Education Department Awards NFCC $1,343,880
Education Department Awards NFCC Student Support Services Five Year, $1,343,880 Grant to Help Students Succeed in College
MADISON, FL –North Florida Community College is one of 968 institutions of higher education awarded a grant from the U.S. Education Department, in initial rounds of funding, aimed at helping students succeed in college. The NFCC Student Support Services (SSS) Department received $268,776 for the 2015-2016 year and will receive a total of $1,343,880 over the next five years to carry out their mission of helping low-income college students, first-generation students and those with disabilities successfully navigate through college and earn a degree or certificate on the postsecondary level.
“This program empowers students to believe they belong in college both here at NFCC as well as at a larger four year institution,” said Dr. Suzie Cashwell, Director of Student Support Services at NFCC. “This funding allows us to continue to help local students achieve their educational and career goals despite the various obstacles or barriers they may face. We are honored to have received this five-year grant from the Education Department.”
Based on its 2014 annual report, NFCC’s SSS program is reaching its goals and has deemed the past year a success. Supported by a federally funded TRiO grant, SSS provides a variety of services to first generation, low income, and/or disabled students at NFCC. The program helped over 200 students last year with participants representing all six counties in NFCC’s district – Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor County – and is starting out this term with approximately the same number of students.
Last year SSS boasted a 91% retention rate with 85% of its participants achieving a good academic standing. Forty-six percent of students entering the SSS program in 2010-2011 have now successfully graduated from NFCC with 30% of that cohort transferring to a four-year institution.
To ensure high retention and success rates, SSS advisors provide individualized support to each participant for the duration of their enrollment at NFCC. Specifically SSS offers its participants specialized academic advising, priority registration, academic success workshops, financial aid opportunities, access to cultural events and leadership activities, transfer assistance to colleges and universities, field trips to explore local universities, tutoring services and unlimited amounts of encouragement and advice to help students achieve their academic and personal goals.
NFCC also recently added an intensive supplemental education program called ‘Wrap-Around’ which offers SSS participants even more assistance and support to complete their degree in a timely manner.
The SSS department prides itself on offering an environment that is friendly, supportive and fun. According to Dr. Cashwell, the SSS department’s study area and offices becomes a second home to many SSS students - “Our students need a place to belong and having advisors that understand their unique needs is critical.”
“As a former TRiO Student Support Services participant, I know this program works,” said Dr. Cashwell. “I have a doctorate degree today because someone in a TRiO program believed in me.”
For more information, contact Dr. Suzie Cashwell at 850-973-9432 or email StudentSupportServices@nfcc.edu.