SC4 receives $1.3 million grant to help low-income, first generation, and disabled students succeed

More than 140 students participated in St. Clair County Community College’s TRIO Student Support Services program during the last academic year, a program intended to support low-income students, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities in obtaining their post-secondary education goals.

News of a $1.3 million grant means that the college should be able to offer the program to hundreds more.

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded a $1.3 million grant to St. Clair County Community College to support its TRIO Student Support Services program, or TRIO SSS.

TRIO is a federal student services and outreach program that dates back to the Higher Education Act of 1965. Though misleading, the name TRIO is not an acronym but instead represents its first three programs, one of which being Student Support Services.

There are now eight TRIO programs.

"I’m so proud of our TRIO SSS students," says Shawne Jowett, interim director of the program at SC4. "These students come from a variety of backgrounds, each with their own challenges, but with the help of the TRIO program, and as importantly, the support they give each other, they’ve been successful at achieving their college goals at SC4."

This is the third time that SC4 has received federal grant money for its TRIO SSS program. The school previously received grants in 2010 and 2015.

Low-income students, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the program.

In order to increase retention and graduation rates for those students, the TRIO SSS program offers individualized tutoring, academic advising, and financial aid assistance. The program also assists students in transferring to four-year colleges and universities upon completion of their SC4 degrees.

"The TRIO SSS program has provided outstanding support to SC4 students over the past decade, helping hundreds achieve their goal of earning a college degree," says Pete Lacey, vice president of student services.

"I’m excited to receive this new grant award and look forward to our team continuing to help students successfully navigate college."

Visit St. Clair County Community College online for more information about TRIO Student Support Services and other programs.

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