$3.9 Million in Grants to Benefit ATU Student Support

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Arkansas Tech University has earned $3.9 million in estimated grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education for three Student Support Services (SSS) programs.

The grant funding will allow ATU to continue its existing SSS program on its Russellville campus, establish a new SSS teacher preparation program on its Russellville campus and develop a new SSS program for its Ozark campus. The SSS grants are scheduled to be received by the university over a period of five years.

Student Support Services programs are under the TRIO umbrella of federal education initiatives, which were established as a result of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. SSS programs were introduced in 1968.

“Arkansas Tech University is committed to making higher education attainable for all who wish to pursue it,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. “We exist to facilitate student success regardless of background. The resources provided by Student Support Services have benefited our Russellville campus students since 2010, and we are excited to be able to expand those opportunities at our university with the addition of similar programs for teacher candidates and Ozark campus students.”

Since its inception, the ATU SSS program has assisted 258 Tech students in earning their bachelor’s degrees.

Each SSS program is designed to serve 140 students per academic year. With the addition of SSS programs for teacher preparation and ATU-Ozark Campus, the impact of Student Support Services at ATU will increase by 200 percent to serve approximately 420 students per year.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, SSS programs are designed to “provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.”

Required SSS program services include academic tutoring, assistance in postsecondary course selection and information on financial aid programs and benefits, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In addition, SSS programs must provide education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy as well as activities designed to assist participants in continuing their studies beyond the completion of the credential currently being pursued.

SSS programs may also provide individualized counseling, activities and instruction designed to acquaint students with available career options and exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.

ATU students on the Russellville campus interested in applying for the continuing SSS program or the SSS teacher preparation program may call (479) 880-4172, send e-mail to trio.sss@atu.edu or visit www.atu.edu/sss for more information.

Those interested in the new SSS program at ATU-Ozark Campus may call (479) 667-2117 or send e-mail to rharris1@atu.edu to learn more.