Texas A&M University-Texarkana has received a grant for an additional five years to help disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. The TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) announced that the program has received funding through a successful TRIO SSS grant submission with the United States Department of Education. The total funding for the five-year period is just over $1.3 million, with an annual allotment of $261,888.00.

The purpose of TRIO SSS is to increase the number of disadvantaged low-income college students, first-generation college students, and college students with disabilities in the United States who successfully complete a program of study at the postsecondary level. The mission of TRIO SSS at Texas A&M University-Texarkana is to provide an academic and personal support system to meet participants’ individual needs, enabling them to persevere and be successful in attaining their desired degrees. TRIO SSS program services include academic tutoring, advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection, financial and economic literacy education, FAFSA information, assistance in applying for enrollment in graduate and professional programs, cultural enrichment opportunities, career and professional development, and peer mentoring.

According to the press release, the TRIO SSS program at A&M-Texarkana has been serving students since 2015 while exceeding the objectives in good academic standing and persistence rate yearly. Over the next five years the program is funded to serve 140 participants who are first-generation, low-income, and/or have a documented disability. The three objectives that are the TRIO SSS-program’s focus for A&M-Texarkana students are the students' persistence rate, academic standing, and graduation rate.

The department of education has placed minimum requirements in each of these areas to determine if a program will continue to be funded. The requirements include a Persistence Rate of 68% (the number of all participants served by the SSS project will persist from one academic year to the beginning of the next) or will have earned a bachelor’s degree at the grantee institution during the academic year. There is also a requirement that 72% of all enrolled SSS participants meet the performance level required to stay in good academic standing, and that a minimum of 22% of new participants served each year will graduate from the grantee institution with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent within six (6) years. The TRIO SSS program at Texas A&M University-Texarkana was funded an additional 5 years after exceeding these recommendations.

“We are thrilled to receive additional TRIO SSS funding from the Department of Education,” said Brittany Barnett, TAMUT’s Director of TRIO Student Support Services. “This program is designed to help disadvantaged students more easily navigate the pathway to completing a degree program and setting themselves up for better opportunities throughout their lifetime.”

For more information about TRIO SSS at Texas A&M University-Texarkana call Brittany Barnett at (903) 334-6691 or email her at Brittany.barnett@tamut.edu.

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