Teaching Cases

Teaching cases are primary teaching tools in the fields of management, education and public policy. They are used globally in university settings, professional development and executive education, and provide students and readers with a great wealth of insider knowledge about the “norms” and ‘cultures’ of organizations, institutions and business entities. The strength of case learning rests on the presentation of an actual issue in the real life of a person or organization.

These cases are about students who come from a background in foster care and still, despite incredible adversity, have been successful in gaining acceptance to graduate school. The cases can be used by instructors of students in undergraduate support programs and are also suitable for high school students in ILP classes.

The cases follow a similar format to those found in schools of management. Each case presents a protagonist (the student) who is facing an issue that needs resolution and requires some thought. The case provides a brief section on each student’s experience in foster care but keeps this to a minimum; it is only there to help readers identify with the protagonist. Each case provides information about an aspect of the graduate school application process or graduate school itself, as well as detailed descriptions of academic life.

Each case has a guide that provides ideas about how the case might be used in a classroom or instructional setting and these can be found on the Facilitator tab in this same section. But the cases are open to investigation and can be used for a variety of pedagogical purposes. For example, they were written with the idea to help undergraduate students navigate university culture, but they also could be used to educate social workers about how they might help college-bound foster youth reach their educational goals.