Great Expectations

TCC is one of 18 colleges among Virginia’s Community Colleges that participate in the Great Expectations program, which helps foster children achieve in higher education

The transition from high school to college can be especially challenging for foster youth.

More than 500 children in the Virginia foster care system age out each year. Without social or family support foster care children experience significant challenges living on their own. Within just a few years of leaving the foster system, the chances of a young person becoming homeless or going to jail increase.

That's why Virginia's Community Colleges spearheaded the development of Great Expectations, a program that supports former foster children in their goal of achieving a college degree. 

Great Expectations coaches work with enrolled students on every TCC campus to ensure their success in community college and beyond, connecting them to community resources, scholarship opportunities and other support.

Services available through the program include:

  • Help applying for college admission and financial aid
  • Personalized counseling
  • Career exploration and coaching
  • Student and adult mentors
  • Life skills training, including financial management
  • Referrals to college, vocational and community resources
  • Access to individualized tutoring services
  • An internet based resource center at

How do I qualify?

To be eligible for the Great Expectations program you must:

  • be between the ages of 17 and 24
  • have been affiliated with the Virginia Foster Care System
  • be interested in or currently attending Tidewater Community College
  • have been adopted from the Virginia Foster Care System after the age of 13
  • maintain at least half-time enrollment in an eligible academic program

Interested in the program?

Students can join Great Expectations at any time by meeting with a counselor. Counselors are available on the Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach campuses. 

Great Expectations offices

Chesapeake Campus

George Pass Building, Room 141
1428 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322

Norfolk Campus

Student Center
Room 5309 (3rd floor)
300 Granby St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Portsmouth Campus

Building A, Counseling Suite
120 Campus Drive
Portsmouth, VA 23701

Virginia Beach Campus

Bayside Building, Counseling Suite
1700 College Crescent
Virginia Beach, VA 23453

If we don’t intervene, 94 percent of foster children won’t get the higher education necessary to escape poverty.

Glenn Dubois, Chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges

These students have already endured difficult circumstances, and it’s our mission to ensure that they overcome and become successful adults who can provide for families of their own.

Anne Holton, Virginia Secretary of Education

I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I’ve been on the dean’s list and know how to be successful.

Katelyn Jackson, Great Expectations student at TCC

Looking for help?

Send us your questions
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Student Services Offices

Extended Hours
Friday, July 21: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 16: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Special Enrollment Day
Saturday, August 5: 9 a.m. to noon

Regular office hours are:
Monday and Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Chesapeake Campus

Dean James Edwards

Pass Building, Room 146
1428 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322

Phone: 757-822-5115

Norfolk Campus

Dean Emanuel Chestnut

Andrews Building
315 Granby St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Phone: 757-822-1585

Portsmouth Campus

Dean Dana Singleton

Building A, Room 150B
120 Campus Drive
Portsmouth, VA 23701

Phone: 757-822-2180

Virginia Beach Campus

Dean Marilyn Hodge

Building B (Bayside), Room B112
1700 College Crescent
Virginia Beach, VA 23453

Phone: 757-822-7244