Riverland receives student support grant

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The United States Education Department recently announced that Riverland Community College will be awarded $219,997 in fiscal year 2016 as part of the $270 million provided to 968 institutions of higher education. These funds provide thousands of students with academic and other support services they need to succeed in college. The award is a five-year grant ($219,997 per year) beginning Sept. 1 and ending Aug. 31, 2020. Annual renewal is contingent upon demonstrating that the project has made substantial progress in achieving its approved goals and objective.

The grants are aimed at helping increase the number of low-income college students, first-generation students and those with disabilities to successfully complete a program of study at the post-secondary level.

“Every student has the right to an equal opportunity to learn and succeed in college,” United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants provide critical support to students who can benefit from extra help and encouragement along their college journey, enabling them to reach their personal goals and contribute to the economic vitality of our nation.”

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Successful projects under the Student Support Services Program will provide students with academic tutoring, assistance in course selection, information about financial aid and economic literacy, and support and resources to help students transfer from two-year to four-year colleges or from undergraduate to graduate or professional studies. Some additional services that may be offered under this grant may include the following activities: individualized counseling and career guidance, exposure to cultural events, mentoring, and housing assistance during school breaks for students who are homeless or in foster care.

SSS is one of seven Federal TRIO programs, which provide outreach and student services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, low income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities, foster care youth or homeless children and youth—to help them progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.

“Riverland was successful securing the grant because of the Riverland team that submitted the effective proposal,” said Adenuga Atewologun, president of Riverland Community College. “These funds will help provide best in class services to our students.”

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a community college that has inspired personal success through education for 75 years. Approximately 4,900 students are served annually through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 5,400 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Campuses are located in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna  Riverland may be found on the Internet at www.riverland.edu.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system includes 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 420,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.