Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CASC Gets $2.1 Million Student Support Services Grant

Carl Albert State College (CASC) in Poteau and Sallisaw has received a five-year $2,116,410 Student Support Services (SSS) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant begins Sept. 1 and ends Aug. 30, 2020. It will serve 285 CASC students at both the Poteau and Sallisaw locations each year.

Deborah Cummings serves as grant writer for Carl Albert and stated, "I'm excited to have a hand in keeping such an excellent program at CASC." Cummings along with SSS Coordinator/Counselor Kim Hughes worked together on the grant application.

One of the federally funded TRIP programs, SSS provides assistance to first generation and/or low income students as well as disabled students in their pursuit of a college degree. Carl Albert State College's SSS program was first funded in 1973 and was the first of CASC's seven TRIO grant programs. Cummings explained, "When we receive a grant award, it is a brand new grant program, not a continuation of the previous grant. We have to submit a new proposal for the national competition each time one of our TRIO grants expire."

The SSS staff at Carl Albert provides many services for program participants, ranging from counseling, tutoring, advising, financial aid assistance, transfer assistance following graduation and much more.

Hughes states, "The SSS grant would not have been possible without a lot of hard work and long hours put in by our grant writer, Deborah Cummings. We also received valuable help from our IT department, especially Jeri Lowrimore, Michael Martin and Keith Barnett. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate their hard work for our students. This grant funds many services to our students to help improve graduation rates, retention, and transfer. The success of this grant means success for our students and success for Carl Albert State College."

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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