Riverside Community College District Awarded $6.6 Million in Grants
RIVERSIDE, C.A.- Moreno Valley College, Norco College and Riverside City College, institutions within the Riverside Community College District (RCCD), were awarded $6.6 million in TRIO grants from the U.S. Department of Education.
Thousands of students in the nation will be recipients of the $270 million awarded by the federal government, many of whom are residents of the Inland Empire. The six grants are the largest number of grant awards made to the District from a single competition.
Riverside City College was the largest benefactor of any college in the nation, receiving three grants, which include two new awards, one serving students with disabilities, and the other for veterans, and a renewal of the existing Student Support Services (SSS) project grant. Each award is for $220,000 per year for a total of $1.1 million over a five-year period. Moreno Valley College and Norco College also received renewals of their three SSS programs.
“Typically, TRIO grants are highly competitive and only new applicants receiving perfect scores were awarded new programs,” said Richard Keeler, RCCD dean of grants.
The SSS grant is a federally funded TRIO program, which provides supportive services to first-generation and low-income students and students with disabilities. The program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and fosters successful completion of post-secondary education. The goal of SSS is to increase college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next.
The Veteran Student Support Services (VSSS) grant at RCC will provide guidance to first generation, low-income and/or disabled veterans by facilitating their academic success and re-entry to civilian life. The goal is to assist veteran students from the start of their college career, reducing the number of obstacles that prevent them from succeeding at RCC, and transferring to four-year degree programs.
The Disability Student Support Services (DSSS) grant will provide academic, personal, and disability-related support services above and beyond those provided by the College Disability Resource Center (DRC). Program participants will have an intensive, structured experience including on-going academic intervention and support, disabilities management and compensatory strategies, career exploration, cultural events, and tours to four-year colleges and universities.
“This is an exciting time for the District and RCC. The renewal of the RCC existing grant, combined with the newly funded grants, provides greater access to a larger number of under-served students in need of academic support,” said Tenisha James, RCC director of Student Support Services. “The newly funded VSSS and DSSS grants will supplement the services provided to students who utilize the Veterans Resource Center and Disability Resource Center by providing comprehensive support services to facilitate their personal growth and academic achievement. Earning these grants enables Moreno Valley, Norco and Riverside City colleges to better serve disadvantaged students through academic tutoring, financial aid assistance, counseling services, and transfer assistance.”
Riverside Community College District and its colleges have been extremely successful in earning grant funds. In May, Norco College was awarded $12,860,892, the single largest competitive grant received in the District’s history, by the California Department of Education.