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The Mountaineer Online



Jefferson Community College to receive more than $1.2 million to support students


WATERTOWN – Jefferson Community College recently was awarded a TRIO Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education of more than $1.2 million over the next five years.

The funding is designated to provide academic support and assistance for JCC students who meet certain eligibility criteria relating to disability or income or who are “first-generation,” meaning neither parent nor guardian has earned a bachelor’s degree. The goal of the Student Support Services grant is to assist and motivate students towards the successful completion of postsecondary education.

The TRIO grant is administered through Jefferson’s STAR (Strategies To Achieve Results) program, a student success initiative. The STAR Program helps students adapt successfully to the college environment, succeed academically, define career goals, graduate from Jefferson Community College, and/or transfer to a four-year institution.

“We are thrilled to have our TRIO Student Support Services grant renewed for the next five years and look forward to continue working with students to reach their academic and career goals,” said Allen J. Speno, JCC’s STAR program director. “The grant application process was extremely competitive this year with 900 grants awarded out of over 1,500 applications. This funding enables the college to continue providing services to students in need of extra assistance above what is typically available to college students.”

This is the third time that Jefferson Community College has applied for and received TRIO funding. In 2000, the college received nearly $900,000, and in 2005, JCC was awarded nearly $1 million in federal funding to support the STAR program. Annually, the program serves an average of 160 students who need academic assistance.

The STAR program offers numerous academic support services beginning with “Summer Bridge,” a free program in which students can take pre-college courses in English and reading at JCC for six weeks during the summer.

Summer Bridge allows students to sharpen their computer literacy, library research and organizational skills and become familiar with the JCC campus before the fall semester. STAR Counseling Services also assist students in creating a realistic educational plan that not only reflects a student’s curriculum and job training or transfer needs, but also takes into account personal lifestyle and obligations. Additionally, students who successfully complete Summer Bridge are eligible for need-based scholarships.

Students enrolled in the STAR program can take advantage of computer lab, quiet study areas, laptops on loan, individual and group tutoring, financial education and counseling, and workshops on test-taking, study habits, time management and organizational skills. The STAR Program offers numerous career exploration tools and counseling to help students evaluate their career goals and choices based on personality, skills, abilities and values.

The TRIO grant also allows the STAR Program to provide need-based scholarships to students. During 2005-2010, STAR participants received nearly $100,000 in additional financial aid.

So that each student is guaranteed access to concentrated support as needed, STAR accepts a limited number of students. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2010-2011 academic year. Interested candidates may call 786-6555 or stop by Room 6-217 in the Jules Center at Jefferson Community College to complete an application and speak with a STAR adviser.

 

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