What is Student Support Services?
Student Support Services (SSS) is a grant-funded program operating under the umbrella of the Federal TRIO programs and financially supported by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). SSS was designed to assist RU students who are considered at-risk to attain a baccalaureate degree. DOE defines the at-risk population as students who are first generation, low income, and have a documented disability. First generation students are defined as students whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree. Low income students are identified by low income guidelines that are set forth by DOE and are based upon the student's or their parent's taxable income. In order to qualify as a student with a disability, the student must be registered with the Disability Resource Office (DRO) at Radford University.
What is the difference between SSS and the Disability Resource Office (DRO)?
Student Support Services is funded to serve 200 eligible students which include first generation, low income, and student's with a documented disability. The Disability Resource Office (DRO) assists all college students who have documented disabilities in assessing reasonable academic accommodations while attending Radford University. They help the students become familiar with all the resources on campus and are also there to help students become self-advocates.
What services does the program have to offer?
SSS offers the following services:
- Loaning of laptop computers, i-Pods, digital tape recorders, scientific calculators
- Academic Advising/Academic Coaching
- Customized tutorial support
- Career counseling
- Cultural enrichment activities
- Assistance with obtaining financial aid and scholarships
- College Survival Skills workshops
- Support groups and mentorship opportunities
- Graduate School Assistance
- *Referrals can be made to the counseling center when deemed necessary by SSS staff
How can I get involved with SSS?
The first step is to stop by our suite in 199 Heth Hall and pick up an application. Then, simply return the application along with a copy of your parent(s)' most recent tax form or your most recent tax form (if you are an independent student). This form will be used to establish income status. It will be kept confidential and must be submitted by ALL students applying to the program. After submitting these materials, SSS will promptly notify you as to whether or not you qualify for participation in the program. Should you qualify, you will be asked to complete a 15-20 minute intake interview.
Are there any costs to participate?
All program services and activities are 100 percent free to our participants. There is no charge to access our tutoring services, and participants attending one of our field trips/cultural events are given a meal allowance along with transportation and accommodations.
Does SSS provide testing to determine if a student has a learning disability?
No, we do not provide testing to determine if a student has a learning disability. However, DRO can assist students with the necessary information to find a suitable testing site.
What kind of academic support is available for students who are not eligible?
Students not eligible or not accepted into SSS have access to the Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC) and/or writing lab on campus.
If I become a participant, what are my obligations to SSS?
All SSS participants must sign a contract stating they will agree to meet with their assigned academic coach, attend weekly workshop sessions, and attend at least two cultural activities during the academic year. Contracts are currently being revised to reflect the needs of students according to their academic classification. Specific requirements may be altered at the discretion of the director.
What are the benefits of being involved in SSS?
- Receiving valuable guidance from knowledgeable staff members
- Forming lasting relationships with students who share similar backgrounds
- Enhance personal development by forming and facilitating support groups
- Free tutorial services and preparation for graduate school and/or professional standardize tests
- Attend culture events
- Enhance academic skills by attending weekly workshops
- Graduate school visits
- Offer continual motivational support when meeting with academic coaches
- Encourage graduate school education
- Assist student with the graduate school application process (including visits to potential graduate schools)
- Receive an electronic monthly newsletter keeping you informed of program and university happenings, academic deadline dates, and a host of other information