April 26, 2017

TRiO Student Support Services Program: student support and more

Kim Green loves her job because she never knows what each day will bring. Kim is the Academic Coordinator with the TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) Program at Kishwaukee College. “I honestly enjoy my job,” she said. “It is never monotonous!”

As the Academic Coordinator with the TRiO SSS program, Kim works closely with students enrolled in the program. In addition to Kim, the program also is home to Director Keith Wise and Administrative Assistant Cindy Karasewski. The three work with 140 students who are selected to participate from an applicant pool each semester.

TRiO Student Support Services is a federally funded program that provides additional academic and personal support to college students who meet one of the three eligibility criteria: first-generation college student; low-income student; or a student with a learning or physical disability evidencing academic need. Kishwaukee College was awarded its first TRiO Student Support Services grant in September 2015. The grant is in effect for five years.

It provides extra support for students like Alex McAnly. After graduating from DeKalb High School in 2016, Alex decided to attend Kish. “I chose Kish because they had small class sizes at lower prices than most schools around,” he explained. He met Kim Green during orientation that summer and decided to investigate the TRiO SSS program after hearing her presentation. When he learned about the additional support he would receive, he applied to the program and was accepted.

He meets regularly with Kim and receives one-on-one guidance that has made an impact on his college experience. He explained, “Kim has advised me rather extensively. So far, I have received tips on how to be a successful student at Kish. We talk about everything from course advising to scholarships. And she sends me important reminders by text. Working with Kim in TRiO has really impacted my success as a student at Kish.” 

Kim noted that by meeting with the same students over the year, she really gets to know them and they get to know her. “It is nice to see students return to my office really wanting to see me,” she stated. “I know that they have connected with me and that I have helped them. They appreciate the support and like that they have someone in their corner to help them be successful.”

Built in to the program are trips to provide new cultural experiences, as well as four-year college campus visits for students – like Alex – who plan to transfer to complete a bachelor’s degree. “I want to go into Environmental Engineering,” he said. “I considered a few schools, but after I visited Northern Illinois University with TRiO, I know I want to go there after I graduate from Kish.”

Alex credits feeling comfortable on campus and his success to one particular person. “I think that Kim is a terrific person to work with, and she does her utmost to assure my success,” he said. “And I am so glad I chose Kishwaukee because Kish is just great!”

It is seeing students like Alex be successful and thrive in college that keep Kim Green smiling when she gets to her office every day. “I may not know what my day will hold when I get to campus,” she said. “But I know it will be rewarding.” 

For more information on the TRiO Student Success Services Program at Kishwaukee College, contact 815-825-9304 or visit www.kishwaukeecollege.edu/trio.

Pictured is Alex and Kim outside the TRiO office on campus.