The United States Department of Education recently notified the University of Maine at Fort Kent that it had approved its TRIO Student Support Services program grant application in the amount of $288,181. UMFK officials learned of the grant from U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins and U.S. Congressman Poliquin offices.
The U.S. DOE grant will bring almost $1.4 million in funds to the University of Maine at Fort Kent over the next five years in order to support low income and first generation students as well as students with disabilities attending the campus.
The amount of $288,181 is for the first budget period from September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016. The department will renew the money each year through August 31, 2020. Current numbers indicate that the program will reach approximately 800 new eligible students over the next five years of the program.
“This grant money is so important to the success of our students. We have many eligible students at UMFK who we support with services such as tutoring, mentoring, academic/financial/career and personal counseling, scholarship money, study skills workshops, cultural events, etc. Our focus is to insure our participants have a realistic chance to persist in school and graduate from UMFK. We are fortunate to have such a program to strengthen and develop our students' academic and self-management skills,” said Lena Michaud, director of Student Support Services. Michaud authored the successful grant application.
The TRIO Student Support Services program provides opportunities for academic development and assistance for students in meeting basic college requirements. The organizers structure SSS projects to motivate students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education.
The goal of Student Support Services is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of program participants and to facilitate the process of transition from one level of higher education to the next.
UMFK President Wilson Hess said, "Our campus serves as one of the best universities to help young people from rural high schools to succeed academically. This grant funding for the TRIO program will help us to continue bringing students along the path to a higher education, especially students who might be the first from their family to attend college."
The grant funding will provide academic support to 160 UMFK students during the 2015-2016 academic year.
TRIO Student Support Services' focus is to insure that our participants in the program have a realistic chance to persist in school and graduate from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. To accomplish these objectives, we provide services to enhance students' academic success, personal skills, and social skills. Providing services in these areas corresponds to the University's mission to prepare students for lifelong learning and success as professionals and engaged citizens of a democracy.