Central State University awarded $2.2 million to help low-income, first-generation, and students with disabilities succeed in college

Federal Student Support Services grant awarded every five years

Central State University announced Aug. 20 that it will receive a $2.2-million, five-year federal grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to help more students succeed in and graduate from college through its TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) department. Central State is only one of eight programs to receive this grant award.

The TRiO Student Support Services federal program began in 1968 and is one of eight federal TRIO programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education.

For more than 20 years, Central State University TRiO Student Support Services department has managed a comprehensive, researched-based program with measurable objectives that are aligned to the university’s mission and strategic goals.

It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions college requires for success. It bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities their college peers have had and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.

“Our office is laser-focused on providing academic guidance and coaching, graduate and professional school preparation, and a structured financial literacy curriculum,” said Mortenous A. Johnson, director, TRiO Student Support Services. “We know these wrap-around services lead to student success, and it shows in the numbers.”

Just in the last academic year, Central State University’s metrics provided a clear picture of the positive impact the program has had on its participants. Eighty-nine percent of the students persisted and stayed in school, 86 percent were in good academic standing, and 59 percent graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

“Our students are thought-provoking, academically curious, energized, grounded and absolute gems,” said Johnson. “They make the program, and as a result, SSS’ collective dynamism produces a new-generation of thought leaders, and civic-minded agents ready for change and transformation. Not to mention, (it is) more likely that students will graduate.”

For more information on Central State University TRiO Support Services, reach Johnson at mjohnson@centralstate.edu.

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