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 greatexpectations.vccs.edu
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 Great Expectations coach. Coaches are available on the Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach campuses. To schedule an appointment call 757-822-5207, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form.
George Pass Building, Room 192
1428 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322
Student Services Suite
300 Granby St.
Norfolk, VA 23510
Building A, Counseling Suite
120 Campus Drive
Portsmouth, VA 23701
Virginia Beach Campus
Bayside Building, Room 119 F
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