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TCC summer programs help recent high school grads prepare for college and careers

Tidewater Community College has been awarded a Title III grant to provide summer programs for recent high school graduates of Norfolk and Portsmouth Public Schools.

“These programs are designed to create academic equity for students,” said Michael Summers, special assistant to the vice president of Academic Affairs. “We’re investing in the next generation by providing students with the tools they need to be successful in their higher education and career goals.”

The college has space for 50 students in each of the two programs being offered by TCC. High school graduates will spend two weeks on TCC’s Norfolk and Portsmouth Campuses and prepare for their next steps to college and careers.

The Excellence Institute on Norfolk Campus will be held July 18-28. The Summer Bridge program on Portsmouth Campus will be offered August 8-18. The full-day programs include catered lunches daily.

The Excellence Institute on Norfolk Campus is designed for students who are unsure about going to college, do not feel ready to start college, or are afraid that their current professional footprint will not help them obtain the career they desire.

“It only takes one decision to change the trajectory of a student’s academic and professional career,” said Khadijah Peak-Brown, TCC’s Connect2TCC coordinator on the Norfolk Campus. “Let this be one of those good decisions. It is my firm belief that joining the Excellence Institute this summer will catapult students’ academic and professional efficacy.”

Excellence Institute program benefits include:

  • Individualized personal development. If students do not feel college ready, we can help with that.
  • Career mentorship to help with career selection and motivation.
  • Connections with working professionals ranging from government officials to restaurant owners and everything in between. We match students’ career focus and desires with those in the industry doing what they want to do.
  • Hands-on support with technology. By doing it now, students skip the technology learning curve later.
  • Develop college algebra and writing skills to increase students’ preparation for entry writing and math exams. We make these foundational courses fun and meaningful.
  • Obtain high school to college transitional support including FASFA, applications, major selection and more.

The Summer Bridge program is for students who are nervous about attending college, want help succeeding in college and wish they had a personal mentor.

“This new program aims to increase the success, college retention and graduation rates of Portsmouth High School students,” said Jabari Colon, Connect2TCC coordinator on Portsmouth Campus. “During a pre-college program, participants engage in evidence-based intensive psychosocial and personal development programming. Participating students will build knowledge and skills to increase their individual and cultural strengths and improve family relationships.”

Summer Bridge program benefits include:

  • Connection with a personal mentor.
  • Learn skills that will help students get the jobs they really want.
  • Engage in group sessions that will push personal development, helping students reach their greatest potential.
  • Participate in team games and personal fitness activities.
  • Connect with other first-year students and key support staff at the college.
  • Receive guidance on financial aid and student and life resources available at TCC.
  • Learn creatively in academic strengthening workshops.
  • Train on how to navigate campus systems.

And while these programs are designed for recent high school graduates from Norfolk and Portsmouth Public Schools, all are welcome to apply to attend. Contact Khadijah Peak-Brown on Norfolk Campus by emailing or calling (757) 822-1321. On Portsmouth Campus, reach out to Jabari Colon at or by calling 757-822-2413.