University of the Ozarks has been awarded $1.6 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education for its Student Support Services programs.
The funds are awarded to colleges and universities to provide opportunities for students’ academic development as well as to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary degrees. Student Support Services programs are under the TRIO umbrella of federal education initiatives, which were established as a result of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
The goal of TRIO programs is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants, who include students from low-income families, first-generation students and students with disabilities.
Ozarks’ TRIO program is funded to serve 180 eligible students through its Student Support Services grant.
The University’s TRIO director, Connie High, said it is “inspiring to see first-hand the growth that occurs in our students as they persist from one year to another toward their ultimate goal of graduating from Ozarks.“
“Our team recognizes that the challenges faced by typically underrepresented students often have non-academic roots that are best addressed through a holistic approach,” High said. “Our services not only include academic support, but also college coaching, mentoring, and services designed to promote personal and professional development.”
In addition, Student Support Services provides small group tutoring; academic, career, and financial aid planning; preparatory skills sessions; success workshops; and assistance with researching and applying to graduate schools.
The TRIO programs at Ozarks has assisted nearly 1,000 students over the past five years. The new grant will allow Ozarks to continue its TRIO programs for the next five years.