Kennesaw State CARES program in spotlight at national conference

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 27, 2022

A Kennesaw State University professor spoke at a prestigious education conference in Washington, D.C., last week about the successful KSU CARE Services program, which provides assistance to students facing challenges such as homelessness or aging out of foster care.

Sarah L. Young, director of research for the KSU CARES program and associate professor of public administration in the School of Government and International Affairs, was a featured speaker at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2022 Annual Meeting.

Sarah L. Young

Young had the opportunity to spotlight the work of KSU CARES during the conference attended by more than 2,000 senior leaders from universities around the U.S.

“KSU CARES is a national leader in programming for students who have faced homelessness and foster care,” Young said. “Presenting the CARES model at such a prestigious conference, in front of so many respected academic leaders, was a thrilling opportunity to share a model that could transform higher education campus support programming.”

Young's presentation was part of a "HEDs UP" session, modeled on the format of TED Talks, that focused on innovative programs or compelling research by educators across the country. Her presentation, “The ASCEND Model: Addressing Academic Inequity for Students Facing Homelessness and Aging Out of Foster Care," provided insight into Kennesaw State's innovative campus support program model from the KSU CARES program.

The presentation highlighted data regarding the significant inequities in academic outcomes for students experiencing homelessness and/or aging out of the foster care system. The presentation highlighted the model’s preliminary success and outlined qualitative and quantitative research projects, which will hopefully evidence the model’s success in improving academic outcomes for the specific student populations, Young said.

The conference was held Jan. 19-21 in Washington, D.C. AAC&U comprises more than 1,200 member institutions — including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

Related Stories

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit