SCC Receives Federal Grant to Boost Student Success and Retention

West Burlington, IA – Southeastern Community College (SCC) has received a grant from the US Department of Education to continue its Student Support Services Program. The five-year grant will provide $380,984 annually to fund programming and initiatives designed to increase college retention and graduation rates of program participants.

A component of the Federal TRIO Program, the Student Support Services (SSS) Program provides academic and other support services for low-income, first-generation, or disabled college students who intend to earn a four-year degree. SCC has offered its SSS program for over 20 years.

Vice President of Student Services Joan Williams explains the application process is very competitive.

“Not every college gets accepted into the SSS program, and not every college’s program is renewed,” she says. “This grant award is due in part to a strong record of student success by our current program.”

TRIO SSS Program Director Sibyl McIntire says the program serves 225 students annually in West Burlington and Keokuk. Students receive assistance through specialized support, academic advising, and activities that focus on their first-year college experience, second-year college experience, career exploration, learning communities, and transferring to four-year colleges.

“Many of the students we serve are most at risk of not completing college, and COVID-19 is putting them in even more challenging circumstances,” she says. “Getting this grant renewal means SCC can continue our work of helping these students succeed.”

She praises her team for the exceptional academic advising they offer to SCC students. She says they are confident that participants of the program will continue to excel academically, despite the pandemic.

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