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TRIO Student Support Services grant renewed through 2025

Mt. Carmel, Ill.— The grant that funds the TRIO Student Support Services program at Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, including Wabash Valley College, has been renewed through 2025.

TRIO SSS is a 100-percent federally funded program from the U.S. Department of Education that is designed to provide academic development and assist students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.

“The purpose of TRIO Student Support Services is to help high school graduates in the transition from high school to college or for non-traditional students from life to college,” said WVC TRIO SSS Academic Counselor Tayna Smith. “One of our major objectives is for students to transfer to four-year universities once they graduate from community college.”

IECC Director of TRIO Student Support Services Wain Davis explained what is needed to be considered eligible for the SSS program.

“Students that are the first in their family to pursue a Bachelor’s degree, meet the income guidelines for the program, or have a documented disability are invited to apply for this amazing program.”

TRIO SSS has been a part of IECC for more than 25 years and has helped countless participants in reaching their academic goals. TRIO SSS uses a variety of activities to help students including intensive academic advising, workshops and trainings, cultural and college trips, student mentor programs and tutoring.

“I love my students and providing them opportunities they have never had before,” said Smith. “We have taken students to Chicago where they attend a National College Fair. We have taken them to St. Louis and visited universities there and then taken them to the Fox Theater. Seeing the looks on their faces when they are experiencing new things and places is priceless.”

TRIO SSS also helps students with budgeting, supplies, career counseling and provides students with information about financial aid assistance.

“The program is designed to empower students to achieve their goals and dreams. We want students to be prepared not only for college but for life,” said Smith.

Over the next five years, Smith has the opportunity to make a major impact on the educational trajectories of many incoming freshman and non-traditional students.

“TRIO SSS at WVC serves a minimum of 50 students per academic year,” said Smith. “Over the course of the next five years, I have the opportunity to enable at least 250 students to be successful in college and beyond.”

The renewed TRIO SSS grant starts Sept. 1, 2020 and will end Aug. 31, 2025. Current WVC students who meet the eligibility requirements that want to learn more about TRIO SSS should contact Tayna Smith at Wabash Valley College by phone at 618-263-5041 or by email at Information about the program is also posted online at

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