Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Academic Success and Career Center Cultivating Successful Scholars and Professionals

Fostering Cougar Champions: Passport to College

Support for Students from Foster Care

WSU actively participates in Washington’s Passport to College Promise Scholarship Program, launched in 2008-09 to help students from the foster care system to prepare for, and then attend and succeed in, college.

Through the Passport to College Scholarship program, WSU students who have been in the foster care system can access significant support from freshman year through graduation, with targeted assistance in academic, personal/social, financial, and career areas.



ASCC Support for Passport to College and Governor’s Scholars

Designated support staff, including an academic advisor and a college coach, in the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC) helps Passport to College Scholars to:

  • receive specialized academic advising during orientation and lead them as they explore the university and surrounding community as they settle in to college
  • enroll in “College Success Leadership” (Univ 497), a three-credit class introducing skills needed to succeed in an academic environment, and participate in “Critical Literacies Achievement Support Program” with a First Year Focus class to develop good communication skills with instructors.
  • meet with support staff including a college coach and peer mentor/Navigator regularly to review personal goals and make progress toward them
  • participate in study tables weekly during the first year, develop a study schedule and time management plan, build a health and wellness/nutritional plan, and attend wellbeing workshops regarding campus resources
  • review their financial aid package, complete a semester budget, borrow textbooks from a lending program, and fill out educational training voucher payment requests and scholarship applications
  • plan career development goals, create a résumé, and attend career fairs
  • participate in social events with fellow Passport Scholars and others



Peer Mentors

A Passport Scholars Peer Leadership Program matches returning scholars with freshmen to promote their academic, personal, social, ethical, and leadership development. Highly trained peer leaders mentor new members in the above areas and also lead efforts such as coordinating community service projects, visiting with prospective Passport Scholars, and helping mentees learn how to communicate with their instructors. In so doing, the peer leaders boost their own leadership and interpersonal skills and gain career development opportunities. Through state funding managed by the external non-profit organization, the College Success Foundation, a paid peer mentor will work part-time with program staff to meet the needs of Passport Scholars at WSU.


There are many state resources for foster youth from Washington state. To see if a student is eligible for the Passport to College Scholarship, visit:
Other resources can be found at such as the Educational Training Voucher.

Partnerships within WSU: Fostering Cougar Champions

The Passport to College Scholars program at WSU works with Student Support Services/TRiO to ensure academic success of all foster youth, regardless of eligibility for Passport to College Scholarship or Governor’s Scholarship. Angie Klimko is the contact for TRiO.

The Fostering Cougar Champions partners is comprised of administrative and student affairs units at WSU including:
The Office of Admissions
The Office of the Registrar
Student Financial Services
TRiO Student Support Services
Housing and Dining
The Office of Undergraduate Education
The Dean of Students
Counseling and Psychological Services
Multicultural Student Services



Passport Scholars Form Friendships, Build Teams to be Trusted

For more information, contact:
Maria de Jesus Dixon
Passport Designated Support Staff/Program Director
Lighty 190-L