Pace University Receives $1.1 Million from the US Department of Education to Provide Support for First-Generation and Low Income College Students

Student Support Services Grant will Help 160 Pace Students Succeed in College

Nov 10, 2015, 18:42 ET from Pace University

NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pace University has long been committed to helping first-generation college students succeed as exemplified by the university's motto, "Opportunitas." In keeping with this, Pace received a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the US Department of Education to provide support services for low-income, first-generation, and disabled undergraduate students at its New York City campus in Lower Manhattan.

With assistance that goes well beyond tutoring, Pace's Student Support Services (SSS) program is designed to help eligible students achieve academic success. With its robust array of services, the program's support network will assist these students with a variety of challenges they face, including transitioning to college, becoming socially engaged in the college community, and ultimately, persisting to graduation.

"We are extremely pleased to have received this funding," said Nira Herrmann, PhD, dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. "It will enable Pace to increase efforts already in place by extending intense and sustained support services to our low-income, first-generation and disabled students to help them remain in college, advance steadily in their academic work, graduate in four to six years and pursue professional or graduate study. All of us at Pace are committed to helping students attain their educational goals, and this grant will help us to reach out to an even greater number of students with the guidance and services they need to graduate."

Research shows that students from low-income families whose parents did not attend college are more likely than those whose parents attended college to be less academically prepared, to have less knowledge of how to apply for college and for financial assistance, and to have more difficulty becoming part of the social and intellectual collegiate community.

However, studies also indicate that targeted intervention beginning with enrollment and continuing throughout the undergraduate years – with special emphasis on the transition to college during freshman year – can enhance the success of these students. The SSS program will provide a variety of support services geared to this specific population and their needs.

With guidance from their mentors and coaches, students in the SSS program develop educational assessments and action plans, as well as receive regular monitoring of academic progress, and access to study skills workshops, panel discussions, tutoring, school supplies and computer resources. The support network includes peer mentors and graduate coaches, who, along with faculty members and advisers, offer career counseling, graduate school information, financial counseling, financial aid information, and money management skills. Cultural enrichment activities include field trips to shows, museums and events.

Building upon the 19-year success of the Pace federally funded TRIO–Upward Bound Program that provides support for high school students transitioning to college, the SSS program will further assist Pace's efforts to extend sustained support services to 160 students who are from low-income backgrounds, from families where the parents do not have a college degree, or who have a disability. It provides academic, financial, career and personal support to help participants acclimate, thrive and succeed at Pace. In order to participate, students must apply and be accepted into the program. Veterans may also apply.

The program provides a significant increase in university resources dedicated to retention and timely graduation rates through an annual budget of $220,000 for the total of $1.1 million for the five–year award cycle. The funding will allow Pace to hire two new full-time university staff members, a project director, an assistant director/counselor, student peer mentors and graduate student coaches. These peer teams will provide one-on-one and small-group mentoring, tutoring and discussion sessions.

The SSS program will be administered by Pace's Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, through its Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) led by Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies Maria Iacullo-Bird who is the Student Support Services Grant Principal Investigator.

For more information on the program visit: www.pace.edu/dyson/current-undergraduate-students/student-support-services-sss.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences: Pace University's liberal arts college, Dyson College offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as numerous courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to many opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About the Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences: The Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) in Dyson College of Arts and Sciences provides leadership, coordination and support to student-faculty research collaborations, faculty grant-funded research projects and programs, and opportunities for service learning. CURE is part of Dyson College's long-standing and ongoing commitment to build a research culture at Pace University. CURE is one component of Dyson's efforts to innovatively enhance the quality of both the academic experience and overall student life. CURE also evolved from Pace University's membership in the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR), a national organization of more than 900 colleges and universities whose mission is to "support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship."

 

SOURCE Pace University