Macon Cove Campus
5983 Macon Cove
Memphis, TN 38134-7693

Union Avenue Campus
737 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103-3322

Fayette Center

Gill Center

Millington Center

Southeast Center

Whitehaven Center

901/333-STCC * www.southwest.tn.edu

DATE: July 10, 2002
CONTACT: Calvin Burns, (901) 333-5338 or Marilyn Duncan (901) 333-4247

Southwest Awarded $950,000 TRIO Grant; Proposal Rated
Among Top 10 percent

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a five-year $950,000 grant to Southwest Tennessee Community College for a TRIO Educational Opportunity Center. The award is effective September 1, 2002 – August 31, 2007, in the amount of $190,000 per year. It also provides a first –y ear $10,000 technology supplement that can be used to purchase computer hardware or software or provide staff training.

TRIO programs are designed to identify promising high school or first –generation college students, prepare them to do college-level work, strengthen math and science performances and provide support services to students once they reach the college campus.

In announcing the grant, Robert L. Belle Jr., director, Office of Federal TRIO Programs, noted that the College’s proposal scored a 100 rating from all three of the reviewers, and was ranked in the top 10 percent of all proposals submitted.

The grant will allow Southwest to establish an innovative multi-dimensional Educational Opportunity Center that integrates emerging Internet technology with traditional service delivery practices. Educationally-ambitious, low income, first generation college students who are 19 years of age and older, will receive assistance in selecting, entering, and obtaining funding for post-secondary education and training programs in Shelby, Tipton and Fayette counties.

Services will include assessment, career and personal counseling, educational workshops, hands-on computer literacy training, guidance on secondary school re-entry or entry into GED programs, and assistance in completing institutional admissions and financial aid applications.


Patricia Meeks, executive director of Grants at Southwest, said the College’s winning TRIO proposal was “an excellent example of the teamwork needed to successfully secure external funding for college and community needs.” Meeks added that the members of the proposal team are Vickie Reyes, of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Terry Scharf, a local businessman; and Dr. Rebecca Wasson of the Grants Department.

Dr. Nathan Essex, Southwest President; and Dr. Jim Willis, Vice President for Workforce Force Development and Continuing Education at Southwest, both noted the significance of the grant.

“This is an outstanding achievement,” Essex said. “All of the members of this proposal committee set an excellent example in showing how a comprehensive community college should anticipate and respond to the educational needs of the community. I am confident that the execution of this grant will be beneficial to Southwest and our community.”

Willis added “This outstanding team identified a crucial educational need in our community. I am extremely pleased that the TRIO reviewers concurred.”

Since 1965, more than 10.5 million Americans have benefited from the services of the TRIO pre-college and college programs. Sixty-seven percent of these students came from families that are slightly above or below the National Poverty Line. The following programs are offered as part of the TRIO curriculum: Upward Bound, Talent Search, Student Support Services, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, and the Educational Opportunity Centers.

For additional information about Southwest’s TRIO Educational Opportunity Center, call Vickie Reyes at (901) 333-4581.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.