Forty years of legacy, learning, success and growth were celebrated by ESCC’s Student Support Services program on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the main campus. The 40th anniversary was marked by testimonies and a fun event during students’ break, as well as a recruitment effort to gain 40 participants into the SSS experience.
The SSS program is a federal program that has provided opportunities for academic development, career readiness and cultural experiences since 1978 in an effort to increase the college retention and graduation rates of participants and facilitate the process of transition from a level of higher education to the next. Services available to eligible students include the following: career counseling; academic advisement; tutorial services; financial aid information; personal counseling; transfer information; campus visits to senior universities; self-improvement workshops; diagnostic inventories; and cultural awareness activities.
The SSS program at ESCC is housed at both the main and Alabama Aviation College’s Ozark campus. In its latest award, SSS received one of the largest awards in the state – $2.4 million five years or $483,978 in current year funding – to provide services aimed at increasing the number of low-income college students, first-generation students and students with disabilities who successfully complete their college matriculation. Each aforementioned classification of students is considered “at-risk” of not reaching such accomplishment.
The program provides support to an estimated 275 students each year.
“The longevity of repeated funding from the United States Department of Education is sufficient testimony of the ongoing success of our department,” said Michael Harrison, ESCC’s Director of SSS.
“It’s really a measure of the success of our students. We are honored to serve them and to be a part of their next best steps in life.”