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CCCC receives $2.6 million TRIO grants

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09.28.2020College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College has received two TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grants totaling approximately $2.6 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education.

Each year, TRIO SSS will serve a target population of 260 first-generation and low-income students and students with disabilities who are currently enrolled at Central Carolina. The goal of TRIO SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants.

One of the grants will serve students in all academic programs, and the other grant will serve students in Central Carolina's Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Health Sciences programs.

Initially funded in 2015, students in CCCC's TRIO SSS program have appreciated the help they have received from the program.

"I enjoyed most the support that the TRIO SSS team gave me in pursuing my associate degree; academic, career, and personal support meetings were all available to me," said Nia Smith, who participated in the program 2018-2020 and is currently a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "TRIO was always readily available for me whenever I needed them."

Christole Maddox, who participated in the program from 2017-2020, said that she would have probably given up on college if not for the staff of TRIO SSS. She noted that "the care and support from TRIO SSS staff is the most enjoyable part of TRIO." She is currently working on her second degree at CCCC.

TRIO SSS is one of eight federal TRIO programs started in the mid-1960s out of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. TRIO SSS was the third TRIO program to be created, and started nationally in 1968.

"Central Carolina Community College is ecstatic to receive continuing funding for TRIO Student Support Services," said Meghan Reece Brown, CCCC Executive Director for College Access and Strategic Initiatives. "Over the last five years, we have had the honor of being the part of hundreds of students' transformational journeys in higher education. TRIO SSS makes sure that no student is alone in facing any challenge --academic, personal, or financial. Our data shows that having this support system leads to students having higher levels of success in higher education and beyond. TRIO works!"

Services provided by the program include:

  • Tutoring and supplemental instruction.
  • Academic coaching, including assistance with course selection and ongoing support for academic success.
  • Financial aid assistance and financial literacy education.
  • Assistance with transfer to four-year colleges.
  • Individualized personal, career, and academic counseling.
  • Cultural and educational enrichment activities.
  • Mentoring.
  • Special assistance for students with disabilities.
  • Awarding of up to $10,000 of Student Support Services grant aid annually to selected participants.

Smith and Maddox both recommend the program to students.

"If someone was considering applying, I would tell them to just do it! TRIO provides a fundamental support system for students. Being in a program like TRIO can and will have a positive influence on your college experience," said Smith. "I would just like to personally thank TRIO for assisting me in successfully completing my Associate Degree program and giving me the support a first-year college student could need!"

"Please consider reaching out to TRIO SSS if you are attending CCCC," said Maddox. "It was the best decision I made apart from starting college at CCCC and I can honestly say I did not regret being a participant in the program and if I had to redo it all over again, I would most definitely would," said Maddox. "I want to say 'Thank You' to the TRIO SSS staff for being there for me and doing all you did to help me and other students, as well."

Interested Central Carolina Community College students are encouraged to apply to participate in the program by sending an email to or by accessing the application online at

CCCC's TRIO SSS programs operate alongside the college's other TRIO Programs - Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science, and Veterans Upward Bound.

For more information on CCCC's TRIO SSS program, visit the website Interested students can contact SSS program officials by email at