Jul 27, 2020 | Grants , Featured

Columbia State Awarded SERS Grant For “College-Going Mentor” Program

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. July 27, 2020) - - - Columbia State Community College was awarded a $50,000 Student Engagement, Retention and Success Grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to fund a “College-Going Mentor” program that will encourage low-income high school students in Maury County to enroll at the college. 

“In 2018, only 28.8 percent of Pell-eligible students in Maury County enrolled at Columbia State,” said Yaritza Castro-Gotay, Columbia State director of student support services. “To mitigate low-income students’ barriers to college, the new mentor program seeks to be a resource during the college-choice process, which addresses barriers low-income students face. Students will be connected with resources and knowledge on career choices, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, the application process and enrollment in classes.”

Grant funds will be utilized to hire a part-time mentor that will help Maury County high school students and their parents with first-hand information regarding Columbia State. The mentor will serve as a liaison between students and the Columbia State Student Support Services, Enrollment Services, Access and Diversity and Financial Aid offices.

A Summer Bridge program will be setup in conjunction with the Student Support Services program to prepare students for their new academic life journey.  During the Summer Bridge program, students will be given tools for college success regarding time management and test-taking skills. In addition, they will be connected with peer mentors and participate in activities to enhance their understanding and build relationships with the college. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the Student Support Services program after Summer Bridge, which will guide and help them through their college journey.

Student Engagement, Retention and Success grants are funded through TBR with access and diversity funding and can focus on any subpopulation that is part of the following institution plans: Achieving the Dream, Pathways Project or diversity or completion plans. To learn more about SERS grants, please visit www.tbr.edu