A new five-year, $1.1 million U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services (TRIO) Program grant has been awarded to Rockland Community College to assist 140 “underserved” students in the successful completion of their postsecondary education.

“Higher education opens the door to greater economic opportunity,” said U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Rockland and Westchester. “These federal investments will help underserved students at Rockland Community College fulfill their academic and career goals. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working hard to protect higher education funding that makes college accessible and affordable for Lower Hudson Valley students.”

Rockland Community College will implement a support services program to assist 140 students, of whom 93 students are low-income or first-generation college students, and 47 who are both disabled and low-income. Students who are veterans are also encouraged to apply. According to RCC, there is an urgent need to provide support services to the increasing population of individuals targeted for TRIO services: roughly 5,040 students – or 72 percent of RCC’s current student population – fall into one or more of the TRIO categories for eligibility.

“The student population of Rockland Community College is becoming more and more diverse, both in terms of race and ethnicity as well as socio-economic status,” said RCC President Dr. Cliff L. Wood. “This grant will help ensure that we are able to develop expanded services and systems to ensure the success of all of our students.”

The aim of RCC’s TRIO program is to strengthen student participants’ experiences of learning, empower them to advocate for their own education, and enable them to acquire the skills to achieve academic and personal success. RCC will offer targeted recruitment and enrollment; participant orientation; early and ongoing assessment; professional and peer tutoring; individualized academic, career, and personal advisement, counseling, and planning; coaching/mentoring; financial aid counseling; financial and economic literacy; career and transfer counseling and workshops; college skills and ESL courses as needed; intensive academic intervention; specialized services for participants with disabilities and student veterans; and, cultural activities and college trips.

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