By TENA L. COOK, CSC Marketing Coordinator
CHADRON – The Project Strive program at Chadron State College has received a U.S. Department of Education five-year renewal grant. The amount of the grant is $285,000 annually.
Jen Schaer, director of the program, said it is rewarding for her and the Project Strive employees watch students grow and discover whom they want to become.
“We had a student that was struggling and after talking to him, he changed his major and now enjoys his classes and knows what his future career is going to be,” Schaer said. “The best feeling is to receive notes and calls of appreciation from students, and especially to have a student walk across the stage at graduation.”
Shane Collins of Prairie City, South Dakota, said as a first generation college student, the transition to college was something that gave him anxiety.
“However, through the assistance and guidance that Project Strive provided me the transition to college was made easier. I am thankful that Project Strive was there to assist me and will continue to be around to help students like myself in the years to come,” Collins said.
Hannah Conner of Orient, Ohio, said Project Strive provides many resources she did not think she would have access to when she started college.
Brennann Jackson of Valentine, Nebraska, agreed with Conner.
“When coming to Chadron State, I was not for sure what there was for opportunities until I found Project Strive and everything that they have to offer for different students,” Jackson said.
Project Strive offices are located in the lower level of the King Library. Staff members include Schaer, Amanda Lewin, Sonja Dressel, and Claudia Magnuson.
The program is designed to provide academic support services to 160 CSC college students with a commitment to help them persist to graduation. It is part of Student Support Services, one of six federal TRiO programs designed to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their educational endeavors.
Services include academic counseling, peer mentors, a study area, study resources, career and personal counseling, field trips, supplemental grant aid, and graduation planning. Workshops help student participants develop study skills, resumes, time management skills, and financial literacy. Other topics include career exploration, cultural and social enrichment, and self-awareness.
To be eligible for the program, a student must be a legal resident of the U.S. and one of the following: a first generation student (neither parent has a four-year degree), meet low income status based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criteria, or have a documented disability.