UA Little Rock receives $2.1 million grant to help low-income, first-generation, and college students with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the University of Arkansas at Little Rock a $2.1 million, five-year grant that will help more students succeed and graduate from college.

“UA Little Rock is committed to providing an affordable and high-quality education for everyone who wishes to make their dream of a college education a reality,” said Chancellor Christina Drale. “We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized our commitment to student success and the extraordinary work of our Student Support Services program. The program’s success is a credit to the hard work and determination of its participants and the dedicated educators who are working to close the education gap and make college accessible for all students.”

The $2,137,725 grant will support the university’s Student Support Services (SSS) program, which provides resources to undergraduate college students who are low-income, first-generation, and/or have a disability.

This year’s grant includes the addition of a success coordinator who will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing all aspects of student success, including coordinating tutoring services, maintaining relationships with other departments on campus to assist students with career and internship placements, developing interview skills, conducting career assessments, and conducting the Career Academy, which includes a series of workshops on financial literacy and career readiness.

SSS is a federally funded TRiO program that provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements, and serves to increase participants’ academic success and help them persist to graduation. It provides services to assist students in adjusting to college and support them from enrollment through graduation with a bachelor’s degree at UA Little Rock.

“TRIO Student Support Services provides services annually to 260 eligible UA Little Rock students,” said Desarae Nelson, director of Student Support Services. “SSS helps motivate students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education. The goal of the program is to increase participants’ college persistence, support them through graduation, and facilitate the transition from one level of higher education to the next.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, SSS has continued to provide services via Blackboard, NetTutor, and virtual advising and wellness checks. This semester, services are available online and by appointment.

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