Spartanburg Community College received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue offering the TRIO Student Support Services program for the next five years.
TRIO SSS is a federally-funded program designed to help students stay in school, graduate with college degrees, and continue their education by transferring to four-year colleges and universities.
“Investment in the total student is a key component of the TRIO program, and this, in our opinion, helps the student succeed not only academically but also in other areas of their lives,” explains Ron Jackson, SCC’s vice president of Student Affairs. “For some students, these avenues of success will be realized within a short period of time. For others it may be many years later after they have completed their academic pursuits. But it doesn’t stop with the student. One of the unexpected benefits for TRIO student participants is the influence their success has on the people in their sphere of influence.”
In order to participate, students must meet eligibility requirements including:
· Enrollment in at least six credit hours in an SCC associate degree program;
· Be a US citizen or eligible for federal student financial aid;
· Be working towards a first college degree;
And meet one of the following requirements - be a:
· First-generation college student
· Low-income student
· Student with a disability
SCC has a high percentage of students meeting one or more of the eligibility criteria for the program with a need for academic support. Each TRIO student receives an individualized student education plan following in-depth need and interest assessments. The program also offers academic and career-related services free of charge to students who qualify:
· Academic counseling
· Career counseling
· Personal coaching
· Transfer planning assistance
· Financial/economic literacy services
· Peer mentoring
· Service learning and cultural opportunities
Stephanie Peak, a 2020 SCC graduate with an Associate of Arts degree, came to SCC as a non-traditional adult student, working full time and attending school part time. For Peak, the TRIO program was a life-line. “The TRIO staff was my encouragement when I wanted to quit. Since I worked full-time, it was difficult to meet regularly with my advisor, but the TRIO program helped me with scheduling issues and books, and gave me that extra push that I needed to complete my degree. I am forever grateful.”
SCC’s TRIO program has proven to be highly effective in retaining students, increasing
student academic performance level, and increasing graduation and transfer rates.
According to SCC’s annual progress report from the 2018-2019 academic year, as compared
with baseline data of SCC’s TRIO-eligible students who did not participate in the
program, TRIO students were:
· 76 percent more likely to be retained in school from one academic year to the next;
· 66 percent more likely to be in good academic standing;
· 90 percent more likely to graduate with an associates degree or certificate within four years;
· Four times more likely to graduate and transfer to a four-year institution within four years.
For more information on the TRIO SSS eligibility requirements and application instructions, please visit www.sccsc.edu/services/TRIO/.