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About Fostering Terp Success

The University of Maryland is committed to understanding and meeting the unique needs of students who have a history of involvement in foster care and those who are experiencing homelessness* or housing insecurity. We recognize the profound challenges and barriers these students face and believe in their capacity to be successful at the University of Maryland and beyond. We are dedicated to supporting them throughout their time at Maryland and helping them persist through graduation. 

A community of support and belonging

Fostering Terp Success is a campuswide community of support and belonging for students to create their unique Terp experience in pursuing their undergraduate education. Our comprehensive network of staff and faculty is committed to creating a safe community that works to remove barriers and assist students in accessing essential campus services, navigating challenges, and developing self-advocacy and life skills. We foster a campus environment that is transformative for students by helping them integrate their past experiences to enhance their inherent strengths and build opportunities for their future.

Why join Fostering Terp Success?

If you are an incoming student or a current student who is struggling with homelessness or you have experienced time in foster care, then FTS is a great resource for you. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of university life and overcome your unique challenges and barriers--all within a supportive community. FTS will provide you with:

  • Regular guidance from our Fostering Terp Success team, including our FTS case manager;
  • One-on-one support and mentorship from a campus coach;
  • Access to FTS liaisons in university offices and departments and off-campus resources and services;
  • Workshops and educational programming to enhance academic, professional, and life skills;
  • Participation in other fun FTS events;
  • Access to year-round on-campus housing (including during breaks!);
  • Eligibility for end-of-semester stipend as a reward for active participation in FTS.

How do I join?

If you’re a current student or newly admitted student and you are interested in the guidance and support provided by our Fostering Terp Success team, connect with us by completing the Basic Needs Assistance Form and we will reach out to you to schedule a meeting.

*UMD uses the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness:

  • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (also referred to “doubled up” or “couch surfing”)
  • Students who live in substandard housing such as motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • Students living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Students abandoned in hospitals
  • Students with no stable foster care placement
  • Students (possibly with families) who are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or a family member.

Fostering Terp Success provides a variety of workshops to help students navigate their university experience and promote holistic development and professional success. FTS scholars are expected to attend at least two workshops each semester. Workshops are offered on a range of topics, including:

  • Meal preparation and cooking skills
  • Financial wellness
  • Off-campus housing (leases, tenant rights, etc.)
  • Financial aid/FAFSA
  • Career planning
  • Time management


Campus coaches are UMD faculty and staff who are trained to provide one-on-one mentoring to Fostering Terp Success students. Coaches help their student navigate the university, work through challenges, identify strengths, build their network, and provide overall support.

Campus coaches must:

  • Attend a one-day training program
  • Meet with their student at least once per month, in-person or virtually
  • Connect with their student via email, text, or phone call at least twice per month
  • Be a supportive adult for the student for one year, but optimally for the student's entire time at UMD
  • Attend occasional Fostering Terp Success social events
  • Attend at least one campus coach meeting/lunch & learn session per semester.

Interested in becoming a campus coach? Click here to complete an interest form/application or contact Brian Watkins, Assistant Dean, for more information at Training is provided once per semester, and mentors are matched as students join Fostering Terp Success.

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