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CCRI awarded $7.4 million in TRIO grants to support underserved students

September 23, 2021

The Community College of Rhode Island has been awarded two five-year TRIO grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $7.4 million to continue providing Rhode Island Educational Talent Search (RIETS) and Opportunity Center (RIEOC) services to more than 4,000 low-income and first-generation Rhode Islanders.

“Our TRIO programs have proven to be a critical resource that provides students with access to the programs and support services they need to be successful college students,” said Meghan Hughes, Ph.D., president of CCRI. “We are grateful for the advocacy by our congressional delegation to ensure continued support for thousands of Rhode Islanders eager to earn their college degree.”

The RIETS program provides enhanced academic and support services to approximately 1,000 low-income and first-generation students at 11 target middle schools and high schools in Central Falls, Providence, and Woonsocket. RIETS offers study skills, test-taking information, PSAT/SAT preparation, and college admission application assistance, among other services. The objective for RIETS is to increase student retention and graduation rates and facilitate students’ enrollment in college.

The RIEOC program provides 3,000 Rhode Island adults, most of whom are first-generation college students from low-income households, the opportunity to seek educational opportunities, from completing their GED to enrolling in college or a training program. RIEOC also assists adults with college information, career services, and financial literacy, in addition to completing admissions and financial aid applications.

“TRIO helps students acclimate to college life and prepares them to succeed in the classroom, on campus, and beyond.  Through tutoring, skills workshops, and other support services, this program can be a real lifeline for first-generation college students.  I am proud of the work CCRI is doing and will continue fighting to ensure more deserving students have the opportunity to attend college and the resources to afford it,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

“CCRI’s TRIO programs open the door to higher education for thousands of students who are the first in their families to attend college or face obstacles to continuing their education,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  “With this federal funding, the TRIO programs will continue to help Rhode Islanders pursue their dreams.” 

“For decades, CCRI’s TRIO programs have equipped thousands of low-income students, first-generation students, and students with disabilities with the tools they need to succeed in and out of the classroom,” said U.S. Representative Jim Langevin. “With this new funding, CCRI will be able to continue its phenomenal work with Rhode Island students to expand access to the post-secondary education and training necessary to compete in today’s 21st century economy.”

“Higher education should be accessible and affordable to every Rhode Islander who wants it,” said U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline. “This grant will help CCRI provide supportive services and outreach to first-generation students, low-income students, and those with disabilities, to ensure they are able to succeed academically and gain the skills they need for good-paying jobs.”

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