Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) received notification from the U. S. Department of Education that the college’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant application was approved for fiscal year 2015. Funding of $1.1 million over a five-year period will provide students with academic support, including advising, transfer planning, career counseling, tutoring, and a variety of retention strategies, including peer coaching.
OCTC President, Dr. Scott Williams commented, “I am so excited to know that our TRIO program has been funded. This new grant will focus on providing academic coaching, financial literacy, and professional effectiveness. Our objectives are aimed at increased retention, graduation, and academic standing rates for students.” OCTC will begin advertising for the positions to support the grant. The grant application outlined serving 140 students during the upcoming academic year.
To become involved with the TRIO Student Support Service program, a student must be an American citizen or permanent resident of the United States, be registered full time at Owensboro Community & Technical College, demonstrate academic need for services as defined by the institution, and meet one or more of the following U.S. Department of Education criteria:
• Low income – as established by the U.S. Commission of Higher Education.
• Disabled – This criterion includes physical disabilities and learning disabilities.
• First-generation college student – neither of the student’s parents has graduated from a four-year institution of higher education.
The success of the Student Support Services Program is measured by the postsecondary persistence and degree completion rates of SSS participants that remain at the grantee institution.
The Federal TRIO programs are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty with the first program, Upward Bound, emerging out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960’s, the term “TRIO” was coined to describe these federal programs encouraging access to higher education for low-income students.