July 23, 2018

Triton Receives $260K AmeriCorps Grant to Bolster Student Tutoring and Mentoring Efforts

Triton College will significantly increase efforts to help students stay in school and complete their degree thanks to a nearly $260,000 grant to support the AmeriCorps State Program. The grant, which consists of federal and local match funds, is distributed by the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.

The grant funds will support 24 half-time AmeriCorps Service Members at Triton College throughout the upcoming school year, which will focus primarily on supporting student retention efforts through tutoring and mentoring. AmeriCorps State Program Service Members will receive a stipend along with an additional educational benefit upon completion of their service hours. The educational benefit can be used for education-related expenses including tuition and student loans.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Triton College to expand on strategic plan items that we have not otherwise had the resources or the manpower to expand,” said Dr. Deborah Baness King, Triton College Dean of Academic Success, the grant’s principal investigator. 

AmeriCorps State Service Members will complete over 900 hours of service throughout the school year, supporting Triton College student service and mentoring programs including TRIUMPH (Triton Undergraduate Men Pursuing Higher Education), SURGE (Sisterhood of Undergraduate Representing Great Excellence) and TRIO Student Support Services. AmeriCorps State Service Members will also support community partnerships between Triton College and the Oak Park Library as well as West 40 Intermediate Service Center.  The grant will allow Triton to implement proven mentoring intervention strategies that will support student success through coaching and individual attention.

“The Triton College AmeriCorps State Program will provide the human capital necessary to implement a comprehensive structure of support for our students that increases individualized services and connects students with a mentor/coach.” said Dr. Deborah Baness King. 

In total, Serve Illinois distributed more than $35 million in federal grants to fund 46 AmeriCorps service programs throughout the state. Triton is one of only four Illinois community colleges to be awarded a grant.

“This is the largest AmeriCorps investment Illinois has ever seen in the history of the program,” said Serve Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland. “Last year, AmeriCorps Illinois served nearly 400,000 Illinoisans, including more than 209,000 disadvantaged youth and nearly 40,000 veterans, active military and military family members.

Anyone 17 years of age or older is eligible to apply to become an AmeriCorps member. For more information on how to apply to become an AmeriCorps member, email tritoncollegeamericorps@triton.edu.