ALLEGANY COLLEGE OF MARYLAND AWARDED $1.2 MILLION TO HELP LOW INCOME, FIRST GENERATION, AND STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SUCCEED IN COLLEGE: Federal Student Support Services grant awarded every five years
CUMBERLAND, Md. (Sep. 9, 2020) – The U.S. Department of Education announced that Allegany College of Maryland will again receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1.2 million to help students succeed in and graduate from college. Renewed support of ACM’s student support services program, which the college calls Pathways for Success, is evidence of its effectiveness since its 2010 launch.
SSS helps college students who are low income, first generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) or students with disabilities. The array of comprehensive services the grant provides include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance. Such services enhance academic success and make it more likely that students will graduate or transfer with the lowest possible degree of college debt. Many Student Support Services alumni have gone on to great success, among them Emmy, Tony and Academy-Award winning actress Viola Davis, U.S. Rep. Gwendolyn Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th District and Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic astronaut.
SSS began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal “TRIO” programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had, and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.
“We’re grateful to the Department of Education for continuing to see the importance of this initiative to support the futures of our amazing student. Through this investment, we’ll be able to work one-on-one with up to 140 ACM students over the course of the next five years. That’s 140 individuals who can change the course of their future though higher education. As their financial situations improve, so do those of their children and the community as a whole,” said Pathways for Success/TRiO Director Tara DeVore. “As we frequently say, ‘TRiO works!’ and it does. For students that need that extra support system, this program empowers them to achieve their full potential in a positive, focused environment.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the systemic inequality and financial hardship which keep promising students from succeeding in college. Student Support Services is needed now more than ever,” said Maureen Hoyler. Hoyler, the president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.
For more than 50 years, the Student Support Services program has made important contributions to individuals and society as a whole by providing a broad range of services to help students succeed. This vital program can and does make all the difference.
ACM’s Pathways for Success/TRiO program reports that, thanks to services it provides, 97% of its participants are in good academic standing, have a 94% [college] persistence rate, and 65% degree attainment rate. More information about Pathways for Success is available by calling 301-784-5630 or emailing Tara DeVore.