Rep. Terri Sewell announced that a $1,100,000 TRIO Grant has been awarded for the University of Alabama at Birmingham from the United States Department of Education. This funding is a part of the TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) program, designed to provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities for academic development as they seek higher education.
The goal of the EOC program is to increase the number of adult participants who enroll in postsecondary educational institutions.
The Educational Opportunity Centers program provides counseling and information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. It also provides services to improve the financial and economic literacy of participants. An important objective of the program is to counsel participants on financial aid options, including basic financial planning skills, and to assist in the application process.
Sewell stated, “I am thrilled to announce this round of TRIO Grant funding for the University of Alabama at Birmingham! This funding is instrumental in our continued efforts to expand access to higher education to our most underserved communities by providing the resources necessary for them to achieve their academic goals. I know firsthand the transformative power of a good education and remain committed to supporting these types of programs to ensure that the residents of my district have the tools they need to thrive.”
According to Sewell’s press release, the program will work with community partners to serve 850 first-generation students, limited-income adults, as well as veterans in Jefferson County. The services provided are free and aim to help adult learners when re-entering college. Services offered include GED counseling, guiding eligible individuals through the college enrollment process including admissions, financial aid applications, preparing for placement exams, and registering for courses.
“As the Principal Investigator for this grant, I’m so excited that UAB gets to be a community partner to assist our adult learners,” said Dr. Tracy Lyons, Executive Director of Undergraduate Student Success and Retention at UAB. “This program is ideal for individuals who may have dropped out of school or those seeking new and different skills that come with a college certificate or degree.”