Are you a student who needs help or would like to help a fellow student? Well there is help. Student Support Services in Bldg.6, Room 620 is taking textbook donations and cap and gown donation as well. These donations will save students a lot of money.
Rachelle Burns is the director of TRIO Student Support Services and Student Activities.
“We do get donations of textbooks and I’m trying to increase that,” Burns said.
Student Support Services, a mainstay at the college for 25 years, provides services for first generation students, meaning neither parents graduated with a four-year degree, students with a documented disability, or low income or Pell grant recipients, which according to Burns is most of their students.
The Student Support Services program is designed to help students overcome barriers that other students might not face by providing services to help them be successful.
We do have a small amount of scholarship money and that’s for students in our program and they have to be active participants for two terms before they can get it. Right now it’s a $600 scholarship and they can get up to $3,000 over a number of terms,” Burns said.
According to Burns, the program is funded to serve 225 students every term. They bring students in on an ongoing basis and the main focus of the program is actually counseling and tutoring because those are the areas that give their students most success.
“I was specifically involved with the Students Resource Center for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Fulfillment, as a client. Their services were indeed provided to me in the form of permitting me to test there. When the rest of the class tested, the teacher sent a copy to the SRC, and they allowed me to take the tests on their computer. I was in that program the whole four years I was at Pensacola State College,” recent graduate Wade Manns said.
The textbook lending is a very small part of the program, and according to Burns, it’s actually not an official part of the program anymore because they are not allowed to use federal funds to purchase the textbook, which is why they need the donations. The textbook lending is only for students who have been through the application process and have been accepted into the Student Support Services program. According to Burns, they usually find at least one textbook in a class that a student is taking, so they can save them that little bit of money.
A student can borrow the textbook for the whole term and then return it to the Student Support Service Office at the end of the term.
“We also loan out graphing calculators and that’s part of the loan program. and those have all been donated as well,” Burns said.
Caps and Gowns can also be donated to the program and given to students that need them. Students Support Services has had a few caps and gowns that they can loan for graduation. According to Burns, the program had three or four they have kept that previous students have donated. The cap and gown donation is also not a big part of the program, but they have had more requests for them. They realized that if they put out a request and tried to collect them at graduation, they might have more success in getting more. The Student Support Services club collected 12 caps and gowns at the recent graduation.
The club works with the Student Support Services program.
“Any students that have a 2.0 at the college can be a member of the club even if they are not in our program,” Burns said.
They are an active club in the college and they have grown from seven members to now 40 members, and according to Burns, the club is only two years old.
“The club does fundraising and volunteer service learning projects. They’ve been to Habitat for Humanity to help frame a house, Ronald McDonald house and they have done Relay for Life, the Heart walk and Cancer walk,” Burns said.
According to Burns, the Student Support Services program has changed a bit over time, but the focus has always been to help students succeed.
If you would like more information about the Student Support Services program, or to apply for the program, their office is located in Bldg 6, and Rachelle Burns’ office is located in Room 620.