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MDC Campuses Awarded $3 Million to Help Low-Income, First-Generation and Disabled College Students in North and South Miami-Dade

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Miami, October 19, 2010 - Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Homestead and North Campuses have recently been awarded $3 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program (SSS) TRIO program, as part of a nationwide effort to assist first-generation, low-income, and disabled college students in their pursuit of a college education.

The multi-million dollar grant, referred to as TRIO, is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs designed to support and motivate students from disadvantaged backgrounds by giving them greater access to educational resources. The first TRIO program was established in 1964 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. 

MDC’s North Campus, a previous recipient of the TRIO grant more than five years ago, was awarded $1.9 million.

The Homestead Campus is a first-time recipient of the grant, receiving $1.1 million to serve a student population in which 61 percent are low-income, 59 percent are first-generation, and 76 percent are underprepared. Although both grants stem from the same funding source, each campus has an entirely different set of goals, needs, and population to serve with its funds. 

“The North Campus remains steadfast in its commitment to chart a strategic course of interventions and support services to help close the achievement gap for underrepresented college students,” said Dr. Jose A. Vicente, president, MDC North Campus. “Our TRIO Support Services Program, of which we are duly proud, is one among others in that regard.”

For example, the North Campus -- which is located in a diverse area of Miami-Dade County where 43 percent of the households are low-income and 86 percent have not completed college – will focus on three critical areas. The North Campus’ TRIO SSS program will focus on: (1) persistence; (2) good academic standing; and (3) graduation and transfer to four-year institutions.     

On a national level, over 850,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 2,800 federal programs.

TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other direct support services necessary for educational access and retention. 

MDC’s Homestead Campus also serves an area characterized by chronic poverty and low academic achievement. Its goals for the TRIO grant are similar but more elaborate to service students with disabilities.

“We are very pleased to receive our first TRIO grant,” said Dr. Jeanne F. Jacobs, president of MDC’s Homestead Campus. “This funding is an opportunity for us to strengthen campus support services to our students and facilitate their academic success.” 

Through a grant competition, federal grants such as the SSS Trio are awarded to institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.

For more information about the SSS Trio program at MDC’s Homestead Campus, call 305-237-5101, and for North Campus, call 305-237-1179.


Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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