TRiO/Student Support Services Grant awarded to Gaston College

TRiO LogoGaston College congratulates TRiO/Student Support Service for being re-funded for the next five years through a grant received from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant is for a five-year period beginning on September 1, 2020, and ending on August 31, 2025. This is the third such grant awarded to Gaston College. The purpose of the Gaston College TRiO/SSS program is to increase the persistence, graduation, and transfer rates of college students who are either low income, first-generation where neither of their parents or guardians holds a bachelor’s degree, and students with disabilities. Acceptance into the program is based on an application process; only 140 students can be served each year.

In order to qualify for the grant, Gaston College wrote a grant proposal showing the need for the services that the grant could provide to students, such as an advisor that will assist them each semester until they graduate. The grant will also allow Gaston College to provide additional opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The program is required to demonstrate substantial progress each year of the grant and to meet specific performance goals each year of the program’s funding. The grant is in the amount of $261,888 per year, for a total of $1,309,400.

Lynn Dellinger has been the TRiO program director since 2011, after Gaston College was awarded its first TRiO/SSS grant. “Since first receiving the grant for our TRiO program in 2010, we have more than met our progress goals,” she said. “We have helped support over 850 students, with many of them receiving associate degrees from Gaston College and then transferring to four-year universities or colleges. Having our grant renewed for another five years will enable us to continue to provide much-needed support to more students.”

“This is an outstanding service for our students, and we are pleased to receive renewed multi-year funding for our TRiO program,” said Dr. John Hauser, President of Gaston College. “This will help the College better serve students who are economically disadvantaged, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities and give them the tools to increase their graduation and transfer rates.”

Dr. Hauser continued, “We also look forward to working with our community partners to provide more work-based learning experiences and skills that teach these students how to be better decision-makers and financial and economic planners. Our goal is to help these students obtain the knowledge or training for employment in in-demand industry sectors and occupations.”

Dr. Audrey Sherrill is the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Gaston College. She has observed students enter the program who believed they were not ready for college. “Our TRiO program has been very successful in providing academic and personal support for our TRiO students. We help them gain confidence, discipline, and better study skills,” she said. “We have a fantastic team that gives students one-on-one assistance with academic advising, support resources, financial literacy, and the transfer process to four-year institutions. We know they have what it takes to succeed, so we encourage them to stay focused on their educational goals.”

About the U.S. Department of Education Grant

Grant funds have been provided by the U.S. Department of Education Award Number P042A201527. 100 percent of the cost of this program is financed with federal funds. Gaston College has received $1,309,440 in federal funds to support this program. Zero percent of non-federal dollars have been used to finance this program.

Student in tutoring lab

Students work on homework in the TRiO Center. Tutors are available to help students work through problem areas with their studies.

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