TRIO SSS Receives $1.1 million DOE Grant

Grant funds program through 2020

The TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program at Inver Hills Community College has been awarded a $1.1 million Federal TRIO Programs grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The award provides TRIO SSS at Inver Hills with $220,000 in funding per year over the next five years. TRIO SSS is one of eight federal TRIO programs.
Matt Kruger, TRIO director at the college, reported that TRIO SSS started on campus in 2010. “The program serves 140 students,” Matt said. “Our participants are significantly more likely to succeed than the general student body at Inver Hills or other community colleges. Last year, 88 percent of TRIO SSS students persisted from fall to fall. More than 90 percent maintained satisfactory academic standing.”
Jessica Stumpf, Ed.D., interim vice president for student affairs, noted that the grant renewal is an important achievement for the campus community. “Inver Hills Community College is proud to be awarded the TRIO grant for another five years. This grant provides first-generation college students with the social and academic support they need to graduate from our college successfully and on time.”


Through a competitive grant process, federal funds are awarded to higher education institutions to complete three main objectives:

  • Provide academic development opportunities
  • Assist with basic college requirements
  • Motivate students toward successfully completing their postsecondary education

The overall TRIO SSS goal centers on increasing college retention and graduation rates of program participants.
All SSS projects must provide academic tutoring, including mathematics and writing.  Other project requirements include:

  • Advising and assisting students with postsecondary course selection
  • Informing students about financial aid programs, benefits and resources as well as public and private scholarships
  • Helping students complete financial aid applications

SSS delivers education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy. SSS advisors at Inver Hills assist students when they apply for admission at four­-year colleges and universities.
Top photo: TRIO Advisor Alicia Atwater, TRIO Director Matt Kruger, TRIO Advisor Ruby Murillo

Inver Hills TRIO SSS gallery
TRIO SSS spells college success

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) at Inver Hills can help you succeed in your college career by providing you with academic and personal support. If you are pursuing your associate degree, thinking about transferring, or just need a little extra help and guidance on your college journey, TRIO SSS could be a great fit for you.

Who is eligible to participate?

TRIO SSS selects 140 students a year to participate in the program. You must first complete and submit an application, attend an intake interview and be approved by SSS staff to participate in TRIO SSS programming.
You also need to meet at least one of these federal eligibility criteria:

  • Qualify as low-income according to federal guidelines
  • Be a first-generation college student (neither parent or guardian has a bachelor’s degree)
  • Be eligible to receive accommodations through disability services at Inver Hills
  • Be enrolled in an Inver Hills associate degree program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
What does TRIO SSS provide?
  • Professional tutoring in math and writing
  • Academic advising, career planning and major exploration
  • College transfer planning
  • Visits to four-year schools
  • Workshops on various topics, including study skills and financial literacy
  • Social and cultural events
Why should you join?
  • Be eligible for several Inver Hills scholarships
  • Improve your grades by working with TRIO SSS tutors
  • Create a plan with personal TRIO SSS advisor to meet your transfer and career goals
  • Attend four-year college transfer visits
  • Participate in social and cultural activities with other TRIO SSS students

How do I join?

2015–2016 TRIO Application
Complete your application and send one of three ways:
Via U.S. Mail:
TRIO Student Support Services
Inver Hills Community College
2500 80th Street East
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Via fax: 651-450-3677
Via e-mail: Inver Hills TRIO SSS
You can also drop off your application in Room 255 in the College Center.

TRIO SSS student spotlights

Andrea Wade
  • Age: 30
  • High school: Attended Blaine; earned GED in 2007
  • Hometown: Winona, Minnesota
  • Residence today: Newport, Minnesota
  • Program area at Inver Hills: Human Services; earning Human Service Worker A.S.
  • Transfer plans: Graduating from Inver spring 2016; plans to attend Metropolitan State University to earn Bachelor of Human Services (BHS)
  • Career plans: Aiming to work in corrections assisting offenders with rehabilitation; wishes to own and manage her own rehabilitation center
  • About TRIO SSS: “The staff are great and very supportive. TRIO SSS at Inver is very welcoming. I like that you have someplace to go where you can get help with college and your future plans—and also have someone to talk to on a personal level.”
Ayanle Abdikarim
  • Age: 19
  • High school: Graduated from East Ridge in Woodbury, Minnesota
  • Hometown: San Diego, California
  • Residence today: Newport, Minnesota
  • Program area at Inver Hills: Business; earning A.S. in Contemporary Business
  • Transfer plans: Graduating from Inver in 2017; plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, to study business management, economics and real estate
  • Career plans: Undecided, but definitely focusing on a business-related field
  • About TRIO SSS: “The staff are very reliable people. I like that the counselors are experienced with the transfer process. They are there to help you academically and personally.”
Eric Moran
  • Age: 20
  • High school: Graduated from Simley in 2013
  • Hometown: Anaheim, California
  • Residence today: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
  • Program area at Inver Hills: Criminal Justice; earning Criminal Justice A.S. (also works in the Admissions)
  • Transfer plans: Graduating from Inver fall 2015; plans to start at Hennepin Technical College spring 2016 in the Law Enforcement program
  • Career plans: Aiming to work as a police office specializing in helping juvenile delinquents; hopes to one day serve as a mentor to young people wishing to work in law enforcement
  • About TRIO SSS: “The staff are really helpful and keep you on track. TRIO SSS at Inver Hills shows you the right steps to accomplish your goals.”
Eric Moran, Ayanle Abdikarim, Alicia Atwater, Matt Kruger, Ruby Murillo, Andrea Wade
To learn more about TRIO Student Support Services at Inver Hills, contact:

Matt Kruger
TRIO Director
Alicia Atwater
TRIO SSS Academic Advisor
Ruby Murillo
TRIO SSS Academic Advisor

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