What is FESP?
FESP (Family Economic Security Program) is a program funded by the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Fund for Women and Girls. A pilot program of FESP first ran in Norwalk Community College for 5 years on a smaller scale. FESP hopes to reach 400-500 HCC students during the total 4 years it will be in the college.
FESP’s goal is to not only keep students in college and strive to get all participants to graduate with an associate’s degree, but it is also a program that prepares students for what’s to come after they graduate. We help our students with the transfer process of attending a 4-year school, weighing the various options and costs; students receive career coaching and guidance while in school so that their academic goals are on par with their career goals. Applying to jobs, writing cover letters and resumes, and gaining skills through volunteer and internship work are encouraged during your studies at HCC.
Moreover, students get financial coaching during their studies at HCC. The United States itself is under a lot of debt. However, this is not because it is not a wealthy nation—it is because citizens do not know how to manage their money. It doesn’t take having a lot money to be financially stable.
FESP also offers students professional development workshops 2 times per semester, where students will gain knowledge on topics like networking skills, work dynamics, interview skills, transfer tips, scholarship tips, budgeting, relaxation techniques, and more!
Active FESP participants, in addition to our coaching services, are eligible for scholarship money, and emergency funds for occurrences that take you by surprise.
Who is eligible for the FESP Program?
Students who have:
- 2.0 GPA
- Have completed at least 9 credits at HCC, or have had those credits transferred to HCC
- Are of low-to-mid income
- Are currently working (full time or part-time) or were recently unemployed and looking for work
- Have at least 2 semesters remaining at HCC
- Are registered for at least 3 credits at HCC
What am I required to do as a FESP participant?
As a FESP participant you are required to attend an orientation your first semester of acceptance.
FESP students are also required to meet with their achievement coach 3 times per semester, and meet with your financial coach 3 times per semester.
Lastly, students are required to participate in one professional development workshop every semester.
How do I maintain my status as a FESP participant?
You must be:
- Actively meeting with your coaches (3 times per semester per achievement coach and financial coach)
- Attending 1 professional development workshop every semester
- Maintaining a 2.0 GPA or higher
- Being actively registered in HCC classes from semester to semester
What services do you offer, if I don’t qualify for FESP?
There are some student candidates who do not qualify for FESP for one reason or another. If we feel you could really benefit from the services, students are eligible to receive our coaching services, including access to an achievement coach, financial coach and/or career coach and the ability to participate in our professional development workshops. However, students would not be eligible for financial help through our scholarships and emergency funds.
How often do I need to see my coaches?
Students are required to meet with their achievement coach 3 times per semester, and another 3 times per semester with their financial coach. Students have access to the career development coordinator for career guidance at any point in time. There are no requirements for meeting with the career development coordinator, but you are encouraged to use their services as much as possible.