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Aims Community College to receive $1.7 million to help at-risk students succeed

Submitted on: 08-13-2010

Aims Community College was recently awarded two federal TRIO grants totaling nearly $2 million or $348,496 annually for the next five years. The grants will allow the college to continue—and to expand—the Student Support Services program, which provides extensive support to low-income, first-generation or disabled college students on the Greeley, Colo., campus. In addition to continuing the program that currently supports 160 students, the grants allot $110,000 annually for an additional 120 students who declare majors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM. "There is a huge push from the Department of Education to increase student access and awareness of the great career opportunities for STEM majors," said Aims Director of Student Support Services Therese Lask. "This funding brings that emphasis of opportunity to our students who are low-income or first from their family to attend college, a population that typically does not gravitate to those STEM majors." The mission of the SSS program is to increase retention and graduation rates, facilitate transfer to four-year colleges, and improve students' knowledge and access to services that will help them succeed in higher education. During the first five years of the program, student retention has averaged 75 percent from year-to-year, significantly higher than the 50-percent retention rate of community colleges nationally. Students in the SSS program also earn higher grade point averages than other students, and more often, they transfer to four-year institutions. "I think the success of our program is directly correlated to our mission," Lask said. "The advisors know the students and their goals. We help them connect with the resources that will help them capitalize on their abilities and aspirations here at Aims, and keep them moving on to earn their bachelor's degrees and beyond." For more information about the SSS program at Aims contact Therese Lask, Ph.D., at therese.lask@aims.edu or (970) 339-6273.



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