Project Forward Step
Project Forward Step is a counseling, information, and referral program designed to meet the needs of returning adult students, with special services for single parents (which includes single women who are pregnant) and displaced homemakers.
Single parents served may be working or non-working, women or men, who are unmarried or legally separated with custody or joint custody of a minor child or children.
Displaced homemakers are adults who are unemployed or underemployed and experiencing difficulty in obtaining employment or suitable employment or have worked primarily without pay to care for home and family and need to upgrade or refresh marketable skills.
Participants in Project Forward Step have access to:
an intake interview and needs assessment;
career counseling and academic advisement;
support during transitions;
referral to college and community services;
financial assistance consideration with tuition, books, child care, and transportation; and
job placement referrals.
Since 1981, Project Forward Step has helped more than 5,000 students.
Project Forward Step is funded by Frederick Community College and the Department of Career, Technology and Adult Learning, Maryland State Department of Education.
1.What is Project Forward Step?
Project Forward Step is a counseling, advising and referral center for single parents, displaced homemakers, single pregnant women and other adults in transition, located at the Office of Adult Services, Annapolis Hall, A-103.
2.What services does Project Forward Step provide?
Intake interview/needs assessment
Academic advising and career counseling
Referral to college services and community agencies
Job shadowing opportunities
Support during life transitions
Financial assistance consideration
3.Who is eligible to apply for financial assistance from the Project Forward Step program?
Single parents and displaced homemakers who are beginning or continuing their education in order to enter the workforce, increase their marketable skills, change careers or advance in a current job in order to become economically self-sufficient.
4.What is a single parent or a displaced homemaker?
The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act defines single parents as: individuals who are working or non-working and who are unmarried or legally separated with custody or joint-custody of a minor child (17 years or younger) or are pregnant.
Displaced homemakers are adults who are unemployed or underemployed and experiencing difficulty in obtaining employment or suitable employment; or have worked primarily without pay to care for home and family and need to upgrade or refresh marketable skills.
5.What kinds of financial assistance are available?
Students can apply for assistance with:
Tuition for credit and Continuing Education courses up to a maximum of five (5) credits.
Books and materials for credit and Continuing Education courses
Child care reimbursement up to a maximum of $35 per week for full-time students. Amounts are prorated for less than full-time. Students may also receive other sources of aid for child care, including Purchase of Care and FCC Children's Center grants.
Transportation reimbursement, including bus tickets or a maximum of $10 per week gasoline allowances for full-time students
6.How do I apply for Project Forward Step financial assistance?
In order to apply, first schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor in the Office of Adult Services (OAS) for an intake interview. If you are eligible, you will be enrolled in the Project Forward Step program and begin to develop your educational plan. The second step in the process is to register and attend a workshop. Dates and times are available from your OAS counselor. Financial assistance applications will be made available to workshop participants at the conclusion of the workshop.
Please note: Current Project Forward Step students may reapply for financial assistance each semester during their academic advising appointments.
7. How often can I apply?
If funding is available, Project Forward Step students may apply each semester.
8.How are the financial assistance decisions made?
Financial assistance awards are made based on the following criteria:
Applicants must be single parents, displaced homemakers or single pregnant women.
Priority is given to those applicants with the greatest financial need.
Guidelines for determining financial need are based on the Lower Living Standard Income Levels and Poverty Income Guidelines for the State of Maryland.
All participants requesting financial assistance must have a current Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA) on record with the College.
Priority is given to current students who have not yet completed their education.
Special circumstances are considered on an individual basis, i.e., extraordinary medical expenses, and spousal abuse.
Satisfactory academic performance and amount of financial assistance funds available may affect eligibility and number of awards given.
9.Can students receive a Project Forward Step scholarship and other kinds of financial assistance?
Yes, students may receive funding from several sources, including federal financial aid. Financial assistance awards from Project Forward Step will supplement but not supplant federal financial assistance and/or other forms of aid.
10.Does Project Forward Step have other forms of aid?
Yes, there are Office of Adult Services' community scholarships available on a limited basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply for all types of aid for which they may be eligible.
11.If I am not interested in or eligible for Project Forward Step financial assistance, can I still enroll in the program and use the other services?
Yes, if you are a single parent or displaced homemaker who does not want or need to apply for financial assistance, you can still enroll in the Project Forward Step program. You will be able to use all the other available services offered.