In a recent speech this year at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Second Lady and NOVA instructor, Dr. Jill Biden, stated, “I have seen firsthand the power of community colleges to change lives and serve as a gateway to opportunity for students at all stages of their lives and careers.”
Her comments ring true, especially in the case of many low-to mid-income Northern Virginians trying to support a family on or near minimum wage. As nonprofit leaders we work with these clients every day and know that a community college education would make a drastic difference for them and their ability to provide for their family. Yet, the harsh reality is that with rising tuition costs, the complexity of enrollment and financial processes and drastic cutbacks in public programs that provide crucial assistance to families, the idea of becoming a student is often too intimating and often dismissed.
With this in mind, NOVA developed the Adult Career Pathway’s Program (ACP), a unique model that connects adult participants with NOVA career counselors who assist in developing an education plan to earn a college degree or other credential to help secure a better job with a path toward advancement and greater economic security. Since launching in 2011, the program has served over 296 individuals, many of whom have been referred to the program by nonprofits. Though the program is fairly new, ACP has seen some significant results including; (87%) ACP students in summer and fall 2011 successfully completed courses with grade of C or better.
How do I refer someone?
It's simple, fill out this referral form and ask your client to attend one of the college access workshops. Workshop dates can be found here.
Who is in the program?
- 37% of ACP participants are unemployed
- Of those that are employed, participants earn an average hourly wage of $13.09 to support an average family of 3.3 household members
- 71% are not native English speakers
- 75% are Fairfax County residents