The Rappahannock County College and Career Access Program was established  in 2005 and works closely with the guidance department and administration at Rappahannock County High School to serve every student at Rappahannock County High School.


Next Step, in partnership with Rappahannock County Public Schools faculty and staff, guidance professionals, and community members, ensures that all students have the resources they need to create and carry out the college, vocational, or career plans that are right for them.

Did You Know?

Next Step is not just about college—we also help students explore, enroll in, and pay for trade school and certificate programs. While we work with every student, we give priority to those who will be the first in their families to pursue higher education.  We’ve found that students who have a plan are more likely to take challenging courses and work hard in school.
What we do:


The staff has spent thousands of hours in individual meetings with students and parents. Our motto? “Turn your dreams into a plan.”


We offer workshops to students, teachers, and parents. We operate a resource center at the high school. We’ve taken hundreds of students on trips to over 35 different campuses in six states – from William and Mary to Germanna Automotive; from Charleston, SC, to Palo Alto, CA. We brought SAT prep to the county and offer tutoring. Our website , is packed with information about colleges, trade schools, and scholarships. Last but not least, we conduct “early awareness” activities for younger children, so that their early dreams can guide their academic choices.


Next Step helps families navigate the financial aid process. We locate and administer new local scholarships—over $40,000 in 2015! We stay in touch after graduation, to be sure students continue to get the help they need to complete their studies.


In addition to administering local “named” scholarships, we offer Next Step Dream Awards to help deserving students with financial need achieve their goals. Sometimes $1,000 can determine whether or not a qualified student goes to college.


The Next Step program is largely sustained by generous individuals and local businesses. Ongoing support has been provided by our amazing community.

Get Involved

You can:

  • Volunteer or present at the annual Career Day!
  • Visit the school as a speaker and share your passion
  • Offer internship or job-shadowing opportunities at your business
  • Help students and families with financial aid applications
  • Remember Next Step in your will
  • Donate scholarship or operating funds

The Next Step staff is available during the school day to meet with students and families. Please email or call the Headwaters main office at (540) 987-3322 to arrange time to meet.

For more information visit: