River Parishes Community College beats competition to serve students

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

GONZALES – The U.S. Department of Education has chosen River Parishes Community College to receive more than $800,000 during the next four years to assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities.

Called the TRIO Student Support Services Program, the grant will be paid in annual installments during the next four years. RPCC is only one of two community colleges in Louisiana to have received this highly competitive grant.

TRIO, according the Department of Education, is a name dubbed for a group of three programs created through the years to help disadvantaged students to complete their education. The other two programs are Upward Bound and the Talent Search program.

"Every student has the right to an equal opportunity to learn and succeed in college," said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. "These grants provide critical support to students who can benefit from extra help and encouragement along their college journey, enabling them to reach their personal goals and contribute to the economic vitality of our nation."

According to Allison Vicknair, RPCC Vice Chancellor of Student Services and Enrollment Management, the program will provide opportunities for academic development, basic career exploration and tutoring services to assist students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary educational goals.

“RPCC serves an incredibly diverse student body of all ages, incomes and backgrounds,” Vicknair said, “This grant is a natural fit for us, and we are proud to be one of only two community colleges in Louisiana to win it.”

RPCC will receive its first installment of $220,000 for the fall semester of 2016.