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JSU awarded grant for more than 2.6 million to support TRIO Student Support Services Program

Dr. Mitchell Shears is the associate vice president for Student Success and executive director of Title III. (Photo by Charles Smith/JSU)

Dr. Mitchell Shears is the associate vice president for Student Success and executive director of Title III. (Photo by Charles Smith/JSU)

The Office of Student Success has been awarded more than 2.6 million over a five-year period. Funding will be used to implement two TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Programs from the United States Department of Education.

“One of the responsibilities given to me in this role was to increase the TRIO programs at JSU as I did at a previous institution,” said Dr. Mitchell Shears, associate vice president for Student Success and executive director of Title III. “I am excited to see the vision become a reality, and that we are able to secure external funding to provide academic support to our students.”

The grant will provide academic and other support services to low-income, first-generation and disabled college students to increase students’ retention and graduation.

Some of the services that will be provided to students include academic tutoring; advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection; information on financial aid programs and benefits and assistance in completing financial aid applications, including the FAFSA; education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy; and activities designed to assist participants enrolled in four-year institutions in applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in, graduate and professional programs.

“As a product of a TRIO program, I understand the benefits to the participants and the lasting impact of the program,” Shears said. “With the funding, we plan to hire Retention and Graduation Coaches, who will be able to provide intrusive advising to students who desperately need it.”