A case study of a post-secondary pilot program that provides education to qualified homeless students at a private university

A case study of a post-secondary pilot program that provides education to qualified homeless students at a private university

The purpose of this research case study was to examine a post-secondary pilot program that provides education to select New York City homeless adults at a private university. In this study, the researcher examined how the Academy program assists homeless and disadvantaged adults to obtain post-graduate employment opportunities through academic preparation and personal development. Utilizing Putnam, Feldstein, & Cohen (2003) theory of Social Capital, the researcher further examined how the study participants' successful completion of the Academy program impacted human capital and social capital.

The Academy program established in 2009 is a collaborative partnership between this private university and the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS). The program's central mission is enabling qualified homeless adults with the necessary skills and confidence to break the cycle of poverty through education, counseling, and social services support. Qualitative data for (N = 6) study participants was obtained from the scheduled focus group and individual interview sessions that consisted of seven and eight open-ended and probe questions, respectively. Procedures related to qualitative research were used to evaluate the data, which consisted of verbatim transcripts of the focus group and individual interview sessions. Conclusions were drawn, and recommendations for practice and future research are presented.

Results indicate that study participants reported Career Counselling was the primary program component to successfully prepare them for employment opportunities. Conversely, the Academic and Personal Development program components were comparably significant in ensuring employment opportunities for graduates as well. Further analyses of the data identified that the personal development received after successful completion of the Academy program provides graduates the ability to sustain employment opportunities. Examining the Academy program on a larger scale could be beneficial. This research study illustrates potential gains of human capital and social capital.

PUBLICATION DATE: 2016