Berkshire Community College (BCC) is pleased to announce that the college has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the US Department of Education (TRIO) to continue its Student Support Services program. This is a five year grant and serves aspiring first generation, low-income, and disabled student populations. For the 2010 academic year, the grant totals $255,000.
Once accepted into the TRIO program, the BCC staff will work one-on-one with students to develop a personalized educational plan designed to guide students toward the successful completion of their course of study. Given the accessibility of community colleges, the TRIO program aligns well with BCC's mission in providing support for students. TRIO has been available at BCC for nine years.
"As an institution focused on providing access to a high-quality education, these funds will help our students to be successful in their academic endeavors," said Dr. Paul Raverta, BCC president. "We have worked with students who have faced a myriad of challenges and, through TRIO, have gone on to become leaders in their businesses and communities."
Federal TRIO Programs are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects.
Both U.S. Sen. John Kerry and U.S. Congressman John Olver, have supported TRIO and served as advocates throughout the grant application process.
"The TRIO Programs have been terrific for students all across Massachusetts who have the drive and the dream of attending a school like Berkshire Community College. This is critical funding to ensure those dreams are realized. I'm grateful to TRIO for providing opportunity to kids that might otherwise never have gotten a shot at the quality education they deserve," said Senator Kerry.
"I want to thank the US Department of Education for the TRIO program Student Support Services grant for Berkshire Community College," stated Congressman Olver. "This program has supported over 1,000 "at risk" students, allowing them to fulfill their aspirations for better career opportunities."
The recipients of the grants, depending on the specific program, are institutions of higher education, public and private agencies and organizations including community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth and secondary schools.
For more information on BCC's TRIO program, contact Christine DeGregorio at 413-236-1681 or visit http://www.berkshirecc.edu/.