Tri-County’s TRiO Programs Receive More than $1 Million in Continuation Grant Funding
CONTACT: DR. THWANDA DAVIDSON, 646-1590
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9/8/2008
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON -- Tri-County Technical College received word this summer from the Department of Education that its TRiO programs received more than $1 million in continuation grant funding for the 2008 – 2009 year.
The TRiO programs -- Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services -- are designed to provide educational opportunities for eligible participants regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstances.
These programs provide academic and motivational support to first-generation (neither parent has a bachelor's degree) and income-eligible students in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties and students with disabilities who might otherwise have found higher education beyond their reach.
All three programs have received uninterrupted federal funding since their inception at the College, beginning with Student Support Services in 1978.
“These are competitive federal grants,” said TRiO Director Dr. Thwanda Davidson, “and we don’t take them for granted. We put forth strong applications, and we provide quality services to the students in middle and high schools and to our students at Tri-County. We have counselors who care and who put their hearts and souls into what they do. They truly want to see the student excel. We are true to our calling -- to serve students -- and are grateful for continuous funding over the past three decades.”
Student Support Services (SSS), an academic support program that celebrated its 30th anniversary September 1, received $300,140, a 5.25 percent increase in funding over last year.
SSS is campus based, with its primary objective being to retain and graduate students from Tri-County Technical College by offering academic counseling, personal and career counseling, tutoring, and educational and cultural enrichment activities. SSS also serves university transfer students. These services include easing the transition for students transferring from Tri-County to four-year colleges and universities; scheduling and conducting college tours; academic advising and monitoring participants' progress while they are at Tri-County; tutoring; and providing liaison services with the senior institutions.
The grant funding includes grant-aid money to cover tuition, books and supplies.
Upward Bound, which began in 1980 at Tri-County, received $387,391.
Upward Bound is designed to help high school students bridge the gap between secondary school and college and to provide them with financial and academic resources to prepare for postsecondary education. Tri-County’s Upward Bound project serves 9th –12th graders from Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.
Upward Bound provides high school students with services year round through its academic and summer bridge components. Students receive supplemental instruction in the core curriculum courses of English, math, laboratory science and foreign language. Academic guidance and career and personal counseling also are provided.
The program serves approximately 85 low income and or potential first-generation college students from the 14 area high schools.
Educational Talent Search (ETS), founded in 1981, received $391,538 and serves the largest number of area students -- 700.
ETS provides academic support and cultural exposure to students who are in need of assistance in understanding their educational opportunities and options.
Tri-County provides academic, personal and career counseling; tutoring; study skills and SAT/ACT workshops; cultural activities; college tours; and assistance in completing and submitting college admissions and financial aid applications for students who meet eligibility requirements.
Counselors assist students with one-on-one counseling and with setting up action plans to apply for scholarships and to build a strong college application. Tri-County has two counselors for the area high schools and one for the middle schools.
Last year Upward Bound served 85 students, ETS served 725 and SSS served 175.
“We are thankful for the programs’ successes and for support from the College, in addition to the parents who are our advocates and the schools and communities that continue to stand behind us. These programs have endured over the last 30 years because they work,” said Dr. Davidson.