Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– For the first time in its history, Prairie State College (PSC) was awarded a TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant in the amount of $220,000 per year from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant totals about $1.1 million over a five-year period.
The grant will assist low-income students, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities. The goal of the SSS grant is to help increase students’ retention and graduation rates, facilitate their transfer from PSC to four-year colleges, and provide support services to help them succeed while at PSC.
The program offers a variety of services and activities to assist eligible students in reaching their academic and career goals. Services include tutoring, study-skills development, mentoring, and personal, career, and financial aid counseling. Students also will receive assistance through the entire admission process to four-year universities as well as resources for locating public and private scholarships to attend those universities.
“The funds that were awarded to the college from the Department of Education will change students’ lives,” said Mary Reaves, vice president, student affairs. “Students will receive assistance to be successful at PSC so they can matriculate to baccalaureate degree-granting institutions.”
The SSS grant also will fund exposure to cultural events and unique academic programs outside the traditional areas of study.
“Being so close to Chicago, students can be exposed to the diverse melting pot of historic buildings and cultural events to further enhance their studies,” said Shawn Govan, dean, student services.
Qualifying for the TRIO grant is highly competitive and colleges must apply every five years for refunding. During the five years of the grant cycle, TRIO SSS programs must meet performance objectives in areas of graduation and transfer rates, students in good academic standing, and retention of students in the program.