What is Student Support Services (SSS)?
Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally-funded TRiO program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It provides academic support services to college students who are first generation, low-income, or have learning or physical disabilities. The purpose of the program is to retain and graduate students. SSS, like other TRiO programs, promotes equal opportunity and access to higher education.
How does a student become a member of SSS?
A student must apply and be accepted into the program based on eligibility criteria and a need for academic support. The need for academic support is based on SAT/ACT scores, academic GPA, placement tests, prior participation in a TRiO program, and other factors. If interested in applying, complete an application.
What services are available?
SSS provides a number of academic support services that help retain and graduate participants. These services include: academic advising, tutoring, academic coaching, coordination of services for students with disabilities, laptop and book loan program, priority registration, grant aid, and career, financial aid, graduate school, and personal counseling.
Is there a cost to receive these services?
No. All services are free of cost to participants.
If I become a participant, what are my obligations?
All SSS participants must sign a contract (LIFE Plan) stating that they will attend scheduled meetings, tutoring sessions, workshops, and work diligently toward making reasonable academic progress. If students fail to meet their obligations in regard to this contract, they are placed on inactive status and no longer receive the full benefits of the program.
What are the benefits of being involved in SSS?
National statistics show that students who are first generation, low-income, and/or have disabilities are retained and graduated from college at lower rates than students who do not meet these criteria. Being involved in SSS provides students with the academic support they might not otherwise have as they face the challenges of obtaining a baccalaureate degree. The SSS staff is available to participants from the time they enter the program until the time they graduate.
If a SSS student “stops out,” but is eventually readmitted to the College, does he/she have to reapply to the program?
No. Readmitted students who were previously active members of SSS need to contact the office and schedule an appointment with a SSS advisor to reactivate their applications. Once students complete this process, they can begin receiving services.
Does SSS provide testing to determine if a student has a learning disability?
No. SSS does not provide psychological or other testing to determine if a student has a learning disability. It does, however, refer students to the Department of Rehabilitative Services or private agencies for testing and works cooperatively with these agencies and the ADA Coordinator in providing necessary accommodations.
Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?
Inquiries can be made to the SSS office at (276) 328-0177. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Summer hours are 8:00 am-4:30 pm.
What kind of academic support is available for students who are not eligible for SSS?
Students not eligible or not accepted into SSS have access to the campus-tutoring center, the Tutor Connection, and the Writing Center. Both provide services at no cost to students who are enrolled at the College. Students also have access to several computer labs on campus that support the curricula of various academic departments.