Tidewater Community College will offer tuition-free education to low- and middle-income students through Gov. Ralph Northam’s “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” initiative, or “G3” program, which was signed into legislation on March 29, 2021.
The “G3” program includes $36 million to cover tuition, fees, and books and provide wraparound support for eligible students at the Commonwealth’s two-year public institutions.
“This is a phenomenal day for TCC and the students we serve,” said Dr. Michelle Woodhouse, interim vice president of academics and chief academic officer. “This program will help many students retrain for new careers in high-demand industries and expand the pipeline of talent for Virginia’s businesses.”
The “G3” program connects students with training and resources so they can secure jobs in high-demand fields and support their families without incurring high levels of student loan debt.
“G3” program areas include health care, information technology and computer science, manufacturing and skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education. On average, students in these high-demand degree programs increase their wages by 60 percent upon program completion.
TCC alum Marcus Moody teaches welding on the Portsmouth Campus, which is home to the area’s largest welding lab. He came to TCC in 2012 to retrain for a new career after being laid off from a job in the banking industry. “A program like this would have been helpful to me. I would not have been able to improve myself and learn a new skill without the financial aid and the lower tuition rates at TCC,” Moody said.
“I encourage anyone to take advantage of the opportunities at TCC, including the skilled trades. I talk with my students about the options for welders, from working at the shipyard to owning your own business. Once you learn the skill, it’s yours for life.”
The “G3” program is one of the first in the nation to provide wraparound financial assistance to help students at the lowest income levels with expenses such as food, transportation, and childcare. Students who qualify for a full federal Pell grant and enroll full-time will receive student- support incentive grants on a semester basis. These grants will be in an amount up to $900 per semester and up to $450 per summer term.