First-Generation Student Support Program Receives Five-Year Grant Funding
Sept. 9, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
The TRIO Student Support Services Program at Sam Houston State University recently received approval for more than $500,000 in grant funding per year for the next 5 years. The program is another example of SHSU’s dedication to first-generation students, as it serves more than 165 students through academic tutoring, advice for course selection, information financial aid programs, financial literacy counseling, and even assistance in applying for graduate and professional programs. This year, the program is also expanding to serve another 140 first generation students in the College of Education.
Kelly Stuckey, project director for SHSU’s TRIO SSS program, says this funding will not only help sustain the program for the next five years, but it will also help expand their services.
“We have come a long way from 2001 when this program began in terms of services we offer and students we are able to support,” Stuckey said. “Every grant funded allows us to grow and expand. This latest funding, which includes an increase in annual funding, will even help us to begin to offer a new online platform for tutoring.”
Sending a child off to a college campus for the first time is a stressful event in every parent’s life. TRIO SSS shows these parents that Sam Houston State has a level of dedication to their student’s success.
“We are a parent's dream, they love us. They always tell us how excited they are to see that Sam Houston State has this program available and is a one-stop shop for their student to have a guide through the college experience. We never want to turn students away and not give them the support they need,” Stuckey said. “Every service that is available to students on campus, we offer here too, but in a more personal and intense way. Students will have a permanent adviser from the time they enter the program to the time they graduate.”
Stuckey also explained that first generation college students, who are looking for support, often seek out programs such as TRIO SSS when searching for colleges during the application process.
“This program helps us recruit students to Sam Houston State,” Stuckey said. “Community colleges in the area will send their TRIO program students to even tour and explore our campus because we have a TRIO program available.”
All staff in the program are first generation graduates as well. This leads to an immediate level of comfortability between students and staff who they will be working with throughout their time on campus.
“It is very important that all of our staff are first generation students and we choose staff that come from the same background as the students we will serve,” Stuckey said. “That helps establish a bond of trust and motivates our staff to help these students through this new experience.”
For more information on the TRIO Student Support Services Program visit: https://www.shsu.edu/dept/triosss/
***All photos from this article are from 2019
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