Colorado State University - Pueblo earns five-year, $1.5 million Student Services grant
PUEBLO – Colorado State University-Pueblo’s TRiO - Student Support Services will continue to help increase the retention and graduation rates of first generation, low-income, and disabled students thanks to a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
CSU-Pueblo’s TRIO - Student Support Services (SSS) grant proposal was funded for $309,857 a year over the next five years as 1,500 applicants vied nationwide for 901 grant awards. In the last funding cycle, 949 institutions received funding, evidence that competition for limited federal dollars continues to increase.
SSS provides the following services to nearly 220 CSU-Pueblo students from all grade levels who choose to participate in the program: advising and counseling, peer tutoring and mentoring, college success courses and seminars, financial and financial literacy advising, graduate school advisement, and an educational resource center.
SSS Director Brenda Trujillo-Aranda said more than 56 percent of the CSU-Pueblo student body is eligible for services based on the first-generation and low-income guidelines of the program, which allowed the University to submit a strong proposal, particularly in the need section.
She said the tutoring component is most utilized within the program, which helps students to achieve their post-secondary academic ambitions, to complete their undergraduate studies, and to consider graduate school. More than 40 peer tutors providing 2,000 hours of instruction annually on any subject requested. The quality of the SSS program is evidenced by certification by the College Reading and Learning Association and the extensive years of experience its staff have compiled in the tutoring/advising field.
“The available participant slots usually fill up by October,” Trujillo-Aranda said, “which is a significant indicator of the quality of our program.”
CSU-Pueblo has had an SSS program since 1971, but that funding is based on program performance and usage and is never guaranteed for renewal. Trujillo-Aranda said over the years she has seen a trend toward more advisement for graduate school entry as well as educating students about financial literacy, particularly how to avoid loan default and seeking additional financial resources.
For more information on the SSS program, call 549-2111 or visit the office in the Occhiato University Center 035.