(BETHANY, OK) – Southern Nazarene University (SNU) has received funding renewal for the Student Support Services (SSS) Program through the US Department of Education’s TRIO programs. SNU will receive a total of $1,371,055 over five years and will contribute $35,586, or 13% of the annual grant funding value, annually. More than 980 institutions will receive continued program funding under SSS and nearly 150 institutions will begin new programs.
SNU’s new grant award includes an SSS Success course integrating multiple high-impact practices, financial and economic literacy education and long-term financial planning strategies, career and graduate school preparation through career literacy education, and career pathway identification and career readiness preparation for in-demand industry occupations.
“The TRIO programs affirm and support students from first-generation and low-income backgrounds and students with disabilities in our undergraduate student population,” said Dr. Gwen Ladd Hackler, Academic Grants Office Director. “These funds will extend the Student Support Services program to 2026, constituting 25 years of TRIO support for motivated, hardworking SNU undergraduates.”
SSS students at SNU are highly involved in campus student leadership, with current students serving as student government leaders, resident advisors, New Student Institute mentors, and tutors. SNU’s SSS students also participate in undergraduate research and the SNU Honors Program. In the 2019-2020 academic year, 80% of current SSS students remained enrolled at SNU or graduated with their bachelor’s degree and 88% remained in good academic standing. In addition, the 6-year graduation rate for SSS students was 74%.
“The Student Support Services program helps Southern Nazarene University continue our historic work of providing a foundation that offers individualized academic, personal, and career support for success in higher education,” said Dr. Keith Newman, SNU President. “Creating a place where students at SNU can grow and thrive strengthens our commitment to be a school of opportunity for all students seeking a transformational education experience.”
The director of this intensive supportive program is Dr. Kim Rosfeld, who co-directs SNU’s McNair Scholars Program and is actively involved in the national TRIO community. Dr. Rosfeld and staff members serve 165 undergraduates annually in the areas of tutoring, advising, mentoring, coaching, financial literacy support, educational trips, cultural events, and numerous other types of scholastic and personal support needed to be successful in college.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the systemic inequality and financial hardship which keep promising students from succeeding in college. Student Support Services is needed now more than ever,” said Maureen Hoyler. Hoyler is the president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.
SSS began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal TRIO programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.
For more information on SNU’s TRIO Student Support Services program, contact Dr. Kim Rosfeld in the Office of Access and Opportunity, 405-789-6400.