College of the Desert was recently awarded three federal TRIO SSS Program grants, totaling more than $4 million from the U.S. Department of Education. Paid out over the next five years, funds from these grants will support the College’s TRIO Academic Counseling and Educational Services (TRIO ACES), TRIO Disabled Students Programs and Services (TRIO DSPS), and the TRIO Veterans Program.
“College of the Desert has been a TRIO serving institution for more than 20 years. The program allows us to provide resources to students with disadvantaged backgrounds who otherwise may not have access or be successful in their educational pursuits,” said Dean of Enrollment Services, Oscar Espinoza-Parra, Ph.D.
TRIO ACES helps first-generation and low-income students meet the challenges of graduating and successfully transferring to a four-year university. The Program emphasizes one-on-one academic, career, personal and educational counseling.
“I sincerely value and appreciate the Department of Education Student Support Services Program. Reflecting on my own academic journey, the counseling assistance, personal encouragement, and support I received from a Student Support Services Program counselor gave me the confidence to take classes at night and earn my Master’s degree while working full-time,” said TRIO ACES Coordinator Adell Bynum. “I now have the privilege to give back and mentor and assist others fulfill their academic goals and dreams.”
TRIO DSPS serves students that are low-income, first-generation and have a verifiable disability. The program helps students obtain their associate degree and transfer to a four-year university of their choice.
“We are committed to assisting our students achieve their academic goals and, most importantly, assist them in becoming successful individuals in their future career goals,” said TRIO DSPS Director Tula Marin. “As a Latina, first-generation college student, and a product of the Coachella Valley, I am honored to continue providing innovative, open access services to our students and community.”
TRIO Veterans assists eligible veterans with matriculation, class selection, tutoring and academic standing. The program facilitates the student's passage through the two-year experience on to a four-year college trajectory.
“Many of our participants are disabled, financially compromised or are first-generation college students,” said TRIO Veterans Director Craig Doussett. “As a student/veteran myself, I know how timely advice and guidance can improve the experience of a student, reduce their time in school and alleviate some of the financial hardships they may encounter.”