LBCC receives federal TRIO

Linn-Benton Community College has been awarded a federal TRIO grant, aimed at helping first-generation, low income and disabled students to successfully attend LBCC.

The grant, awarded through the US Department of Education, amounts to approximately $220,000 per year for four years with the possibility of funding for a fifth year, for a total of $1,200,000. TRIO grants are awarded every four years through the DOE.

Last year Diane Watson, LBCC Dean of Student Services, and several staff teamed up to attend a grant writing workshop developed by the Department of Education to best learn how to present the colleges’ case. Within four weeks, the team wrote the grant and filed it in late August.

LBCC received news of the award from Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office on March 25. The college appeared on a list of grant winners published by the DOE. LBCC President Rita Cavin welcomed the good news.

“I am excited that this TRIO grant will enable LBCC to provide special assistance for first-generation college students,” said Cavin. “Receipt of this grant also serves as recognition from the US Department of Education for LBCC’s outstanding commitment to student success.”

According to Watson, LBCC’s student demographics played a big part in helping the college make its case. LBCC has a fairly large pool of low-income students comparatively. In Oregon, 11.6 percent of students qualify as low income. At LBCC, 28.3 percent of the student body qualify. The college also has a higher percentage of first-generation students, helping to strengthen the case for the need for funding.

Funding from the grant goes to provide student support services targeted at qualified students for services such as tutoring and academic support, personal counseling, peer mentoring, career development, integration into the college community, and assistance with transfer preparation and procedures.