A TRIO OF AWARDS GRANTED TO NEIU
Northeastern Illinois University was awarded three grants totaling $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education for its TRIO-Student Support Services (SSS) program. Each grant award is for $1.1 million over five years and will be applied to three separate programs: the SSS Regular Program, the SSS Disability Program (SSSD), and the SSS Teacher Preparation Program. NEIU is the only institution of higher learning in Illinois and one of only five in the country to receive three awards this year.
The purpose of SSS programs is to increase baccalaureate degree completion among disadvantaged low-income college students, first-generation college students, college students with disabilities, and college students studying teacher education. These services also will foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of students who are from groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in postsecondary education.
"We are delighted to have received funding for these programs because NEIU has a substantial undergraduate population eligible to participate in TRIO-SSS," said Daniel Lopez, dean, academic development. "These grants will allow us to provide comprehensive academic support services to an additional 380 students."
The objectives of each grant will be realized through advising, development of an individualized education plan, academic support, supplemental instruction, peer tutoring and mentoring, cultural activities, financial aid counseling, financial literacy instruction, and preparation for the Illinois Certification Testing System Basic Skills Test, which all teacher education students must pass.
Lopez also said that these programs will contribute to the University's retention and the graduation goals as stated in the University's strategic plan under goal one: student success. "These grants will complement the existing student academic support services currently offered in academic development ? all an in effort to assist first-year and continuing students to accomplish their academic, personal and professional goals."
Two new directors for the SSS programs have recently joined NEIU: Terri Hlavin as director for TRIO-Student Support Services-Teacher Preparation and Regular and Peter Illing as director for TRIO-Student Support Services-Access. Their immediate goals are to begin to identify and select students to join the programs and to begin to offer academic support services to its program participants.