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    Pacific SUCCESS Program Receives $1.47 Million Grant

    Aug 23, 2010

    University of the Pacific was awarded a $1.47 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO program on the Stockton campus. The grant will go toward academic and other support services for first generation, low income or college students with disabilities.  The goal of the program is to increase the retention and graduation rates of eligible students and to help with the transition from one level of higher education to the next. 

    Pacific was recently notified of the grant that will be disbursed over a five-year period, or $293,850 per year.

     "We are grateful for the continuance of this grant when so many schools have lost their funding in this economy," said Elizabeth Griego, vice president for Student Life at Pacific. "The grant enables Pacific to build on its longstanding commitment to first generation and low income students. There are many eligible students with the interest and passion to benefit from a first rate education, and this grant provides us with the funding for the academic support and personal guidance to help them persist to graduation and be successful professionals in our community."

    Pacific's SSS program, known as SUCCESS, was established in 1979.  A total of 200 students are served each year through the program which includes almost all students in the Community Involvement Program, Pacific's scholarship program for first generation college students from the local area, as well as others from similar backgrounds. 

    "This is great news for eligible students who may have sufficient financial aid to cover educational costs, but need the necessary educational support services to be successful in college," said Anita Bautista, executive director of the educational equity programs at Pacific. "Our program provides students with vital services and a connection to campus since they may be the first ones in their families to go to college."

    Pacific's educational equity programs include both the SUCCESS program and the Community Involvement Program. Bautista directs the SUCCESS program and was the principal investigator and primary writer for the grant proposal.

    The Student Support Services Program (SSS) was created in the Higher Education Act of 1965 to increase retention and graduation rates, and support the success of low income and first generation college students and individuals with disabilities.  Some famous SSS alumni that have participated in college programs throughout the U.S. include Franklin Chang Diaz, the first Hispanic Astronaut who was a role model and mentor to Pacific's own astronaut, Jose Hernandez.  Hernandez participated in Pacific's SSS program and has often commented that the services benefited him greatly during his time here. 

    Other famous TRIO alumni from colleges throughout the nation include Oprah Winfrey, talk show host; Angela Bassett, actress; John Quinones, ABC Correspondent and Prime Time Live host; Gwendolynn Moore, Wisconsin State Senator; Henry Bonilla, Former Congressman, 23rd district, Texas.

    The SUCCESS program is one of the units under Lisa Cooper's Diversity and Community Engagement section within the Division of Student Life.  Lisa Cooper is also a graduate of a TRIO program, further evidence that these programs produce outstanding graduates.  For more information call 209.946.2439 or visit the SUCCESS office in Bannister Hall, first floor.