Oakton TRIO Program awarded $1.7 million grant to support student success

(Aug. 24, 2020) Oakton Community College will receive a federal Student Support Services (SSS) grant of $1,745,805 over five years from the U.S. Department of Education to help more students succeed in and graduate from college. Oakton first received this grant in 1990 and since then has helped thousands of students accomplish their academic goals.

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 comprehensive array of services the grant will provide include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses and other forms of assistance.

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. Programs bolster 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 are very excited to be able to continue our work with current TRIO SSS students and to know we will be able to help future students achieve their academic goals,” Esperanza Salgado-Rodriguez, Oakton’s manager of TRIO Student Support Services, said. “The support that TRIO SSS provides has a huge impact on students. This includes helping them to make informed decisions navigating the financial aid system while at Oakton and when they prepare to transfer.”

“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,” Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., said.

For more information about Oakton’s TRIO Student Support Services Program, contact Esperanza Salgado-Rodriguez at 847.635.1253 or esalgado@oakton.edu.