Pipeline Project Celebrates South Central College TRiO Graduates and Transfer Students

 

The TRiO Student Support Services program at South Central College (SCC) held a reception luncheon on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) on May 11th to honor its 21 graduating and transfer students. The program serves first generation, low-income and students with disabilities to achieve academic success including graduation and transfer to a four-year institution to work towards bachelor’s degrees. The reception was hosted by MSU through the sponsorship of Henry Morris, Interim Dean of Institutional Diversity at MSU. It was a proud moment for the students and for the Student Support Services staff who have worked closely with each student to help them achieve their academic goals. The MSU sponsorship served as a kick-off to a new agreement between SCC’s Student Support Services and the MSU Office of Institutional Diversity called the SCC-MSU Pipeline Project. The university and the community college will collaborate to provide support services to students as they graduate from SCC and seek admission to MSU. SCC will provide transfer planning that includes campus visits and working closely with the MSU Institutional Diversity Office, Admissions Office, Financial Aid Office,  Academic Departments where the students will transfer to, and other existing support services on campus. The goal is to remove barriers and achieve a smooth transition with support services in place for the students. The reception included words of encouragement from several speakers, including Linda Beer, Dean of Student Affairs at South Central College, Henry Morris, of Institutional Diversity, and Shane Johnson, Vice President of Bremer Bank. Beer and Morris, both first-generation college graduates, shared stories of their journeys to professional achievement. Similarly, Johnson described how his community college experience contributed to his career success.  Dr. Mitzi Kennedy, TRiO SSS Director, told the students, “You are no longer first-generation college students; you are first-generation college graduates.”

Administrators and academic deans from both campuses attended the event to show their support and commitment. Dr. Kennedy and Dean Morris, along with other SCC and MSU administrators and staff, will continue efforts to develop the program and to identify and address challenges that may arise for students transferring from SCC to MSU.