MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Community College TRIO Student Support Services program will receive $2.9 million over the next five years to help more students succeed in college, earn a degree and transition to the next step in their education or career.
The federal Student Support Services grant is awarded to institutions every five years. The U.S. Department of Education announced this fall that the Big Bend program would receive funding for both the SSS Classic Grant, which has been at the college since 1997, and the new SSS STEM Grant.
The TRIO SSS program at Big Bend has been on campus for more than 30 years. The goal of the program is to help motivate students to attain their educational goals, graduate and/or transfer to an institute of higher education.
TRIO advisors provide academic advising, transfer support and personal development for students who are from low-income backgrounds and who are often first-generation college students. The program also supports students with disabilities.
The program previously served up to 190 eligible students each academic year, but with the addition of the new SSS STEM Grant, TRIO staff are able to serve an additional 120 students each academic year.
“The SSS STEM grant aims to improve the retention, academic standing, and graduation or graduation and transfer of SSS eligible students who intend to pursue a STEM degree or career,” said Big Bend TRIO SSS Director Veronica Guadarrama. “Besides the traditional SSS support services— individual advising, financial aid information and assistance, academic tutoring, financial literacy education, individual counseling, and individual transfer support, the SSS STEM grant will also have a STEM Peer-Mentoring program.”
Both grants also allow for the addition of a first-year experience for new program participants as well as a summer bridge program for second-year participants that focuses on the transfer process.
“BBCC serves a large number of low-income and first-generation college students who greatly benefit from the services provided by the TRIO SSS grant,” said Big Bend Vice President of Learning and Student Success Bryce Humpherys. “The grant program has proven effective in helping students complete their programs of study at BBCC and continue their efforts to earn a four-year college degree. The renewal of the grant ensures that we can continue to provide these high-quality services for the next five years.”
For more information, visit the TRIO SSS program webpage. Current students interested in applying to the program can use the TRIO SSS online application. Students will need to have their BBCC Student ID number and their cumulative high school GPA to complete the application.