CSU Dominguez Hills Receives Federal TRIO Grant
California State University, Dominguez Hills has been awarded the first year allocation of a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the its Student Support Services (SSS) program for disadvantaged students. The first year award is for $259,059, with the full award totally approximately $1.3 million.
SSS is a Department of Education TRIO program that aims to improve college retention and graduation rates among low-income, first generation or disabled students by providing such services as advising, counseling, mentoring, tutoring, and career planning. This is the third multi-year TRIO/SSS grant CSU Dominguez Hills has received; its program has been in place for about a decade.
“It’s all about retention, matriculation and graduation,” said Dr. William Franklin, CSU Dominguez Hills associate vice president of student success services. “So the program works with freshmen through seniors. This new grant will allow us to continue what we have been doing and also allow us to expand to more transfer students and former foster care youth.”
Former foster care youth are a population of students with one of the lowest college-going percentages, and for those who enroll in college, the retention rates are far below other students. Issues related to these youth living a transitory childhood and becoming independent at 18 years old with little to no family or economic support systems are factors in those statistics.
Transfer students, in most cases, are believed to transition to four-year college life better than first-time freshman; however that’s not always the case. Many low-income, first-generation or disabled transfer students continue to have many of the same needs as their classmates who entered as freshman.
“There were thousands upon thousands of institutions applying for this year’s grant cycle, in part because of shrinking budgets nationally in higher education,” Franklin said. “We were pleased to be selected. It validates the good work that we’ve been doing. We’re going to do our very best to be good stewards of this money.”
Outcomes from the last six years of SSS at CSU Dominguez Hills showed a 70 percent year-to-year retention rate and a 65 to 70 percent graduation rate for students in the program. The program serves 200 students each year, which is the maximum number per federal guidelines.
For more information on TRIO programs at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.
- Amy Bentley-Smith