SSS

Gannon awarded $1.1M grant

Oct 28 • News, Top Stories • 1413

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Gannon University was recently awarded a Student Support Services (SSS) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The award is a renewal of a five-year, $1.1 million grant that was originally received in September 2010 and has helped the university expand the scope of academic support services offered to students in its TRIO SSS Program.

The program is available to all students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and are either low-income students, first-generation students, and/or students with a documented disability.

The original grant was the first of its kind awarded to Gannon.

This renewal comes at a particularly important time for the university, as nearly three-quarters of Gannon students qualify for some level of need-based financial aid.

The SSS Program grant is awarded to schools that provide several specific services to members of the program.

These services include academic tutoring and offering advice on postsecondary course selection.

The program must also provide any qualifying student with the appropriate information regarding federal aid, private scholarships and where to obtain them, and assistance in completing financial aid applications.

The Department of Education looks at the postsecondary persistence and degree completion rates of SSS Program participants that remain at the institution to determine whether or not it will renew the grant.

Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., university provost and president of Academic Affairs, said that the extension of the grant bodes well for students in the SSS Program at Gannon.

“The renewal of this five-year grant commitment is wonderful news for Gannon and our students’ success,” Masters said.

Masters also said that the grant money will allow the SSS Program at Gannon to even better serve its students.

“Through academic tutoring, cultural enrichment, financial aid counseling, peer mentoring, supplemental instruction and First Year Seminar supported by this program, we can help students with the transition to college life,” Masters said.

The SSS Program’s services such as individual tutoring, study skills workshops, course selection guidance, financial literacy and career advising, are delivered through the Student Success Center, located on the first floor of the Palumbo Academic Center.

Professional advisers, peer tutors and peer mentors assist in providing all of the crucial services required by the SSS Program grant.

According to Gannon’s marketing department, the SSS Program grant will allow the Student Success Center to provide its support services more effectively.

It also believes that the money from the grant will help each component of the Student Success Center work together more efficiently to collaborate and share information.

In addition to the services offered through the SSS Program, the Student Success Center offers academic support to any student on campus who feels they may need help in a particular area of study, free of charge.

The Student Success Center includes the Academic Advising Center, Programs for Students with Disabilities and the STEM Center, which is a new service designed to assist students with their coursework in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Jennifer Jung, a freshman pre-dental major, has utilized the STEM Center and finds its knowledgeable peer tutors very helpful.

“Even though I went to the tutor for biology help, she was also able to help me with general chemistry,” Jung said.

“[It] was convenient since it wasn’t necessary to go to two different tutors.”

The Student Success Center’s goal is to have more students at Gannon utilize its services and programs – not just those who qualify for the SSS Program.

The SSS Program grant extension will help the Student Success Center expand its reach at Gannon, increasing academic performance and graduation rates among all of its students.

LYDIA FENNESSY

fennessy004@knights.gannon.edu

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