Graceland University TRIO Grant Funded for 2020-25

Graceland University TRIO Grant Funded for 2020-25

Graceland University TRIO SSS staff: (from left to right) Trish Collins, Donna Hurt, Leslie Robinson, Carlie Briganti

Graceland University Director of Student Support Services, Donna Hurt, received notice from Senator Grassley's office Aug. 5 that Graceland University was once again successful in the grant competition for the TRIO program known as Student Support Services (SSS).

Cathie Hosie, retired director who authored the grant, submitted the 100+ page grant document to the Department of Education in January. The grant process for TRIO programs is highly competitive with funds only available for 1,131 college programs throughout the entire nation.

The Upward Bound (UB) Program, the first federal TRIO Program, was created in 1964 while a year later, Talent Search (TS) was created as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to assist students applying for newly authorized federal financial aid for postsecondary education. The TRIO name itself was born four years later when the Higher Education Act of 1965 was amended in 1968 to include the Special Services for Disadvantaged Students program—what is now called Student Support Services (SSS). UB, TS and SSS formed a "trio" of federal programs designed to foster increased educational opportunity and attainment. Since 1968, the TRIO programs have been expanded to provide an even wider range of services.

“The TRIO team is excited to begin recruitment to replace last year’s graduates,” shared Donna Hurt. “New programming and services are underway that will help us be more impactful in our retention efforts than ever before. We have exciting plans for a collaborative campuswide celebration of National First Generation College Celebration Day Nov. 6. Stay tuned for ways you can be involved in this exciting event!”

Graceland University is excited to continue the strong 42-year history Graceland has built with the SSS program. The new grant cycle will provide $1.7 million over the next five years for program services to increase the retention and graduation rates of the 180 first-generation, income eligible Graceland students served by the program. Program services include academic advising and support, multiple tutoring options, assistance in understanding and applying for federal financial aid, a one-credit hour Steps to Success course each semester, graduate school planning, access to technology, cultural trips, a text book library and much more!