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Craven CC awarded $1.3 million to help low income, first generation, and students with disabilities succeed in college

Aug. 20, 2020
NEW BERN – The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that Craven Community College (Craven CC) will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1.3 million to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. The grant will be awarded in installments each fiscal year over the next five years. This is the third time Craven CC has received this grant, which is awarded every five years.
SSS helps college students who are low income, first generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses and other forms of assistance. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible debt.
“We are always working to minimize barriers to education and maximize opportunities for all our students,” said Dr. Ray Staats, Craven CC president. “This grant will ensure that we are able to continue serving students who can benefit the most from specialized advising and tutoring services.”
SSS began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, it bolsters students from low income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and it helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.
“We are funded to serve 186 Craven CC students who meet the federal eligibility requirements of either being first generation, low income, and/or documented disability,” said Donna Marshall, director of TRIO and SSS at Craven CC. “Of course, with COVID-19, we have had to rethink how we serve these students while still making sure they get the additional support services to help them be successful.”
For more than 50 years, the SSS program has made important contributions to individuals and society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed. This vital program can and does make all the difference. Many SSS alumni have gone on to great success, among them Emmy, Tony and Academy-Award winning actress Viola Davis; U.S. Rep. Gwendolyn Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th District; and Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut.
For more information about TRIO and SSS at Craven CC, contact Marshall at 252-638-7249 or