The struggles many college students endure are well documented. Each student must adjust to changing social conditions, new learning challenges, and the pressure that comes with meeting or exceeding expectations. For those students who have experienced life as a foster youth, the challenges of college life may be even greater and arrive with unique circumstances that most students will not have to face. The Great Expectations program at Mountain Empire Community College assists our students who have been in the foster care system at some point in their life with a variety of benefits and services to help ease the transition to college and maintain healthy academic performances throughout the college experience.
What is Great Expectations?
Great Expectations provides academic support and guidance to current and future MECC students who are in, or recently aged out of, the foster care system.
What are the benefits of participating in Great Expectations?
- Get advice and guidance on academic programs, college coursework, and career planning from designated academic advisors and program staff
- Get insights on student life and campus activities from peer mentors
- Network with other Great Expectations students
Who is eligible?
Students are eligible if they:
- Are 17 – 24 years old and currently in, or recently aged out of, the foster care system
- Maintain regular contact with an independent living coordinator, social worker, or case manager at the Wise County Department of Human Services, the Dickenson Department of Human Services, the Scott County Department of Family Services
- Completed the academic admission process for MECC, including filing financial aid forms, taking placement tests, and registering for classes, and
- Are (or will be) enrolled full time (12 credits or more) or part-time (less than 12 credits) at MECC.
Students who are ineligible for Great Expectations during their first semester at MECC can become eligible in subsequent semesters if they meet the eligibility requirements.
How to enroll in Great Expectations:
- Submit a signed consent form to the Great Expectations program director. Consent forms will be provided by the independent living coordinators or case managers.
- Sign a Great Expectations Academic Contract and submit it to the Great Expectations program director. I will have a copy of the contract for you fill out.
What we offer
- Mentoring services to assist with transitioning.
- Financial benefits for qualified foster youth.
- Liaison assistance with local service agencies.
- Assistance communicating with instructors.
- Program sponsored trips to different cities, museums, and educational events.
- Employment counseling and skill building.
- Support throughout your college experience.
- Resources to assist with emergency situations.
To qualify for the Great Expectations program at MECC, a student needs to be a current foster youth, former foster youth, independent living participant, adoptee, or document an extreme situation of hardship comparable to a foster care environment. The first step for someone interested in our program is to contact our office, located in Student Services at MECC. The Great Expectations Coordinator is Jamie Davis, and he can be reached at (276) 523-2400 ext 422. Once contacted, the GE Coordinator will set up an appointment and discuss opportunities for success at our college. If transportation is a problem, please let our office know and we can assist you.
Great Expectations Coordinator
Mountain Empire Community College
(276) 523-2400 ext. 115