TRiO receives $1.47M to help students succeed over five years
In August, The U.S. Department of Education announced that Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) TRIO Student Support Services grant program was renewed for five years, with an award of $1,473,625 to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. BCC’s program will receive $294,725 per year, allowing it to continue serving 165 students per academic year through 2025.
TRIO grants are awarded every five years on a highly competitive basis, with a total of $270 million allocated to 968 institutions by the federal government in 2020.
This fourth renewal marks a proud history of 20 years of TRIO operation at BCC, and heralds a new chapter of student support services, as the institution simultaneously increased the TRIO office space, launched the building of a one-stop student service center, and bolstered its online presence to support students through the COVID-19 period.
Our success in securing this grant is a testament to the hard work of the TRIO team and our Grants Development office. We celebrate 20 years of TRIO's positive impact on our students' lives and we are in awe of their incredible accomplishments. We are thrilled that TRIO will continue to support and positively impact BCC students and their families"
The TRIO center provides a comprehensive range of services: intensive academic tutoring, individual success coaching, peer mentor programs, life skills workshops in financial aid and financial literacy, cultural and academic enrichment opportunities, and other forms of assistance to accompany the student through graduation and transferring. This comprehensive support program enhances the likelihood of success at BCC, with significantly higher chances that the TRIO students graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt. Many of BCC’s students have gone on to great success, transferring with full funding to other colleges in the area and beyond.
At BCC, a majority (71%) of students were eligible to participate in the TRIO project during the 2018-2019 academic year. Over the past five years of serving our students, TRIO has helped countless participants to remain in good academic standing (95%), continue their studies (82%), graduate (54%), or transfer to a four-year institution (28%).
TRIO Student Support Services began in 1968 as an initiative by President Lyndon Johnson. It is one of eight federal higher education opportunity programs authorized by the Higher Education Act, to help college students – who are low income, first generation, or students with disabilities – progress toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.
Students who are willing to work hard and utilize all the services available to them are strongly encouraged to apply to TRIO. “We are confident, and our numbers bear this out, that students who take full advantage of these offerings will succeed at BCC and beyond.”
Students can apply to the TRIO program at BCC year-round by going to https://www.berkshirecc.edu/trio. Those who qualify will then meet with an advisor. Although applications are accepted year-round, there are only 165 places available per year, so it is encouraged that students apply early.