ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been awarded a federal TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1.3 million, to be used over a five-year period. The funding will support low-income students, first-generation students, and students with disabilities, offering individual support to increase their educational success.
The grant provides the College with $261,888 in federal funding annually, which will finance 75 percent of the program, with the remaining 25 percent coming from non-governmental sources.
Student Support Services is one of eight U.S. Department of Education TRIO programs that serve college students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program, designed to strengthen retention and propel students to graduation, provides academic tutoring, personal coaching, mentoring, financial guidance, career exploration, cultural enrichment opportunities, peer networking, and other assistance to increase retention and completion.
“The TRIO grant will enable us to empower students and remove the barriers they face, as we pull together all of the tools and resources they need to achieve their educational goals,” said Misty Moler, director of TRIO at Rowan-Cabarrus.
The Rowan-Cabarrus TRIO SSS program will serve 140 students each year, at no cost to the student, with a dedicated staff at the College including Moler and program coordinator April Cosner, as well as two full-time advisors. Students selected to participate will begin working within the TRIO learning community when spring classes begin in January.
Upon acceptance into the program, each student will be assigned a TRIO advisor, who will meet with them regularly, monitor their academic progress, and connect them to available resources throughout their time at Rowan-Cabarrus.
“College is very different from high school, and some students have more difficulty with the transition, often because of limitations beyond their control. This program helps bridge that gap,” said Natasha Lipscomb, Vice President of Student Success. “We hope to build a sense of pride in being a future TRIO scholar.”
In addition to helping ensure completion of their degree at Rowan-Cabarrus, the TRIO program supports students in continuing their education. Advisors will assist students with processes related to transferring to a four-year college or university, including admissions applications and campus visits. The program also offers access to laptops as needed and provides designated study areas equipped with computers.
“We are grateful for this grant, which will have a significant impact for our students and community,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “The timing could not be better. With the challenges of COVID-19, some students from low-income backgrounds, first-generation students and students with disabilities are facing even more barriers when it comes to their education. The TRIO program will allow us to maximize opportunities for our students to navigate to success at Rowan-Cabarrus and beyond.”