The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) today announced that it has been awarded three, five-year, federal TRIO Student Support Services grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $4.6 million.

The grants will allow CCRI to provide enhanced academic and other support services to approximately 540 low-income, first-generation students and/or college students with disabilities to increase students’ retention and graduation rates; facilitate their transfer from two- to four-year colleges; and foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities.

“We know that many of our first-generation and low-income students, as well as our students with disabilities, face challenges from the first day they enter our college.  Our TRIO programs have proven to be a critical resource that provides students with access to the programs and support services they need to be successful college students,” said Meghan Hughes, Ph.D., president of CCRI.

CCRI’s TRIO Student Support Services programs, known as ACCESS to Opportunity, were established 40 years ago and have supported thousands of first-generation and low-income students in finding academic success by providing eligible students with a comprehensive continuum of support.  Services include a structured first-year experience; a project-specific Student Success Seminar; in-depth, proactive academic advising; professional tutoring; financial aid advising and application assistance; a financial literacy workshop series; and ongoing transfer advising. Additional services include ongoing career development – highlighted by workforce exploration – as well as civic engagement, and social integration and cultural experiences.

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CCRI is at the forefront of improving the ways community college students are prepared to advance their education and career prospects. Named America’s 2-Year College of the Year for 2019 by Education Dive, CCRI expects to have the highest three-year graduation rate of any community college in New England by 2021.