News & Announcements

Enhancing Opportunities for Foster Youth

Grant provides financial support for professional certificate programs 

Pratt Center

The Ohio Department of Higher Education has awarded Cleveland State University a new grant to help students from the foster care system pursue their dreams of higher education. The funds will provide eligible and qualified students with financial support to complete one of CSU’s short-term professional certificate programs. The effort offers certifications for in-demand fields and are specially designed to be completed in less than a year. It will enhance Cleveland State’s award-winning efforts to increase higher education attainment for former foster care students, while enhancing work force development for key Ohio industries.

CSU was one of three universities and 16 community colleges who received grants through the state’s Short-Term Certificate Foster Youth Grant initiative.

“Supporting foster youth and families is a priority of Governor DeWine’s administration, and I’m pleased that we are able to provide some additional support to help our higher education partners assist students who have been in foster care programs,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “These grants can make a difference in the lives of students who deserve our best efforts.”

CSU currently offers short-term, professional certificates in Multimedia Advertising, Professional Sales, Real Estate and Property Management, Geographic Information Systems, Community Health, Digital Marketing and Website Design. In addition, the University is developing programs in Construction Management, IT Helpdesk Management, Retail and Service Management and Audiovisual Technology.

“This grant will help former foster youth develop the skills necessary to have long and fulfilling professional careers,” says Jarrett Pratt, director of the Pratt Center at CSU, which offers holistic academic, cultural and career support to assist former foster students in completing their degrees. “And given the small number of foster youth who obtain professional degrees, this type of program is essential to increasing access to post-secondary education.”