By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer
U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici announced last week $3.7 million will go to 13 state institutions of higher education, including Clovis Community College and Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.
The funds come from the Department of Education and provide grants through the TRIO Student Support Services Program, which offers support to low-income, first-generation or disabled college students, according to a press release from Domenici’s office.
CCC’s Student Support Services will receive $235,689 each of the next five years.
David Caffy, vice president for institution effectiveness at CCC, said there are 1,700 students at CCC who are eligible for programs provided through TRIO. That is 82 percent of the college’s population, he said.
“This is a renewal of a program we’ve had for four years,” he said. “This is a competitive grant, not (every program under TRIO) gets renewed funds.”
Caffy said those numbers are not as big as they sound as there are some students who do not wish to participate in the program and others find additional resources through the college for assistance in areas TRIO provides such as tutoring services and access to mentor programs.
CCC Student Support Services project director Tara Grant said other are students eliminated in the application process.
“We sit down with each applicant, one-on-one with the student, where they discuss with a retention specialist their concerns with their educational needs and their responsibilities outside of college,” Grant said. “They are then asked to sign a contract with us, we make a deal with them, we do something for them and they make the commitment to their educational goals.”
Students are monitored during the semester to guarantee they are holding up their end of the bargain, Grant said.
ENMU’s Student Support Services program will receive $336,121 for 300 participants for the next school year.