The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education

College Attainment for Parent Students (CAPS)

Advancing a Two-Generation Anti-Poverty Solution in the Commonwealth

Nationally, one in five students is a parenting student, many with children requiring childcare. To expand Virginia’s talent pipeline and ensure parent students have access to education as well as critical resources to help them succeed, the VFCCE launched the College Attainment for Parent Students (CAPS) program in 2023. Through this pilot program, VECCE will lead a national movement championing best practices to support these students and their children. Funding will help parent students offset the cost of childcare and unexpected expenses, provide learning materials to their children, and create more family-friendly campuses.

Parent students will have the opportunity to complete a life-changing credential, degree, or certificate that will increase wages and help lift their families out of poverty.

College Attainment for Parent Students (CAPS) logo

Program Benefits:

  • Increase employment and income opportunities for a cohort of low-income single mothers at one of five pilot colleges by providing wraparound services including coaching and direct financial assistance for the cost of attendance and technology.
  • Increase skilled workers through emergency funds to assist program completion.
  • Improve quality early childhood education access through support for childcare and children’s activities.
  • Help identify paid internship opportunities within a student’s degree path.
  • Leverage lessons from successful industry workforce programs including Great Expectations, and the Davenport Investment, to ensure pilot colleges evaluate, improve, and integrate best practices.


Young mother and child looking at a computer

Program Goals

85 percent of parent students will be placed directly into employment, earning wages 200 percent above the poverty level within six months of credential completion

95 percent semester-to-semester retention and 90 percent of parent students on track to complete an associate degree within three years or a certification within 18 months.

Create a data-driven external evaluation, which will serve as a national blueprint for how to best support parent students and their children across the Commonwealth and country.

Improve long-term outcomes for children of parent students by improving access to early childhood education and quality educational programs.

Work with pilot colleges to develop family-friendly campuses to better serve all parent students.

Lead a results-based national conversation on the best policies and practices to serve parent students and their children in a way that improves the talent pipeline and student success.

This innovative, two-generation approach was created through the philanthropic investments of the Petters Family Foundation and the ECMC Foundation.

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