Guardian Scholars History
What is the history of San Jose State University’s Guardian Scholars Program?
California State Legislature passed AB 2463, sponsored by Assemblyman Caldera. AB 2463 provided for outreach and assistance to emancipated foster youth attending the California State University (CSU) and the California Community Colleges systems. This bill was signed into law in September of 1996 and is now known as Section 89340 of the Education Code (The Higher Education Outreach and Assistance Act for Emancipated Foster Youth).
A group of university and community supporters began addressing the needs of former foster youth.
Momentum on our campus to address the needs of former foster youth developed into an advisory group of concerned faculty, alumni, staff and students referred to as the “Connect, Motivate and Educate” Society, or CME Society. The vision of the group was to see “young adults who have come from the foster care system become successful San Jose State University students in route to achieving their life dreams.” The program served nine students in its first year.
The CME Society gained support from the Walter S. Johnson Foundation to provide a more comprehensive campus support program with a three-year grant of $300,000.
The CME Society became the Guardian Scholars program and moved under EOP.
Guardian Scholars serves former foster and homeless youth attending San Jose State University. It continues to provide support and resources to incoming freshman, transfer and continuing students by helping them on their path to success at San Jose State University. We work in collaboration with many of the student support programs on campus, and community services off campus.
We have been successful in supporting Guardian Scholars’ students through ongoing coaching and mentoring, building a social community, and helping students chart a course toward graduation. We help the students to connect and build relationships with other students with similar backgrounds and life experiences.