press release - TRiO grant

Public Relations | Press Releases


Release date 07-16-15


KVCC TRiO program receives five-year, $1.4 million grant


FAIRFIELD, HINCKLEY ME – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) has received word from the office of Maine Senator Susan Collins that its TRiO Student Support Services Program has been funded for five more years.

The program is funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education and assists more than 180 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities at KVCC in completing post-secondary degrees each year. The latest grant will be in the amount of $284,745 annually.

KVCC has had a TRiO program since 1993.

The grant was competitive, and KVCC received additional points for exceeding all its good academic standing, graduation, and transfer objectives in the previous grant cycle - a testament to KVCC’s college-wide commitment to excellence in educational opportunity.

Four positions at KVCC are currently funded by the grant. KVCC will receive more than $1.4 million over the five years.

Lisa Black, TRiO program director for KVCC, said TRiO programs are especially important in a state like Maine, where high school graduation rates are high but many citizens over the age of 25 do not have a college degree.

“In some rural counties, like the ones KVCC serves, the percentage can be as high as 90%,” Black said. “With traditional industries that used to require only a high school diploma and a good work ethic becoming scarcer every day, post-secondary education and the support TRIO provides to help students through to degree completion is crucial. It’s no exaggeration to say that TRIO programs change lives, and we are so lucky that this is part of the campus culture at KVCC.”

Dorothy Fowler, a KVCC TRiO student enrolled in the Mental Health associate’s degree program said, “So many students, myself included, absolutely would not be here without TRIO. For one thing, the program provides the backing and support necessary for students like me, who might be returning to school after 32 years, to be successful. I never dreamed I would be in a degree program, but TRIO has made me excited about starting a whole new career and given me the confidence to believe that it is possible. I have also been amazed by the support of the other TRIO students. They want to see you succeed as much as you do.”

The Federal TRiO programs are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. KVCC’s TRiO program, Student Support Services, is one of the eight different grant programs that fall under the TRiO umbrella, all of which serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities as they progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs. TRiO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRiO projects.

The recipients of the grants, depending on the specific program, are institutions of higher education, public and private agencies and organizations including community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth and secondary schools. Combinations of such institutions, agencies, and organizations may also apply for grants. These entities plan, develop and carry out the services for students. While individual students are served by these entities, they may not apply for grants under these programs. Additionally, in order to be served by one of these programs, a student must be eligible to receive services and be accepted into a funded project that serves the institution or school that student is attending or the area in which the student lives.

TRiO was given its name because it started as a group of just three programs; the name is not an acronym.

KVCC is one of seven community colleges in Maine that operate under the authority of the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees. KVCC is a public, non-profit, post-secondary institution supported in part by State legislative appropriations and federal funds.

The College offers more than 35 programs of study on campuses in Fairfield and Hinckley ranging from two-year associate degrees to certificates, as well as a comprehensive schedule of continuing education courses and business and industry outreach programs.

For more information on KVCC go to



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