Division of Continuing and Extended Education

Workforce Training for Adults Aging out of Foster Care

For Graduation Destination 
Fostering Success at Cleveland State University
Destination Graduation

The Challenge: Thousands of Young Adults Age out of Foster Care each Year.

25% will have no high school diploma.
Half will be unemployed by the age of 24.
1 in 4 will be involved in the justice system.
1 in 5 will be homeless at the age of 18.

How Cleveland State University Rises to the Challenge!

In-demand Workforce Development Certificates with a STEM/Healthcare Focus.
Included externships with local partners including health systems, manufacturing, and technology firms.
Workshops that prepare young adults for work, life, and balance.
Aspirational education mentors for future degrees or new certificates.
Guidance in job search and placement.
Tuition assistance including full tuition waivers.

Destination Graduation is an extension of the Fostering Success and Leadership Programs offered at Cleveland State University through the Pratt Center to create access to students who have transitioned out of or had personal experience with the foster care system. Its focus is to expand the impact of growing statewide momentum to improve postsecondary options for Ohio transition-aged youth.

Current Scope of Service:

Annually Ohio identifies over 16,000 foster children in foster care. Since 2011 the child welfare system in Ohio has seen a 30% increase in the number of youth who experience care, mainly attributed to opioid-addicted parents. According to Cuyahoga counties permanency services in Northeast Ohio, the top geographical areas where foster youth reside are (Cleveland/Cleveland Hts (731), Euclid (101), Parma/Parma Hts (89), Shaker Hts (62), and Bedford/Bedford Hts (101). By June 2022, close to one hundred of these youths will be preparing to graduate from high school.

Destination Graduation Objectives:

  • Promote CSU 2.0 initiative to become a beacon institution through demonstrated commitment to students with lived foster care experience, including non-degree access to workforce development training in partnership with CSU's Division of Continuing and Extended Education. 
  • Provide research-based strategies to a growing statewide network that centralizes Cuyahoga County and Cleveland State University as a thought leader for current trends in higher education and career options for youth aging out of foster care or students who have experienced foster care.  
  • Facilitate an interactive process for practitioners, support agencies, and community-based resources to interact with students with lived foster care experience and engage in meaningful planning on workforce readiness, program persistence, and degree attainment.  
  • Celebrate the diversity of success factors in this community group and the wide range of stakeholders deeply invested in the success of this student population. 

For more information, please visit the Pratt Center or call Mr. Jarrett Pratt, M.Ed. at 216-687-9388 or email at j.g.pratt@csuohio.edu.

Are you interested in a philanthropic opportunity with a direct-to-student impact? Opportunities to fund student tuition waivers are available. Please contact Dr. Nancy Pratt, at 216-875-9710 or email her at n.pratt@csuohio.edu.

Division of Continuing and Extended Education
216-875-9731 | wkfcedev@csuohio.edu