LAKE WORTH — The Student Support Services program provides academic and other support services to help participants successfully complete college.
For the third time since launching Student Support Services in the 2001-2002 academic year, Palm Beach State College has received another five-year grant to continue the federally-funded TRIO program to help low-income, first-generation college students and those with disabilities successfully complete their education.
With $247,584 per year from the U.S. Department of Education, SSS will continue serving 170 PBSC students at a time through academic advising, help completing financial aid forms, university transfer assistance, tutoring and exposure to cultural events and activities. PBSC is among 968 colleges and universities awarded grants this year.
Program leaders say SSS works and is needed. “It’s an excellent program that provides outstanding academic support to students to help them reach their educational goals,’’ said Dr. Monica Powers, director of the TRIO and Outreach department. “The staff here at Palm Beach State do an outstanding job; they go the extra mile to make sure our students are successful.”
SSS is one of seven federal TRIO programs designed to help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds get on the path to higher education and finish. In addition to Student Support Services, PBSC also operates Upward Bound, Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center.
Patricia Medina, who completed her A.A. degree from Palm Beach State in May, said the program helped her tremendously. She is attending Stetson University in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in political science. After that, she plans to go to law school.
“It’s just been life changing,” she said. “It allowed me to not only get hands on personal advising from someone who knew me personally, it allowed fellowshipping to grow with other students in the program. I was able to learn from them and to know I wasn’t alone,’’ said Medina, who also served as PBSC student trustee for 2014-2015 and was a founding member of the SSS’s Debate Team. The team twice won the regional debate competition at the annual Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Student Initiatives Conference.