TRIO SSS Grant Renewed for $1.5 Million

TRIO students in front of the capital and studying
September 21, 2020

St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC) is happy to announce that its TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant was renewed for $1.5 million over the next five years. The grant is awarded through the U.S. Dept. of Education to support student success through college and into the future. 

“TRIO is an integral part of student retention and success at SCTCC,” said William Tuoy-Giel, TRIO SSS Director. “It would be safe to say that TRIO makes a difference in the lives of many students who may have had hard times adjusting to college life and expectations.”

TRIO SSS helps college students who are low income, first generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) or students with disabilities. The range of services the grant provides includes academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses and other forms of assistance. These services boost academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer.

“Trio was very helpful when I started out; that’s actually how I made a lot of friends. It was like a second family and a nice little study place. It helped me transition a little better to St. Cloud life,” said Alexis Zimmer, a student in the Cardiovascular Technology program. “Being in TRIO really helped broaden my experience here.”

TRIO SSS has been an available support for SCTCC students for 23 years, with its doors opening in September 1997. The program serves 180 students per academic year, and about 40-50 of those students graduate in an academic year. The “wrap-around” advising method provided by TRIO advisors is an effective technique to make the college system more accessible for students. This year also marks TRIO’s expansion to include support for developmental education and English as a second language learners.

“The renewal of the federal grant for SCTCC’s TRIO SSS program is vital to helping our students on their educational journey and beyond. By providing these much-needed services to students who have been historically marginalized and underserved by institutions of higher education, SCTCC is holding itself accountable to be part of the solution and do better,” said SCTCC President Annesa Cheek. 

SSS began at the federal level in 1968 and is one of eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; bolsters students from low income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had; and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

For 23 years, SCTCC’s TRIO Student Support Services program has offered support to not only students, but society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed at college and in their careers. Thanks to the renewal of the grant at SCTCC, this level of support will continue into the future.

Kate Wallace
Posted in News, Only at SCTCC