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Here to help you every step of the way: FastForward career coaches share their stories

From choosing classes to finding the right financial aid, navigating community college can be overwhelming. Luckily, Virginia’s Community Colleges have career coaches on campus to help students get started, access funding, stay on track of coursework, and connect with local employers hiring in the area.  

We asked a few career coaches from across our colleges to share tips for students looking to make the most of their community college experience. Keep reading to see how speaking with a career coach can make all the difference for ensuring a smooth start back in school.

Solving common challenges

When it comes to finding solutions, Adrianna Culbertson, career coach at Southwest Virginia Community College, is a one-stop shop for answers and shared that helping students access financial resources that lower the cost—or even cover the cost—of tuition is one of the most fulfilling parts of her day-to-day responsibilities.

With G3 and FastForward funding available, the average cost of FastForward training is $801. Safe to say, Culbertson gets to share lots of good news with students throughout the year.

For career coach Chad Younger at Danville Community College, his favorite part of the job is helping students reach the finish line by eliminating barriers and solving transportation or childcare issues, along with helping students boost soft skills like public speaking and networking.  

Favorite FastForward moment

When asked to share their favorite FastForward moment, Culbertson said seeing students working in the community after school always brings her joy, especially when she bumps into them working on the job.

“I live in a rural area, and I see our students out and about often,” said Culbertson. “When they share that they are doing well in their job and that earning a certification has been a big factor for the betterment of their work and their family, that is the best moment.”

Younger enjoys helping students discover new career pathways and opportunities to advance in their profession.

Be the next success story

So, what’s stopping you from making a career change and finally working in a field that aligns with your interests? FastForward training programs take weeks, not years, and 72% of FastForward graduates, on average, are satisfied with their salary/wage post-credential.

The first step to earning a FastForward credential is talking to a career coach at your local community college. Get started today by visiting