CCTC awarded $1.1 million to continue TRiO program

CCTC awarded $1.1 million federal grant to continue student support program

SUMTER – Central Carolina Technical College has received a federal grant in excess of $1 million to continue its TRiO Student Support Services program from 2015 to 2020. The program will serve 160 students from Clarendon, Lee, Kershaw and Sumter counties at a cost of $231,103 per year.

TRiO is a federally funded post-secondary education program designed to provide academic assistance and support to Central Carolina Technical College students who meet the eligibility requirements. Federal guidelines direct the free program toward students who are from low-income families, first-generation college students and students with documented disabilities. Students must also demonstrate an academic need for the program.

This is the third grant cycle that CCTC has been approved to receive funding for the TRiO program. The readers of the grant proposal gave Central Carolina a grant proposal score of 106 out of 106. Only 57% of the 1,700 submitted applications were funded.

“Watching students who come into the program grow and blossom and realize his or her full educational potential is very rewarding,” says Gwen Parker, director of CCTC’s TRiO Student Support Services program. “The impact seen on Central Carolina students is a higher persistence rate from one year to the next, a higher graduation rate, and a higher transfer rate to a four-year college or university.”

TRiO gives students access to one-on-one tutoring, allows them to develop networking skills, helps with transfer assistance, provides opportunities to attend cultural events, and offers counseling. Leadership opportunities include the TRiO Leadership and Professional Development Council, TRiO SSS Ambassadors Training, and conference participation. New initiatives through 2020 include peer and alumni mentoring, additional college visits, an increase in financial literacy and non-cognitive skills training, and enhanced career planning.

“We focus on the whole student when providing services,” Parker said. “TRiO provides these students with an opportunity to gain assistance in obtaining an equitable education that will provide a good foundation for better employment.”

Students display their awards at CCTC’s 2015 TRiO Awards Banquet.
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