The mission of Student Support Services-TRIO (SSS) is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of program participants at the University of New Mexico Main Campus. The SSS program draws upon a holistic framework where committed participants receive individualized support by addressing their educational and personal needs. Support is offered through academic advising, tutoring, mentoring, career advisement, personal guidance, financial guidance, graduate school guidance, workshops and social/cultural events. SSS Supplemental Grant Awards are available to eligible participants based upon available funds. The SSS program is 100% federally funded through a grant from the US Department of Education TRIO Programs.
SSS targets 160 UNM undergraduate students who are first-generation to college, low-income and/or have a documented disability. The definition of low-income is specific to TRiO programs and “means an individual from a family whose taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of an amount equal to the poverty level determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census.” SSS definition takes into consideration number of family members in the household and is based on ‘taxable’ income. Therefore, SSS may categorize a student as low-income based on taxable income not adjusted gross income.
To demonstrate the impact of SSS with UNM’s strategic plan several key performance indicators are used to illustrate.
Federal TRIO programs defined as the percentage of the SSS participants served by the SSS program who enroll in the next academic year or graduate with a bachelor's degree. This key performance indicator is required by the U.S. Dept. of Education TRIO Programs. The information is collected and reported annually. The 2016-2017 cohort had a persistence rate of 97%.
Graduation rates measure the percentage of students who apply for admission to UNM as a degree seeking student and who then graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Following federal guidelines, SSS annually tracks the six-year graduation rate of program participants. Additionally, UNM Enrollment Management uses this standard definition for a six-year graduation rate which is “measured by the percentage of full-time baccalaureate-seeking students who graduate within six years.” The 2016-2017 SSS cohort has a six-year graduation rate of 72%.
Low-income student graduation rates measure the percentage of students from low-income households who were admitted to UNM as a degree seeking student and who then graduate with a bachelor’s degree. SSS uses the operating definition of low-income based on federal TRIO program criteria. Recipients of a Pell Grant are not automatically considered low-income. This key performance indicator is not required by the U.S. Dept. of Education TRIO Programs; however, the information is collected and may be reported on. RESEARCH: Research may come in two forms: participation in student research at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and participation in professional research by program faculty and staff. In general, quantifying the research impact is highly individualized for each program. For instance, one program may report the number of undergraduate students participating in research workshops, another may report the number of students participating in long-term research projects, and a third may report the number of research projects completed by staff or faculty paid through the program. Part of the intrinsic SSS program services is to encourage students to participate in undergraduate research through departmental honors thesis, independent study research projects, and participation in a third party research based program such as UNM’s Research Opportunity Program or UNM’s Ronald E. McNair Research TRIO Program. This key performance indicator is not required by the federal government for TRIO programs; this specific information is not collected.
New student enrollment rates refer to the number of new students who enroll in higher education each semester or each year. In general, quantifying the impact of New Student Enrollment is highly individualized for each program. This key performance indicator is not required by the federal government however the information is collected and may be reported on. NEW MEXICO ACHIEVEMENT GAPS: Numerous populations within New Mexico experience college entrance and graduation rates that are lower than desired. Among UNM’s mission is the desire to create an educational system that promotes equitable achievement for all students. For instance, college graduation rates for low-income students, rural students and students of color are often lower than those for white students or students from middle-class families. Quantifying impact on the achievement gaps in New Mexico is highly individualized for each program. This key performance indicator is not required by the federal government however the information is collected on ethnicity and graduation rates for low-income participants and may be reported on.
SLDCR measures performance that is not easily quantified. It measures the impact on developing leaders, and on assisting students as they progress from college to the workforce in a way that allows them to achieve their life goals. Quantifying impact on SLDCR is highly individualized for each program. For instance, one program may report the number of students served who hold student leadership positions at UNM, and another may report the number of students served who find a job related to their degree within six months of graduation. SSS provides services to encourage students to participate in organizations and aspire to leadership roles. SSS provides various workshops which may include career readiness. Additionally, SSS provides encourages advancement to graduate programs leading to careers.
Many student services initiatives are focused on serving the community, or on preparing students to progress through the public school system and into higher education. SSS is limited to provide services to program participants. Not applicable for SSS.