DSCC Receives Over $2.9 Million Renewal for TRIO Grants

Student Support Services and Upward Bound Programs to Benefit

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC) has received renewal for two federal TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grants and approval for funding for its fourth year of a 5-year grant for TRIO Upward Bound. The SSS grants will serve 268 students and are funded for five years for a total of $2,618,880, while the Upward Bound grant totaling $368,962 will serve 76 first-generation, low-income students from four local high schools including Dyer County, Halls, Lake County and Peabody High Schools. Combined, the grants will provide DSCC with $2,987,842 in assistance.

“We are grateful to receive the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grants for another five years,” states Paul Stewart, director of TRIO programs. “The funds provided through these grants, along with the continued funding for the Upward Bound program, will allow first-generation and low-income students to receive extra academic assistance to help them graduate.”  “The grant awards are examples of the faculty and staff at DSCC pursuing external grant funding to support student success. Our efforts have helped improve graduation rates,” as noted by DSCC president Dr. Karen Bowyer.

DSCC offers SSS offices at both its Dyersburg campus and its Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County. SSS helps college students who are low income, first generation students whose parents do not have a four-year college degree, or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will continue to provide includes academic tutoring, course and program advising, financial aid counseling, career and college mentoring, transfer assistance and personal counseling. 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.

“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, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C.

Students interested in learning more about the services offered through SSS or Upward Bound should contact Paul Stewart at 731-288-7811 or pstewart@dscc.edu.