Oregon Institute of Technology’s (Oregon Tech’s) TRiO Student Support Services, “Tech Opportunities Program (TOP),” received word last week that the program was awarded more than $1.2 million in funding over the next five years from a renewed federal grant through the U.S. Department of Education.
TRiO Student Support Services receives funding through a competitive federal grant process, with funds awarded to colleges and universities to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary degree. The goal of these programs is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants, who include students from low-income families, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities. About 80 percent of Oregon Tech students qualify for TOP assistance, although combined federal and Oregon Tech funding currently only enables the campus to serve 160 students each year.
TOP Program Director Angela Archer said, “Oregon Tech utilizes an educational approach known as an inverted curriculum, where students take courses in their major field of study beginning their first term on campus. Due to this early hands-on, intensive study curriculum, students sometimes require remedial courses before they can enroll in college level math and writing. Without intervention, these students quickly fall behind in their studies and lose academic momentum. The TRiO funding allows us to continue TOP, with a goal to increase the participant graduation rate by 3 percent. To meet this outcome we are assessing each student’s need, tailoring appropriate interventions, and teaming up students, their professors and TOP staff to continue the student’s progress towards graduation day.”
TOP services include:
- Networking with other students
- College success classes
- Academic advising
- Limited grant funding for active, qualified students
Beginning in September of this year, Oregon Tech will receive $247,294 annually for the next five years to fund the TRiO program. For more information about the program or the eligibility requirements, visit www.oit.edu/top or call 541.885.1125.