Yuba College will receive $1.3 million over the course of five years from the U.S. Department of Education through the Student Support Services (TRIO) grant program.

According to a news release from Yuba College President Tawny M. Dotson, the college was selected through a competitive national grant application process.

While more than 1,000 applicants were funded, only 19 colleges in the nation were selected to receive new funding, she reported. Yuba College’s application received a perfect score.

The TRIO grant programs are designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeting low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities, to help them “progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.”

The grant funding can be used to support staff and programs and provide financial support for students.

At Yuba College, the grant will fund increased support services focused on persistence and retention for students in degree pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to the news release. 

“As our community’s need for qualified STEM graduates increases in areas like agriculture, we’ve identified that work needs to occur to support student success in these degree pathways,” Dotson said. “This grant will produce more completers who are ready to support some of Yuba and Sutter counties’ largest industries.”

The grant is designed to increase the current persistence rate for low-income, first-generation STEM students at Yuba College from 53 to 63 percent. 

It will also aim to increase graduation and transfer rates by 12 percent for the students in the program.

“This work will be accomplished by hiring staff who will implement a high touch model. 

Involvement in TRIO will require the student to meet with an academic counselor and professional staff three times per semester,” said Dwayne Hunt, vice president for student services at Yuba College. 

“There is also peer support through tutoring and facilitated study sessions. You can expect participation from our STEM academic areas and interested faculty and staff. 

TRIO also allows for UC/CSU visits, cultural enrichment activities, and college community engagement.

“These persistence and retention programs have demonstrated effectiveness at community colleges and we hope to see the same positive results for YC’s students.”

The grant is funded starting in September and staff hiring will occur quickly. YC expects to serve 120 students through the grant that has a performance schedule from September 2020 through August 2025.

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