The United States Department of Education has renewed State Fair Community College’s TRiO Student Support Services program grant for the upcoming year beginning Sept. 1.

This is SFCC’s fifth TRiO grant award; the college received its first award in 2001.

The college will receive $293,861 for the first budget period from Sept. 1, 2020, to Aug. 31, 2021. It is anticipated the grant will be renewed for a total of five years to fund the federal program that helps low-income, first-generation or disabled college students succeed at SFCC and then transfer to complete four-year degrees.

Sonya Bowman is the program director at SFCC’s Student Support Services. Bowman and her staff of four work to provide academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, increase graduation rates, facilitate transfer to four-year colleges, and foster an institutional climate of support.

“We serve 160 eligible students per year,” Bowman said. “Many students depend on this program to help them adjust to college and to support them on their educational journey. When they fill out evaluations at the end of the year, many say they would never have finished their degrees without the support they received.”

Services include instruction in study skills; tutoring; academic, financial and personal counseling; assistance in securing admission and financial aid for enrollment in four-year institutions; guidance on career options; mentoring; and grant aid.

One SFCC student described her experience with TRiO SSS. "I really enjoyed the support from the academic advising team, and I went to the TRiO tutors several times a week. The staff are amazing and so helpful at breaking the lessons down. I would not have all ‘As’ if it weren’t for them. The service provided is not like other classroom experience; the one-on-one attention is beneficial to students."

For more information, contact Bowman at (660) 596-7318, or email

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