CCC&TI Awarded $1.7 To Help Students Succeed In College

Last Updated on September 4, 2020 3:08 pm

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1,728,195 to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. CCC&TI’s TRIO Student Support Services got its start in fall 1993 and over the last 27 years has helped more than 1,000 local students earn a degree.

SSS helps college students who are low income, first generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) and/or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt. Many SSS alumni have gone on to great success, among them Emmy, Tony and Academy-Award winning actress Viola Davis, U.S. Rep. Gwendolyn Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th District and Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut.

SSS began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low- income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had, and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

“We are excited and honored to be awarded funding for another 5 years to serve the students of Caldwell and Watauga counties,” said CCC&TI TRIO Director Emily Garrison. “We believe there is something special about being a first-generation college student and are thankful to our TRIO students for allowing us to be a part of their college journey.”

CCC&TI’s TRIO Student Support Services was recently awarded $1.7 grant to help more students succeed and graduate from college. Pictured are CCC&TI TRIO staff members, from left, Counselor Becky Boone, Academic Specialist Julie Parsons, TRIO Director Emily Garrison, Administrative Assistant Pat Pritchard and Watauga Campus Academic Specialist Diane Mazza.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the systemic inequality and financial hardship which keep promising students from succeeding in college. Student Support Services is needed now more than ever,” said Maureen Hoyler. Hoyler is the president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.

For more than 50 years, the Student Support Services program has made important contributions to individuals and society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed. This vital program can and does make all the difference.

For more information on TRIO/Student Support Services at CCC&TI, call 828-726-2726 or visit

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