The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program, part of the federally funded TRiO program, has awarded Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) $1.69 million. This grant allows for a five-year continuation of the College’s own TRiO support services program that helps first-generation students and students with disabilities meet their academic and professional goals.
KVCC’s TRiO program offers services tailored to each student’s unique needs to help them overcome barriers to college success. These services are offered to nearly 200 students every year, and include academic guidance, degree progress monitoring, assistance in course selection, and connection to other College and community resources that are designed to encourage student persistence, while fostering a supportive community. These services are intended to help students maintain higher GPAs and make steady progress toward their academic and personal goals. Some choose to graduate from KVCC and enter the workforce directly, while others seek to continue their higher education through transfer to a four-year college or university. The data show, over many years, that KVCC’s TRiO students accomplish these goals at higher rates than non-participating students.
KVCC has maintained a TRiO program since 1993. The team focuses on growing and evolving the program every year based on student needs. According to Lisa Black, KVCC’s TRiO Project Director, the TRiO program is designed in partnership with students, while thoroughly exemplifying KVCC’s institution-wide commitment to student success. Whereas one approach to student success may work for one student, that same approach may not work for another. This tailored methodology means that the program is in a constant state of evolution to accommodate ever changing needs.
Karen Normandin, KVCC’s Vice President and Dean of Students, shared that the TRiO team at KVCC “provides critical support for students from admission to graduation or transfer to a four-year institution. This vital program is woven into the fabric of this college – as such it has become essential to our mission.”
KVCC’s TRiO program is currently running its annual PUSH orientation and recruitment week (August 17-21) to onboard students. This initiative helps new KVCC students navigate the College, adapt to the hybrid educational approach of the Fall 2020 semester, and access the vast number of resources available to them, both at KVCC and in the community. This academic year begins on August 31 and there is still time to apply for admission and financial aid.