Forsyth Technical Community College Receives $1.3 million Student Support Services TRIO Grant from the Department of Education

Published 6:30 pm Friday, September 25, 2020

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WINSTON-SALEM — Forsyth Technical Community College has been awarded a $1.3 million TRIO grant from the Department of Education to increase retention, completion and transfer rates for first-generation and low-income students.

“As a first-generation student myself, I understand the importance of being able to provide resources to help our students be successful,” President of Forsyth Tech Janet Spriggs said. “We are thrilled to receive a TRIO grant as encouraging student success is the heart of our vision, which is being a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.”

Students who are first-generation/low income, or have disability backgrounds or both, often need supplementary services to help them stay in school, graduate and transfer to a four-year university. The grant will provide resources to support 140 students annually.

Each student participating in the program will be given an individual education plan with all-encompassing intensive support including tutoring, advising and mentoring to encourage persistence in their education at Forsyth Tech. Students who are eligible to apply will be identified by Forsyth Tech staff and will be interviewed to enroll in the program beginning in November. The TRIO Grant will provide funding for three new positions of a director, academic counselor and administrative assistant currently being hired.

“This grant will have a huge impact for our students and our community,” Masonne Sawyer, vice president for student support services at Forsyth Tech said. “The careers that previously required only a high school diploma are increasingly rare, which is why the support TRIO provides our students toward degree completion is so crucial. TRIO gets students on the right path to in-demand careers paying livable wages.”

Student Support Services grants are one of eight federal TRIO programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic path from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects.

“Our statistics show that more than half of Forsyth Tech students are first-generation students and 36 percent are identified as from low-income backgrounds,” Amy Ball Braswell, coordinator of grants and special projects said. “With the TRIO grant, and the supports it provides, we know we can move the needle and improve academic completion and achievement for these students.”

For more information on the TRIO grant, please contact Stacy Waters-Bailey, executive director of student support services at 336-757-3852.