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JCC Receives $1.1 Million Grant for TRiO Support Services

Jefferson Community College (JCC) was recently awarded a TRiO Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education of just over $1.1 million dollars over the next five years. The funding is designated to provide academic support and assistance for JCC students who meet certain eligibility criteria relating to disability or income or who are ‘first-generation,’ meaning neither parent nor guardian has earned a bachelor’s degree. The goal of the Student Support Services grant is to assist and motivate students towards the successful completion of postsecondary education.

The TRiO grant is administered through Jefferson’s STAR (Strategies To Achieve Results) Program, a student success initiative. The STAR Program helps students adapt successfully to the college environment, succeed academically, define career goals, graduate from Jefferson Community College, and/or transfer to a four–year institution.

“The STAR Program’s continued funding will ensure that the students that need the most help, will have access to it.  It will allow our students to have continued support from the time that they begin their first semester at Jefferson through the time that they graduate and transfer to a 4-year school.  There are thousands of TRiO Student Support Services programs throughout the country and several of our most popular transfer institutions also have programs that our students can then apply for when they arrive” says Gabrielle Thompson, JCC’s STAR program director.

This is the fourth time that Jefferson Community College has applied for and received TRIO funding.  In 2001 the College received nearly $900,000, in 2005 Jefferson was awarded nearly $1 million, and in 2010 over $1.2 million in federal funding to support the STAR program. 

Annually, the STAR program is able to serve an average of 160 students in need of academic assistance. 

The STAR Program offers numerous academic support services beginning with “Summer Bridge,” a free program in which JCC students can take pre-college courses in English and Reading at Jefferson for six weeks during the summer. Summer Bridge allows students to sharpen their computer literacy, library research and organizational skills, as well as become familiar with the JCC campus prior to the fall semester.  STAR Counseling Services also assist students in creating a realistic educational plan that not only reflects a students’ curriculum and job training or transfer needs, but also takes into account personal lifestyle and obligations. Additionally, students who successfully complete Summer Bridge are eligible for need-based scholarships.

Students enrolled in the STAR program can take advantage of computer lab, quiet study areas, individual and group tutoring, financial literacy and counseling, and workshops on test-taking, study habits, time management and organizational skills. The STAR Program offers numerous career exploration tools and counseling to help students evaluate their career goals and choices based on personality, skills, abilities and values. 

So that each student is guaranteed access to concentrated support as needed, STAR accepts a limited number of enrolled JCC students. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2015-2016 academic year.  Interested candidates may call 315-786-6555 or stop by Room 6-217 in the Jules Center at Jefferson Community College to complete an application and speak with a STAR advisor.