NSCC awarded grant to aid students

Northwest State Community College in Archbold has been awarded a five-year grant for student support services initiatives, effective Sept. 1.

The grant, issued by the U.S. Department of Education, is “awarded to institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education” per the DOE. The ultimate goal of TRIO Student Support Services is to increase college retention and graduation rates of the program’s participants.

NSCC was one of 25 colleges and universities in Ohio to receive TRIOSSS grant funding, and one of only three schools in the state to receive first-time funding in this grant cycle. For the initial budget period, Sept. 1, 2020, to Aug. 31, 2021, the grant amount is $261,888, and it is anticipated that the grant will be for a total of five years.

Per the DOE, the program’s purpose is to provide academic and other support services to low-income, first-generation or disabled college students to increase retention and graduation rates, facilitate transfers from two-year to four-year colleges, and foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities.

Program participants must be low-income, first-generation college students or individuals with disabilities. All participants must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program of post-secondary education at an institution of higher education and have a need for academic support.

Required SSS program services include: academic tutoring; advice and assistance in post-secondary course selection; information on financial aid programs and benefits and assistance in completing financial aid applications, including the FAFSA; education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy; activities designed to assist participants enrolled in four-year institutions in applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in, graduate and professional programs; and activities designed to assist students enrolled in two-year institutions of higher education in applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in, four-year programs of post-secondary education.

Some of the potential services NSCC can provide these new students include individualized counseling for personal, career, and academic matters; specifically-designed information and instruction geared towards career prep; and mentoring programs involving faculty and/or students, among others.

NSCC is expected to hire a project director, a student success coach, and an academic coach, all full-time, for the program.

“The true winners are our learners,” NSCC Executive Vice President Todd Hernandez said. “This grant will enable us to put systems in place to truly provide the concierge service that many of our at-risk learners need for success. Earning this grant as a first-time recipient is an extraordinary achievement and a testament to the great team we have at NSCC.”

Additional information will be available at NorthwestState.edu once finalized.