Ohio State Columbus and Mansfield campuses honored for foster care-connected student support

Ohio State Columbus and Mansfield campuses honored for foster care-connected student support

Among inaugural group to earn new state-wide designation

The Ohio State University’s Columbus and Mansfield campuses have been recognized by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) for their ongoing support of foster care-connected students.

Awarded the Ohio Reach Postsecondary designation, they are part of an inaugural group of 28 accredited Ohio colleges, universities and technical centers to earn this distinction.

“Ohio State is committed to removing barriers to access and creating a welcoming and supportive environment where every student can thrive academically, socially and personally,” said Ohio State Senior Vice Provost for External Engagement Ryan J. Schmiesing. “We are honored to be recognized with this important designation and look forward to expanding focused efforts to help foster care-connected student achieve their educational goals.”

Ohio Reach, administered through the Ohio Children’s Alliance, provides resources to higher education institutions, child welfare agencies and foster care alumni enrolled in higher education to support their academic success.

Criteria for receiving the Ohio Reach Postsecondary designation include:

  • Naming a designated campus liaison.
  • Identifying champions in various campus departments.
  • Providing students connections to resources for food, housing and basic needs.
  • Offering community-building opportunities for students.
  • Targeting outreach to students with efforts made for identification and support.
  • Expanding on-campus services.
  • Training staff to work with foster care alumni.
  • Succession/transition planning.
  • Data collection.
  • Student mentorship programming.

“The Ohio State University at Mansfield is immensely proud of our commitment to student success, regardless of the journey that has led students to us,” said Interim Dean and Director Eric Anderman. “We are humbled and honored to have been identified for this recognition of our efforts toward supporting foster care-connected students. We will continue to provide resources like the Buckeye Food Pantry, career closet, free tutoring at the Conard Learning Center, learning communities and need-based financial aid awards to all students.”

“Ohio takes pride in offering diverse opportunities when it comes to higher education options, and in making those available to all students,” ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner said in a press release. “This designation, similar to our Collegiate Purple Star designation for military-connected students, recognizes those colleges, universities, and Ohio Technical Centers that go above and beyond to support those students with foster care connections.”

Additional information about the Ohio Reach Postsecondary Designation, including a map of the state’s inaugural awardees, is available on the ODHE website.