Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Student Support Services (SSS) is preparing its 5th grant and eighteenth year at NEO as part of the federally funded TRIO program. SSS provides academic support for students from first generation or limited income families as well as students with disabilities.
“We focus on providing academic support that will help students stay in college, maintain good grades, and graduate and/or transfer after NEO,” said Julie Brixey, program director. “We serve 160 students each year with tutoring, financial education, community mentoring, advising, transfer guidance, and more.”
“Many NEO students are eligible even if they think they’re not,” added Bobbie Pennington, career and retention specialist for the program. “A student qualifies as first generation as long as their parent doesn’t have a four-year degree. If a student qualifies for a Pell Grant or need-based scholarships, they may be eligible for the program. That’s nearly two-thirds of the student body.”
Throughout its 18 years in operation at NEO, SSS has been incredibly successful. Nearly 1,500 students have received some form of academic or transfer support from the program, with nearly 600 earning a degree as a member. Along with support geared toward academic excellence, SSS also provides resources for personal development and community engagement.
“We host power lunches with speakers about 4 to 5 times a semester,” said Katy Stovall, academic specialist and the newest member of the SSS team. “We focus on financial literacy, time management, and personal development like stress management.”
“It’s so beneficial to have community speakers come in and we always welcome more,” added Pennington. “Seeing how modern professionals work and getting a glimpse of life after college can change a student’s perspective.”
SSS staff are always looking for community members and organizations to speak with students. For more information about the program or to volunteer as a mentor or speaker, contact Brixey at 918-540-6009 or Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org.