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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Program provides safe haven to students

Julie Amon/Special to The Collegian
The learning lounge for TRIO Student Support Services is across the hall from the main TRIO office. The room will be used for meetings, tutoring and planning.

Students in need are provided academic and social support with new TR Campus program


campus editor

A TRIO Student Support Services program has been added to TR Campus, combining passionate students with supportive staff to help them reach their academic goals.

The program offers academic support and advice, a safe environment and opportunities for engagement and connectivity, vice president of Student Development Services Julie Amon said.

“I hope that Trinity River students feel that they are part of a close-knit family who cares about them, their experience at TCC, their learning and success,” she said.

TRIO SSS programs have successfully helped first-generation college students, low-income background students and disabled students for over 50 years she said.

After receiving the grant to start the program, Amon said they began hiring staff, spreading the word and recruiting interested students.

“The entire first year will be spent in accomplishing all these important tasks while we begin to bring new students into our program and serve them,” she said.

TRIO staff began recruitment back in January with information sessions presented to faculty and staff, incoming students at New Student Orientations and those attending Welcome Week activities to fill the 140-student capacity for the program, she said.

“Our outreach efforts have resulted in a good number of referrals and applications already, but we have plenty of room and are excited to see more of both,” she said.

With the application process underway, remodeling has begun in a new space close to the Student Accessibility Resources Office and Science Learning Lab. Students will be able to utilize the space specifically for this program when on-campus instruction returns, Amon said.

These renovations include new carpet, paint and furniture, with technology and signage coming in the next few months.

TRIO recently announced the new program director after a series of finalist interviews in November where students had the opportunity to attend and give feedback on each candidate.

“We have an awesome and incredibly diverse student population and I look for team members who appreciate the strength that diversity adds to our community,” Amon said.
One of the students who participated in the finalist interviews was New Student Orientation peer leader Katie Beard.

“I saw the opportunity and when I investigated the responsibilities that the director holds, I became excited to be able to take part in that process and give a student’s perspective of what issues may be important,” Beard said.

After attending two applicant interviews, Beard found the most important quality she wanted in the new director position was a strong team leader who has a passion for student support.

Although she had never heard about the program beforehand, Beard left the interviews feeling like she could highly benefit from TRIO’s services, in addition to thinking other students could use a support system like this on campus as well.

Weeks after the interviews were conducted, Amon welcomed Chasity Alexander as the new TRIO SSS Program Director.

“I was looking for someone who, in addition to the above qualities and characteristics, shared a deep understanding and connection to students who come from the TRIO SSS target student population,” Amon said.

Being a first-generation and low-income college student herself, Alexander identifies with the struggles her students are facing and believes in the TRIO program’s ability to lead them to success.

Before taking on this role, Alexander served as the TRIO SSS South coordinator for eight years and worked with mentors Trichele Davenport, current TRIO South director, and Dr. Sharron Crear, former TRIO South director, during her time at TCC.

“I believe my experiences with students, faculty and staff truly opened up the opportunity and motivated me to continue to reach higher,” Alexander said.

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