Grant awarded to Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE)

The Foundation is pleased to again partner with VFCCE, the supporting arm of Virginia’s Community Colleges. The VFCCE works to broaden educational access, support student success, and provide innovative solutions to workforce needs. Their mission is “providing access to education to all Virginians,” with a focus on expanding access and programs for underserved populations.  The Grant will provide support 2 programs,  the Great Expectations Ed. Program for Foster Youth  & The Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative over the next 4 years.

The Great Expectations program was developed to address Virginia’s record of having the highest number nationwide of foster youth aging out of the foster care system without a permanent home or any means of support. Their coaches help current and former foster youth gain access to a community college education, achieve success in college, and transition successfully to adulthood. Funds will support Great Expectations coaches, student support services, and scholarships to achieve the following goals:

– Expand to the remaining two colleges

– Move closer to serving 50% of the eligible foster youth

– Increase fall to spring retention rates

– Increase fall to fall retention rates

– Increase the number of credentials earned.

Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative was created to address the educational attainment levels in the rural localities served by 14 of Virginia’s 23 community colleges. The strategies employed to achieve these goals are placing full-time career coaches in rural high schools to assist lower- and middle-income families in navigating higher education and to award scholarship incentives, thus removing barriers to academic success. Funds will support full-time RVHI high school career coaches in Rural Virginia to achieve the following goals:

– Increase the number of students working with a coach to develop academic, career, and college plans thereby reducing the number of high school drop-outs

– Increase the number of students enrolling in community college thereby increasing the number of students pursuing a college degree, certification, or workforce credential