HCC gets grant

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Hagerstown Community College was recently awarded a five-year grant of $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO Program.

The goal of this program is to increase retention, graduation, and transfer rates of first-generation college students, low-income students and students with documented disabilities, who demonstrate academic need.

“We are very pleased that this federal grant will allow us the opportunity to provide increased customized assistance so that more students can realize their substantial academic success potential,” said Dr. Guy Altieri, HCC president. “Program data has shown that students in an SSS program are twice as likely to remain in college than students from similar backgrounds who did not participate.”

SSS students at HCC will receive academic tutoring, counseling services, financial and economic literacy training, and assistance in determining career and academic goals, with an emphasis on transfer to a four-year college. A limited number of SSS students will be eligible for grants through the program. All SSS students will be provided the opportunity to visit four-year colleges, attend cultural events, and participate in workshops regarding life and academic skills.

The history of TRIO began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960s, the term "TRIO" was coined to describe these federal programs.  TRIO is now a series of eight programs designed to help students progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. More than 1,200 colleges, universities, and agencies offer TRIO programs in America.

HCC's grant officially began Sept. 1. Applications are currently being accepted. For  information, contact Dr. Donna Rudy, dean of Student Affairs, at 301-790-2800, ext. 526.