At-risk students at Dyersburg State to receive help through federal grant
The Messenger 10.17.07
Dyersburg State Community College students who are the first in their families to attend college, have a low-to-moderate income or have a disability will continue to have access to free tutoring and counseling this year, thanks to a $306,350 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, DSCC president Karen Bowyer announced recently.
The grant, which the government disburses on a yearly basis, totals more than $1 million for four years and allows Student Support Services to serve 185 students each semester.
“We provide tutoring, counseling and transfer advising,” said Connie High, Student Support Services director. “The primary goal of this federally funded program is to increase the retention and graduation rates of students; to increase the transfer rate of students from two-year to four-year institutions and to foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first-generation college students.”
Specially-trained peer tutors provide tutoring sessions in a variety of subjects in both day and evening time slots. A master’s level counselor also is available to participants to discuss any number of topics and a transfer advisor helps those who plan to continue at four-year institutions.
The grant is part of the TRIO program, which in turn is part of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The government designed the program to help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. Upward Bound, a DSCC program which helps at-risk high school students prepare for college, also is a TRIO program.
More than 1,000 colleges, universities, community colleges, and agencies now offer TRIO programs. Nationally, students in TRIO Student Support Services programs are more than twice as likely to remain in college as those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in the program.
Most DSCC students are eligible for the program, which currently has several open slots. High encourages students who are interested to drop by one of the program offices and find out if they are eligible. The main office in Dyersburg is located in Room 128 of the Learning Resource Center. A second location is available in Room 155 at the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center in Tipton County.
Lane Hollingsworth is the tutor coordinator for the Dyersburg campus; Dustin McDaniel is the tutor coordinator for the Jimmy Naifeh Center; Tonya McKellar provides transfer advising to both campuses; and Charity Gray is the project secretary.
For more information about the program, call the Student Support Services offices at (731) 286-3389 or (901) 475-3155.