Oct 30, 2020 | Featured

Columbia State Receives Grant to Fund TRIO Student Support Services

Columbia State Community College recently received grant funding to continue support for TRIO Student Support Services.

With this grant, TRIO will support more than 145 students each academic year from 2020 – 2025 in the eight rural counties of Columbia State’s service area, including  Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Marshall, Maury, Perry and Wayne Counties. This grant will provide students additional support needed for college success. Over the five year period, this grant will bring in a total of over $1.3 million in funding to Columbia State.

“TRIO Student Support Services is an incredibly impactful program for rural, underserved students at Columbia State,” said Patrick McElhiney, Columbia State director of grants. “I am thrilled that the program, and the important support it provides to these students, will continue for five more years.” 

The goal of TRIO is to increase retention and graduation rates of participants. Columbia State’s TRIO program has provided instructional and student support to approximately 2,000 eligible rural, disadvantaged, low-income, first-generation and disabled students since the program’s inception.

“It is exciting to have received such a competitive grant,” said Yaritza Castro Gotay, Columbia State director of student support services. “We are thankful for the support of our President, Dr. Janet F. Smith, and our faculty and staff for their support. Through these years we have had the amazing opportunity to see TRIO participants grow, graduate and be the first in their families to obtain a college degree.”

In Fall  2017, 50 percent of rural students enrolled at Columbia State met at least one of the eligibility requirements for TRIO participation. Rural students frequently face additional obstacles to college attendance and completion such as lack of college preparation, poor study and time management skills, lack of knowledge of educational and career opportunities available, as well as personal and family/cultural pressures. 

The program provides academic tutoring, advisement and assistance in postsecondary course selection, assistance finding financial aid programs and with applications, financial and economic literacy education, and assistance with enrolling in four-year institutions.

For more information about TRIO, visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/trio