it Considerably assisted in overcoming challenges and 19% of respondents stated that it Moderately assisted in overcoming challenges. PATH Scholars made a positive impact for 97% of respondents, even if it only made a Slight impact for 13% of respondents. Just one student reported that PATH Scholars made No impact at all to them overcoming challenges and further shared that they did not seek help from program staff and never disclosed what they were experiencing.


  • Overall, students continue to utilize PATH Scholars and the resources available to them to reach their academic goals. According to the Student Learning Outcome survey distributed after the end of this academic year, 100% of the respondents were Very Satisfied or Moderately Satisfied with their PATH Scholars experience. One survey participant stated, “On my most challenging days I could go into the PATH Scholars lounge, get a snack, sit down on the couch and decompress. I would visit with other scholars and feel like I was ready to face the next class. Not feeling alone in my daily struggles gave me comfort. When I would be in distress and overwhelmed I knew I could show up to Dawn's office and she would make time to HEAR me. I never wanted answers to my worries, I simply needed to be heard and supported and she did that very well. Marina was also always an ear with compassion and understanding. Priceless gifts those two ladies are.” This response demonstrates the critical need for programs such as PATH Scholars for students with incredibly unique needs.
  • The transition back to campus and in-person courses & services has had both advantages and challenges. While there was much excitement and energy about returning to “in real life” learning, we still saw low student numbers at the PATH Scholars Center and on campus, in general, for the fall 2021 semester. By spring 2022, we observed an increase in student numbers, but also still low in comparison to pre-pandemic times. Offering a hybrid format for our meetings, activities and workshops was a highly effective strategy to increase student participation.
  • Returning to in-person college life offered the ability to do more social activities. This is one of our paramount areas where students report that they enjoy, but more so, need these interactions with their PATH Scholar peers. It is extremely essential to their mental health, which ultimately aids in their academic success.
  • The virtual learning setting (due to the pandemic) continues to impact our first-time freshman numbers. We have observed single digit numbers since fall 2020 (only 7 students for two consecutive years), whereas prior to the pandemic, we saw a range of 17 (lowest) to 35 which was the highest since PATH Scholars began.
  • Additionally, the implications of the pandemic were revealed in our retention numbers for this academic year. We saw an increase in students struggling with countless life variables, which directly impacted their academic goals. We had more students take a Planned Education Leave or were Academically Disqualified than we’ve had in a few years.
  • Even with increased numbers overall for PATH Scholars, and our highest number of graduates thus far, the effects of the virtual learning/pandemic demonstrated a decrease in our overall retention rate this year of 85%. We will continue to support our students as best we can through these difficult times.


  1. Resume a once per academic year student gathering with President Gayle Hutchinson as achieved in previous years.
  2. Collaborate with Dream Center by providing at least one collective event to ensure smooth transition for our students in our new Dream Center/PATH Scholars Center layout.
  3. Develop relationship with new Vice President of Student Affairs and Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Retention Programs by sponsoring at least one intentional meet and greet event.