TRiO Program at TNCC Launches New Initiatives for Student Success and Retention

Published: April 20, 2010

Thomas Nelson Community College’s (TNCC) TRiO program aims to increase student success and retention with two new initiatives, Smart Start to TNCC and Academic Boot Camp. Smart Start targets 2010 high school graduates and Academic Boot Camp is designed for students ages 25 and older. All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for TRiO, a federally-funded program open to students in a transfer curriculum who are first-generation college students and meet low-income requirements.

Additionally, upon taking TNCC’s placement test, students must place into English College Composition I (ENG 111) and Pre-algebra (MATH 03) to qualify. The courses are part of the fall class schedule pre-selected by students when they enroll at TNCC.

Funded by a $2,500 Faculty/Staff Mini Grant from the College’s Educational Foundation, Smart Start to TNCC will accept 25 students who enroll at TNCC upon graduating from high school this year. Each will receive a scholarship that covers a College Success course and textbook. Participants in the program will take various assessments that reveal their learning style and personality type to assist in researching congruent career majors.

The program will also providing technology use training through Blackboard workshops, web study resources and tutorials, financial literacy links and access to the TRiO virtual community.

Smart Start to TNCC will focus on the needs of freshmen with cohort learning groups, peer mentors and a math learning coach. The group will also be registered to take 11 credit hours together this fall.

Academic Boot Camp is for students ages 25 and older who are first-time college students or who have been away from college for at least five years. In this abbreviated version of Smart Start to TNCC, students will receive similar assistance during two evening sessions in August minus the College Success course. With both programs in place, TNCC hopes to see increased success in core courses and higher retention and graduation rates among TRiO students.

TNCC’s TRiO program is funded to serve 160 students per year with a comprehensive set of services that includes academic, career and personal counseling, cultural enrichment activities, personality assessments and evaluations that provide insight about the student’s learning style and study skills.

With a family-like environment, the TRiO staff offers positive reinforcement for students in a nurturing atmosphere, while offering assessments and counseling services that help students excel, prepare for transfer to a four-year university and choose the career that suits them best.

For more information about Smart Start to TNCC and/or Academic Boot Camp, please contact the TRiO office at 825-3596 or


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