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EOU file photo / Expanding opportunities for academic development, assisting students with a stronger foundation in general education requirements, and keeping students focused on successful degree completion are all goals of the program.
August 26, 2015
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The U.S. Department of Education is backing a new Student Support Services program at Eastern Oregon University with $1.1 million in funding.
EOU was selected through a highly competitive federal TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) grant application process and $220,000 will be disbursed annually to the university over the next five years.
“An award this size for our university is very exciting because we will be able to provide exceptionally focused academic support for more low-income, first-generation and disabled students,” said Xavier Romano, vice president for Student Services at EOU. “Historically, TRiO Student Support Service programs have been very successful in helping students complete their undergraduate degrees in four years in a manner that strategically complements our existing academic support programs.”
Students qualifying as first-generation and low-income by federal TRiO regulations will be eligible to participate in the program, and Romano believes this will encompass a significant percentage of EOU’s undergraduate population.
“We are distinctive in Oregon public higher education as a university dedicated to access and opportunity,” Romano said. “This funding will allow us to better serve and support our increasingly diverse community.”
Expanding opportunities for academic development, assisting students with a stronger foundation in general education requirements, and keeping students focused on successful degree completion are all goals of the program.
EOU anticipates serving 160 students each year of the grant and will channel efforts into their successful retention, academic achievement and ultimately – graduation.
Traditional and non-traditional learners will comprise two different cohorts and all students will take a one-credit class each term focusing on an aspect of university success, receive group tutoring, complete a service learning project, and participate in cultural and other activities each term. As new students enter the program mid-year, they will join the appropriate cohort group.
A search for a director of Student Support Services at EOU will begin soon. Plans are to house the program in Loso Hall near the Learning Center and coordinate closely with other departments including admissions, academic advising, financial aid, career services, counseling and disability services.
The grant cycle begins Sept. 1, 2015 and expires Aug. 31, 2020. EOU will then have the opportunity to request additional funding based on annual reporting and metrics related to student outcomes associated with the project.
“I could not be more excited for our university community,” Romano reiterated. “We stated in our grant application that this funding opportunity would be truly transformative for our university community, and it will be.”
For more information about the program contact Student Services at 541-962-3635 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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