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Great ExpectationsMission…to help Virginia’s foster youth complete high school, gain access to a community college education and transition successfully to living independently.

Vision…that all foster youth in Virginia obtain a postsecondary education and be successful in both education and employment pursuits.

Goal...has Great Expectations available and easily accessible for all of Virginia’s foster youth.

Background

The statewide Great Expectations initiative was launched at 5 community colleges in 2008 as a pilot project. Funds were raised to start 3 additional Great Expectations programs in 2009, 4 in 2010, and 3 in 2011, bringing the total to 15 of the 23 community colleges. Now in its third year, Great Expectations is serving more than 450 students and continues to grow every year.

Each college hires a Campus Coach, who works with foster youth individually and in small groups. The components of the overall initiative include: (1) after-school programs at the community colleges for younger foster students ages 13-17 to help them complete high school and transition to higher education; (2) comprehensive programs targeting foster youth 18-24 to help them succeed in community college by setting up a highly-structured environment with wraparound student services to promote their success; (3) an internet-based resource center for foster youth, their parents, social services personnel, counselors and mentors; (4) peer and adult mentors for Great Expectations students; and (5)astudent emergency fund for urgent, unexpected student needs.

The Campus Coaches also focus on ways to help these at-risk youth overcome well-documented barriers to their life success, including housing, transportation and medical and child care issues.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS FACT SHEET

WHAT IS THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS PROGRAM?

A college transition program designed to help young adults (17-24 years old) who are or were recently affiliated with the foster care system. Goals of the program include:

  • To help young adults transition into college
  • To increase awareness about the value and availability of a college education
  • To assist students and service providers with accessing and successfully navigating the community college system

WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS PROGRAM?

  • Assistance with choosing an academic plan of study and college enrollment
  • Support throughout the financial aid process
  • Monitoring of academic progress and assistance with accessing college support services
  • Referrals to college and community resources for academic and personal issues
  • Referrals for tutorial services
  • A point person, at the college, to assist students in their academic journey until they are able to become self-sufficient in their navigation of the community college system

WHERE IS THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS PROGRAM LOCATED?

  • Room 102B Bland Hall, Wytheville Community College, 1000 E. Main St., Wytheville, VA

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS PROGRAM?

  • Individuals between the ages of 17 – 24 who are or were affiliated with the Virginia foster care system who are interested in attending Wytheville Community College
  • Youth adopted from Virginia’s foster care system after reaching age 13
  • All special needs adoption from Virginia

HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS PROGRAM?

Katherine Asbury

Katherine Asbury
College Success Coach
Wytheville Community College
1000 East Main Street
Wytheville, VA 24382
Phone: (276) 223-4108
Fax: (276) 223-4861

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