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September 21, 2020

Marisa Elli
Whatcom Community College

Whatcom Community College awarded $1.2 million to expand student support services

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Whatcom Community College more than $1.2 million for a new TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant. Over the next five years, the grant will build student support capacity by expanding the College’s coaching program, identify financial aid opportunities and financial aid literacy, and provide comprehensive, inclusive support and engagement opportunities for diverse students.

The goals of the SSS program are to increase the retention, graduation, and transfer rates of systemically non-dominate students at WCC including low-income or first generation college students. This will be accomplished through targeted outreach, intensive coaching and peer mentoring, academic and career advising, and assistance in applying for federal student aid, emergency funding, and scholarships.

“Whatcom Community College has made remarkable gains in increasing success of our community’s diverse and underrepresented student populations and more needs to be done,” said Dr. Luca Lewis, WCC’s Vice President for Student Services. “This new TRIO grant will build upon the successful foundations of our existing coaching and support practices, and position us to effectively serve and graduate even more students.”

The SSS grant is the College’s second TRIO grant, which through a competitive application process are awarded to institutions with experience serving disadvantaged youth. The College’s first TRIO grant—Upward Bound—was awarded in 2017 to help prepare local high school students for college success.

About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington is regularly recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. The College, a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, offers two bachelor of applied science degrees, transfer degrees, career and workforce preparation, online courses, and community education classes. While WCC's physical campus is closed, our online services and commitment to student success continue.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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