By Stacey Russell, SSS Academic Advisor
October 7, 2020
Photo: Stacey Russell, NCMC SSS Academic Advisor
Entering college at any season in your life can be overwhelming. There are many “unknowns,” there are changes, stress, confusion, and pressure. Trying to navigate through applying and going to college, learning how things work, and having no family with any experience in the process can leave students feeling defeated from the beginning.
Even though college is hard for everyone, it can be more difficult for income-limited, first-generation, and or students with disabilities. One program that has been helping these students for over 50 years is the TRiO program. The name TRiO represents the three main programs offered: Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, and Student Support Services. These programs are designed to guide students through middle school to college graduation.
These programs are federally funded. Upward Bound and Student Support services have been part of North Central Missouri College since 1999. Educational workshops, financial literacy classes, personal and career services, tutoring, social and cultural events, and what we call “intrusive advising” are some benefits that TRiO offers.
I am with Student Support Services, which has been one of the most fulfilling jobs I have had. We watch as students come into campus halls appearing much like a baby who is taking their first steps, uncertain, scared, off-balance, yet having a feeling of freedom. Over the next two years, we can witness their growth as they stand taller, walk with confidence, reach their dreams, and leave with a whole array of possibilities in front of them. We get to see first-hand the differences we are making with our students. They become like “one of our own.” We guide them, laugh with them, cry with them, and we are just like a second family when they are ready to leave.
We will leave you with words from a former student regarding Student Support Services:
“When I mean the SSS made me a better student and person; I’m not lying. Not only will they help with anything, but they are also great friends and even better tutors. They have a friendly environment for all types of people and work with any schedule you set or any goals you want to make. Always remember they want the best for you and want you to succeed in life, but in the end, you need to be the determining factor as to what needs to be done. With the help of SSS, my study skills have improved, my social skills are better, and I even made lifelong friends along the way. SSS staff are great motivators and will always be there for students no matter what. I will always give them credit for much of my first two years of college success and growth as a student.”
For more information about Student Support Services at North Central Missouri College, visit us online or contact the TRiO Department at (660) 359-3948.