FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Piedmont Technical College has been awarded more than $500,000 for the first time to begin a Student Support Services (SSS) Program for qualifying veteran students.
The grant began Sept. 1 and will continue for five years, serving 60 students each year. Eligibility requirements and goals and objectives are similar to the regular SSS grant program.
“We saw this as an opportunity to increase Student Support Services’ resources for veteran students on campus,” said Kris Burris, director of SSS. “We wanted to create a more veteran-friendly campus, and this is a small step to a bigger picture we hope to achieve.”
Student Support Services assists students who are low income, first generation college students or have one or more disabilities. The grant will be directed toward students who meet those requirements and have served in the armed forces.
“The veteran students have needs that are not being met,” said Carol Paguntalan, director of advising. “The cultural shift from a military life to a campus life can be difficult for them and we hope this grant will allow us to provide more services that will meet their needs.”
The project will focus on assisting veteran students in making a successful transition from the military to college life and with overcoming challenges associated with being veteran students.
Strategies will be designed to achieve higher persistence, good academic standing, graduation and transfer rates of eligible students.
Students will participate in an orientation program, the development of an Individual Graduation Plan (IGP), advising on financial aid and how it interacts with the GI Bill, workshops geared toward veteran success strategies, academic and community programs, intensive case management, tutoring and coaching sessions, and more.
“We are delighted that PTC has been awarded this Student Support Services grant with a special focus on veterans,” said Andy Omundson, associate vice president for student affairs. “This program will provide our veteran students, who are grant-eligible, with increased access to resources, support and opportunities which will assist in the successful completion of their program of study and transition into the workforce.”
For more information, contact Student Support Services at (864) 941-8385 or New Student Advising and Veterans Center at (864) 941-8388.