Middlesex Community College has been awarded two grants from the U.S. Department of Education to continue funding two highly successful TRIO student-support programs targeting low-income, first-generation-to-college, and disabled students.

The TRIO Student Success Program – which serves 200 students who are low income, first generation, and/or disabled – has been awarded a $311,00 grant for the 2015-16 academic year.

The TRIO Program for Student Achievement – which provides services to 100 students with documented disabilities, who may also be low-income and/or first generation – has been awarded $240,000 for the same period. It is anticipated both grants will continue for five years.

MCC’s collegiate TRIO programs provide comprehensive and coordinated support services, including individual tutoring, academic and career advising, and assistance with transfer and financial aid. Their shared objective is to enhance academic skills while increasing retention, graduation rates, and transfer to a bachelor’s degree.

“Our Student Success Program and Program for Student Achievement are model programs that have some of the best student-success outcomes – and serve our most at-risk students,” said Pamela Flaherty, Dean of Students. “These grants will enable us to continue to provide intensive services to under-prepared students to promote academic achievement, persistence, and to facilitate transfer and career services.”

“All students deserve a real opportunity to succeed in college, and that’s why academic-support programs like the ones offered by MCC are so important,” said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “These federal grants will help Middlesex continue to provide key services and resources to the students who need them most.”

“Using federal funds to partner with local institutions to address the needs of the region is a key tool in ensuring all people have the opportunity to pursue higher education,” added Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell). “The significant return on these investments will have ongoing reverberations for many years to come, as more students are encouraged and able to complete their college careers and enter the workforce with the skills necessary to succeed.”

MCC alum Yerkely Gomez participated in the TRIO Student Success Program and graduated from Middlesex in May. Last spring, the college named him to 29 Who Shine – a statewide honor recognizing one top student from each of Massachusetts’ 29 public colleges and universities. “The Student Success Program has truly been a key element in my successful journey at Middlesex,” said Gomez, who plans to attend UMass Amherst in the fall.

“Through TRIO, I received help registering for classes every semester, went on college visits, and got extra help with the transfer process. The financial-aid workshops, career and personal advising, and many other services have provided me with the tools I need to be successful and thrive, no matter where I go,” he said.
Current student Jacqueline Krozy, who is enrolled in the Program for Student Achievement, has also benefitted from TRIO. “Participating in TRIO has helped me gain both personal and professional connections, and further develop my communication and professional skills,” said Krozy.

“TRIO has also helped prepare me for employment interviews, working in groups, and improved my self-advocacy and decision-making skills. All these services have aided in my academic success at Middlesex – and I’m sure will help me succeed at UMass Lowell, when I pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting.”

For more information about MCC’s collegiate TRIO programs, contact Pamela Flaherty, Dean of Students, at flahertyp@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3631.