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TCU Funded for New SSS STEM Program

TCU has received two federally funded grants, one to fund the Student Support Services (SSS) program and the second to add a new SSS STEM program, which will double funding and support for first-generation students for the next five years. The programs offer eligible TCU students resources like mentoring, leadership development, social and cultural enrichment to create a sense of belonging on campus and empower students to reach their academic goals. TCU will join a limited number of universities around the country that house the program to support STEM students.

“While receiving renewed funding for our current Student Support Services program was incredible, earning the new Student Support Services STEM program is huge for TCU,” College of Education dean Frank Hernandez said. “We are honored to receive these competitive grants and proud of the impact the program has made and can continue to make to support our first-generation college students.”

Program Director Cynthia Montes is pursuing her Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education at TCU and participated in the SSS program while completing her undergraduate studies at the university. She said she is grateful to take the program to the next level.

“This is monumental for the university and more importantly for the students that we serve,” she said. “Two SSS programs means more first-generation college students will have a place on campus to find the support they need in a way that is specifically tailored to them.”

The SSS STEM program will support 120 additional students with resources like software and science manipulatives, as well as development opportunities to prepare for graduation and beyond. TCU also started the STEM Scholars program in 2018 to support underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math related fields.

“Not only does SSS make me feel like I belong in academia, they provide me resources to ensure that I succeed,” said nursing junior and SSS participant Evelese Reyes. “SSS has become my home away from home and my support system at TCU.”

While the program will hold virtual orientations and academic workshops during the COVID-19 pandemic, Montes said she and her team are working to provide social activities that keep students safe and connected like outdoor hikes and virtual social gatherings.

Applications are open for membership in the program, all interested are encouraged to apply. Visit the program website for more information and the application.