Ripon College receives new Student Support Services grant of more than $1 million

A new five-year Student Support Services grant has been awarded to the Student Support Services program at Ripon College by the U.S. Department of Education, TRIO division. The first-year grant award starting Sept. 1 will total $244,257, with a total grant award projected over five years of $1,221,285.

The goals of the Student Support Services program are to increase the retention and graduation of first-generation students (students whose parents/guardians did not receive a four-year college degree); students who come from families with lower incomes relative to family size; and students with physical or learning disabilities.

At Ripon, services include an extensive early tutoring program; Peer Contacts; information and classes on financial literacy; supplemental grant awards to Pell-eligible students; graduate school information; guidance about academic success strategies; an early Bridge program to assist students with the transition to college; facilitation and creation of internships; and educational-cultural trips to expose students to a range of valuable experiences in a variety of venues.

Student Support Services connects eligible students to another U.S. Department of Education TRIO program hosted at Ripon College, the McNair Scholars graduate school preparation program.

The Ripon program collaborates with Lawrence University in Appleton and St. Norbert in De Pere in a unique graduate school preparation model which has assisted 71 McNair Scholars to enter graduate school in the first eight years of the program. Thirty-three entered Ph.D. programs, and 38 entered master’s programs at institutions including the University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, Colorado State, University of Denver, Washington State, William & Mary, University of Oregon, Florida International University, Columbia University, The Medical College and Graduate School of Milwaukee, University of Nebraska and UW-Milwaukee.

The Student Support Services and McNair Scholars staff consists of Dan Krhin, director; Lisa Zeman, associate director and disabilities coordinator; Phil Welsh, assistant director and tutoring coordinator; and Ellen Plantz, coordinator of services. Terri Fredenberg-Holzman, director of foundation and government relations, assisted the staff with the successful SSS grant proposal.

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